King Arthur's Very Great Grandson
Candlewick, 2012 (2012)
Reviewed by Bob Walch
On the day Henry turned six years old, he woke up early, ate a large breakfast, mounted his trusty donkey, Knuckles, and went out in search of adventure.
hus begins this adventure about one of King Arthur's much removed ancestors. Young Henry is determined to throw down his gauntlet whenever he meets a suitable adversary.
irst up is a terrible dragon that, rather than fight, blows harmless smoke rings at the little knight errant. Next, there's a dreaded Cyclops whose idea of a battle is to engage in a staring contest. Then, Henry is sent off to match wits with a grim griffin. Unfortunately, his opponent prefers chess to sword-play.
inally, Arthur's '
' grandson tests his boyhood against a fearsome sea monster. What happens when Henry meets the loathsome Leviathan? Something quite remarkable! I won't ruin the surprise by indicating how this encounter ends but it should bring a smile to your face.
hildren five and older will find this inventive tale drawn from myth and legend quite riveting. The unintended consequences of Henry's quest illustrate quite graphically that sometimes we don't really know what we are looking for. One may set out seeking a specific goal but discover there may be a better, more satisfying outcome than the one desired.
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