We love knights! I am so thankful that my son is interested in knights because not only are there lots of storybooks about them, there are fantastic nonfiction choices too. Here are our reviews of a few books about knights that we have read recently.
Small Knight and George by Ronda Armitage is a gem! This story is funny, cute and a great message about not being what we think we should be but rather who we truly are. Small Knight is not so sure about being, brave and fighting but he does know how to make a friend. When he sets out to slay a dragon he ends up befriending one. A great book for all kids . Even though my son is presently all about battles and weapons he still likes and relates to this more peaceful story of a knight. As soon as I read it to him I was searching for the next in the series.
Imagine You’re a Knight! by Meg Clibbon is a fantastic book for children interested in what being a knight is all about. There are so many great details and answers given that I am eager to read more in this series. My son loves this book and not just because it answers his many questions about knights but also because it’s the type of book that you can open and close as time permits, reading a little or a lot and still enjoying it. I like the humor and illustrations by Lucy Clibbon. It’s a great choice for 4 and older. 3-year-olds might find it to be too much.
Knights & Castles (Insiders) by Phillip Dixon is a visually stunning book. This is not a book intended for preschoolers. But kids eager to learn more about medieval life, how castles were constructed and the realities of being a knight ( and other social positions) will appreciate it. I urge parents to read through it first because it’s geared towards older elementary through adult and explains the history in great ( not necessarily preschool appropriate) detail. My son loves this book, mostly due to the incredible illustrations that offer a look back in time. As a mom who has a degree in history, I adore these books but make sure to read them with him to explain the more complex information that is included.
The Princess Knight by Cornelia Funke is a tale about a princess named Violet who was raised with her 3 older brothers by her father after her mother dies in childbirth. Her brothers are trained to be knights and she too learns to joust, ride horses, and sword fighting. Her brothers ( like most) tease her and tell her that she’ll never be as strong and it’s a maid who tells her that she won’t be as strong but she can be smarter. That message stood way out for me and is why I think this is such a great book. When her father sets up a tournament for Violet’s hand in marriage she takes things into her own hands. She shows everyone how she is smarter than all the other knights and with hard work trains to win her own hand in marriage. I love this book not only as a great empowering one for girls but also to show boys that girls don’t have to fit a specific mold either.
My Favorite Michael Laura Heiman is such a wonderful book about pretend play. In it a little boy Michael dresses up as all sorts of roles from businessman to knight to pirate. Eventually, he pops out with no costume and his mom tells him that she likes him in all those other roles but that this every day Michael is her favorite. Kids who love to dress up and get deep into pretend play will like this book. My son who is almost never without his sword and shield and loved this book, since taking it out of the library a few days ago it’s been read many many times.
The Bravest Knight by Mercer Mayer had my son smiling on the edge of his seat until the end. The story is about a little boy who imagines he’s a knight living a thousand years ago. He imagines he is a squire who is loyal to a knight and even saves the knight from time to time. My son loved this, especially the part about the squire saving the knight. Then in the end the knight battles a troll and dies. You don’t see it but after that, the little boy decides maybe living back then wouldn’t be so cool. I was like really Mercer Mayer? He’s dead? What?! I totally didn’t pre-read it either ( will I ever learn??) and my son was stunned. Thankfully my resilient bossy 4-year-old announced I needed to turn back the page and re-read it saying the knight was just inside eating. So yeah we loved most of the book.
Take Care, Good Knight by Shelley Moore Thomas such a sweet book about three little dragons who agree to cat sit a wizard’s pets and the Good Knight who helps them get it right. The story is filled with mishaps when the dragons who can’t read yet try to figure out the wizard’s written instructions. The outcome is hilarious and will have your children giggling. I also love the message about using pictures to give clues for reading, but to remember to ask “Does this make sense?”