Published by Alison Green Books, an imprint of Scholastic, 2016.
The Knight who wouldn’t Fight is a wonderful celebration of the joy and power of reading. Young Leo mouse is a knight who can’t see the point of fighting. He’d much rather be reading. And read he does – up a tree, at the breakfast table, beside a stream. Leo’s parents are determined that he should behave in a more knightly fashion and so they send him off on a mission to tame a dragon. They provide him with a new sword and shield, and Leo packs the essentials: saddlebags full of books.
Not long into his journey, he encounters a griffin who is desperate for a fight. Instead, Leo persuades him to listen to a story. It turns out that the griffin is rather vain and so is easily swayed by the promise of a book of brilliant beasts with pictures of him in it. Hours later, Leo is picnicking by a mountain stream when a troll leaps out from under a bridge and threatens to eat him. Again, Leo is saved by a book. This time it’s The Billy Goats Gruff.
Next, Leo arrives in a town where a dragon has been wreaking havoc and the townsfolk are too afraid to leave their homes. The dragon spies Leo and squares up for a fight. Leo tames him and gets him to tidy up the town by – you guessed it – promising to read him a story.
The story is told in verse; the rhymes and lovely bouncy rhythm make it a delight to read aloud. There’s a warmth and gentle humour to the text too. Oh, and the dragon poo line made me laugh out loud!
Thomas Docherty’s illustrations are gorgeous – cute animals and magnificent mythical creatures. There’s lots of lovely detail too; I particularly like the breakfast table scene where the light is streaming through the stained glass windows.
This is a terrific picture book and one that I can see us reading again and again.
Suitable for children aged 2+
Thank you to Scholastic for sending me this book to review.