Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Dragon and the Knight: A pop-up Misadventure

The Dragon and the Knight: A pop-up Misadventure

Robert Sabuda
Novelty Book
For ages 7 and up
Simon and Schuster, 2014   ISBN: 978-1416960812

Once upon a time there was a small but valiant Knight who lived in a tall tower. He was a kind and clever man who had a great fondness for marshmallows. He was lucky that the bakery in his village made “the best marshmallows in the world.”

   One day the Knight was looking down at the peaceful countryside when he saw a ferocious Dragon coming towards his lands through the forest. The terrible beast left destruction in its wake and the Knight was appalled when he saw that the creature, spewing out fire as it came, was headed for his village.

   The Knight was a brave fellow and he ran down from castle where he met the Dragon on a hill. He challenged the Dragon and was almost cooked in his armor when the beast breathed fire all over him. The Knight then tried to convince the Dragon that it did not have any reason to terrorize the poor villagers. The Dragon responded by saying that it was only doing what dragons are supposed to do; it was being true to its nature. It explained that it also happened to be lonely and unhappy and it couldn’t “bear to see others happy when I am miserable.” The Knight insisted that there had to be a way to solve the Dragon’s problems that didn’t involve massive conflagrations, and in the end the Knight and the Dragon found a rather delightful solution.

   Children are going to laugh out loud when they see how the knight in this story helps out a lonely dragon who, it would appear, simply needs someone to play with. Once the dragon’s problem is solved, the dragon and the knight play a spirited game of tag, running through some fairy tales as they go. The dragon admires Cinder’s shoes in Cinderella, he comments on the witch’s sweet tooth in Hansel and Gretel, and assures the dwarves in Snow White that the lovely princess will “be fine, trust me.” The friends then gallop their way through Little Red Riding Hood, Aladdin, Rupunzel, The Three Little Pigs, and finally Puss in Boots, causing more and more chaos as they go. I suppose one shouldn’t be surprised that a game of tag involving a dragon might turn out to be rather surprising.

   With wonderful popups on every page, and a story that is not at all what readers will expect, this is a title that readers of all ages will enjoy exploring.