This was the third book I picked up at my library’s wine tasting in my drunken haze. I chose it because it looks adorable. Indeed, the illustrations are absolutely lovely with a lot of attention to detail. Mercer Mayer obviously put a lot of thought into every page, and probably some research, too.
We have a little boy who is playing pretend in his backyard. He’s imagining that he’s living 1,000 years ago as the squire for “the bravest knight in the kingdom.” This kingdom has good knights, of course, and bad knights, and fair maidens, and dragons, and trolls, and all sorts of things. Our brave knight is obviously brave, because he has a lion on his helmet. Every element in the story is fantastical. The tub the knight bathes in has a decorated face, and the showerhead is a brass snake, for example. Our horse looks ferocious in his armor with a spike on the nose, but he still licks the boys hair in the stable. And our fair maiden is not pleased with the horse nibbling on part of her hat! The chairs are decorated, the pillars are decorated, the mirrors are decorated. And we have a chained bear in the throne room, for some reason. (Everything is in the old style, except for the radiator in the throne room as well…) Our young boy has a faithful cat following him on his journey, and it’s fun to see what the cat is up to on each page as well. The only thing I’m not fond of is the ending. On the book jacket they call it a “mischievous surprise,” but I’m calling this kid out on being a coward.