By Author / Illustrator
Oxford University Press
Paperback / softback
Brilliant new young fiction from comedy genius, Elys Dolan, creator of Steven Seagull, Weasels, and Nuts in Space.High in the mountains are the Dragon Caves, and inside the deepest, darkest dragon cave, lives the most terrible dragon. And his name is Dave. Dave's terrible (as in rubbish) at all dragony things. So when he finds a book called Knighthood for Beginners he decides to learn how to be a knight instead.Dave sets out on a quest with his trusty steed, Albrecht the goat (all the best horses were taken), to be brave, chivalrous, and knightly in all ways. He'll be up against Sir Gnasty, who scoffs at the idea of a very small, strangely green knight and has an absolutely massive sword.Hilarious fiction for young readers and fans of dragons, knights, and quests!
Dave is a dragon, albeit not a very good one, and is about to fail his Dragon test, despite the best efforts of his despairing parents. Dave, a keen reader, has read about knights and decided this is the life for him, seemingly unaware that the main point of a knight is to slay dragons and rescue damsels in distress. Fortunately, he stumbles upon a particular book, 'Knighthood for Beginners', which claims to give step by step guidance on becoming a knight. Step 1 is to acquire a trusty steed. This turns out to be Albrecht, a goat with a very interesting past and a fund of stories (which may or may not be true). Together they go in search of adventure, involving knights, kings, princesses, frogs and a whole host of other unlikely characters in this truly funny romp of a story. The book is also packed full of Elys Dolan's wonderful illustrations which add to the reader's enjoyment of the story. The book is a hoot and enormous fun but, in amongst the eccentric characters and unusual events, is a subtle message about not letting yourself be defined by what other people expect of you (Dave the dragon who wants to be a knight, the doctor who wants to be a professional jester, the circus performer who wants to be a doctor) which is very welcome for young readers establishing friendships, as is the relationship between Dave and Albrecht which includes a monumental falling-out. Newly independent young readers will enjoy this book enormously, as will any reader looking for an exciting story and a bit of a chuckle. 208 pages / Ages 7+ / Reviewed by June Hughes, school librarian.
Suggested Reading Age 7+