The Storybook Knight by Helen Docherty, Thomas Docherty

29152096

Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 6th 2016 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Source: Raincoast Books

Sometimes you meet books that make you go:

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The Storybook Knight is one of those books. Here is the official synopsis:

Even dragons can’t resist a good story…

Even though Leo would rather sit at home and read, his parents send him out into the world in the hopes that Leo will become a famous knight. But when Leo comes up against the land’s most fearsome beasts, he soon discovers that scary monsters enjoy a good book as much as anyone…

Leo meets a whole host of scary creatures on his way to the kill the dragon. First is the Hippogriff who wants to fight him, then is the troll who wants him as a snack, and then is the dragon who has fatal breath issues. Leo tames all these creatures not with his shiny new sword but with books.

He tells them stories and not just any stories but stories about them. Stories where things like them appear.

Do you understand how awesome this is?

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People advocating for diversity have been talking about the importance of representation in books for children’s literature and The Storybook Knight liberally proves this in a very elegantly understated way that is all the more profound for its subtlety.

Leo tells the hippogriff stories in which hippogriffs like him appear and wins him over. He does the same for the troll and the dragon, they all lose their monstrous miens and become relatable book-lovers because they find some reassurance, some validation, for/of their existence.

That’s brilliant.

The art is gorgeous. I mean seriously sit down and take long looks at gorgeous. The book is beautifully crafted with gorgeous endpapers and thick pages.

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The story is written in rhyming verse that is so much fun to read. I first read it to my mother and then to my niece and they were both fans by the end of the book.

The Storybook Knight will appeal to both adults and children. It’s one of those books that have universal appeal and will leave the reader beaming.

You should read it.