. There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight
Written by Penny Parker Klostermann
Illustrated by Ben Mantle
Random House Children’s Books 8/04/2015
. .40 pages Age 3—7
“A knight, a steed, a squire,
a cook, a lady, a castle,
[and finally] a moat,
“Plus one very hungry old dragon add up to a hilarious and rollicking tale about a dragon who just can’t keep his mouth closed . . . at least not until he eats almost everything in the kingdom.
Do you remember There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly? Forget about her and that fly. There is an old dragon in town and he is out to swallow the entire kingdom. He can fly, but he doesn’t swallow any in this retelling of the classic fairy tale.
The knight, sitting spine-straight upon his trusty steed, rides into the dragon’s lair set on slaying the old dragon. The dragon swoops down upon the knight, who is still traveling forward, and devours the smiling knave . . . the trusty steed escapes! The dragon picks up the steed, tosses it into the air as if it was a kernel of popcorn, and swallows him whole. Well, at least knight and steed are reunited. But, the dragon is not yet sated. He follows the knight and steed with a squire, a cook, a lady, and a castle. After each item hits the dragon’s stomach—landing a top the knight—the knight indignantly declares,
“It’s not polite!”
Indeed, it is not polite for the dragon to devour nearly the entire kingdom. All that is left is for dragon to do is wash down his dinner. The dragon’s stomach is now chopping and churning. He is about to lose his lunch—or was that dinner. Out comes the castle, the lady, the cook, the squire, and the steed. The knight, who dismissed the signs while looking for danger, remains in the belly of the beast.
“It’s not polite!”
There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight, is a fractured fairy tale extraordinaire. Reading this debut picture book is easy and fun. The humor is delightful. Children will adore the bright orangish-red dragon and the knight’s repetitive protestations. The rhyming is spot on and has the singsong quality I love in picture books. Children will quickly pick up the lines and recite them along with the reader—or read the book by themselves. Ms. Klostermann’s tale will have kids excited to learn.
The illustrations are wonderful. From the orangish-red dragon to the moat of alligators the images will delight children. Each spread adds to the story, making the text come alive. Kids can visualize the dragon’s stomach thanks to a “window” in his belly. There the knight protests the rudeness of this swallowing business as more of the kingdom falls a top him. The small details are wonderful. The dragon may have swallowed the cook, but he missed the basket of escaping frogs and the chicken hiding behind the cart of fruits and veggies. In the dragon’s stomach, the cook goes back to his stew and the knight looks on terrified. Those kind of details adds depth to the story, filling in details the prose must leave out.
There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight is Ms. Kostermann’s first picture book. With the help of Ben Mantle’s illustrations, Klostermann has hit a home run, or should I say, she has slayed the beast. This wonderfully creative team will pair up once more in 2017 with the release of A Cooked up Fairy Tale. Parents will not mind reading There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight a million times, which is good, because kids will be asking for this bedtime story for nights on end.
Warning: Expect repetitive squeals of delight!
THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON WHO SWALLOWED A KNIGHT. Text copyright © 2015 by Penny Parker Klostermann. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Ben Mantle. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Random House Children’s Books, New York, NY.
Want a Signed Copy? Go to the Texas Star Trading Company HERE and leave details in the Gift Message field or call (325) 672-9696.
Meet the author, Penny Parker Klostermann, at her website: http://pennyklostermann.com/
Meet the illustrator, Ben Mantle, at his website: http://www.benmantle.co.uk/
Find more picture books at the Random House Children’s Books website: http://www.randomhousekids.com/
Random House Children’s Books is an imprint of the Penguin Random House Company
NEW by Ben Mantle
The Best Christmas Present Ever!
The Best Birthday Present Ever! (releases in 2016)
A Cooked up Fairy Tale by Penny Parker Klostermann (releases in 2017)
Wind-Up Ladybird by Fiona Watt
Land Shark by Beth Ferry (read review soon)
Rudy’s Windy Christmas by Helen Baugh (releases in October)
. . .and many more.
Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved
Full Disclosure: There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight by Penny Parker Klostermann & Ben Mantle, and received from Random House Children’s Books (an imprint of Penguin Random House Company), is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”