I am absolutely thrilled to be part of the launch celebrations for The Knight Who Wouldn’t Fight by Helen Docherty with illustrations by Thomas Docherty. The Knight Who Wouldn’t Fight was published by Scholastic on 4th August 2016 in paperback and is available for purchase on Amazon UK, Amazon US, and Waterstones.
The Knight Who Wouldn’t Fight
Leo the mouse isn’t like the other knights. While they like fighting, he’d rather read a book. Leo’s parents are keen to turn him into a proper knight, so they pack him off on a mission to tame a dragon. But Leo knows that books are mightier than swords, and he tames not just the dragon, but a troll and a griffin, too – by reading them stories. With its witty rhyming text and glorious, detailed illustrations, The Knight Who Wouldn’t Fight is a joyful, magical picture book about the power of stories.
My Review of The Knight Who Wouldn’t Fight
What better way to fight a dragon, a troll and a griffin – than by reading them stories!
It never ceases to amaze me just what a wonderful selection of books there is out there for children and The Knight Who Wouldn’t Fight by Helen Docherty with illustrations by Thomas Docherty is one of the best I’ve encountered. It is absolutely stunning. I adored everything about it.
Firstly the moral of the story is perfect. It tells the tale of a mouse knight who prefers books to fighting and exemplifies generosity of spirit and deed in a natural and delightful way. The narrative gives wonderful status to reading and peaceful friendliness. There are smaller morals too – such as a reward for good behaviour when clearing up a mess.
The language used is also to be admired. The rhyme scheme works so well that there is no need to force the rhythm when reading it aloud to a child. There are some more challenging words like ‘trespass’ that, along with the rhyme, will enable children to increase their vocabulary in an effortless way. But more importantly still, I think, is the brilliant tale to be told of the mouse knight meeting griffins, trolls and dragons. Children will love the thought of dragon poo for example – and my 5 year old great nephew thought it was hilarious. He also enjoyed sounding out the book titles in the illustrations.
Finally, the quality of the illustrations is fantastic. There is so much to look at and discuss that there are hours of entertainment to be had. If there is any justice in the world, The Knight Who Wouldn’t Fight will become a children’s classic outselling the likes of The Very Hungry Caterpillar or The Gruffalo. I cannot praise it enough. It is, in my opinion, perfection.
About Helen and Thomas Docherty
Thomas Docherty is the acclaimed illustrator of The Snatchabbook, Abracazebra and The Snorgh and the Sailor. He was shortlisted for the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal.
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