The Angry Little Knight

tr. from German by David Henry Wilson. illus. by Katja Gehrmann. 32p. NorthSouth. 2013. Tr $17.95. ISBN 978-0-7358-4110-9.
Gr 1–4—This odd picture book begins well enough but falls flat. Sir Henry Oliver Theodor Herbert Egbert Albert Dewinterbottom, an angry little knight also known as "Sir Hothead," only practices battling. But one day, wanting real adventure, he mounts his steed and trots off into the forest, where he finds a baby dragon that has a bad case of the hiccups. With a feather from his helmet, Hothead tickles Dripdry, curing him. The two go swimming and have a campfire, eating sausages grilled by the dragon "with a single burst of flame," securing an unlikely friendship. Langen tries to keep the feeling playful, but the narrative and dialogue meander at times in lengthy paragraphs. The plot becomes too convenient when Hothead's horse, Roswitha, produces the sausages for the campfire, having cleverly remembered to bring them. The illustrations are colorful, but do not always support the text. For example, on one spread Dripdry finds himself alone in the forest and feeling threatened. "The branches of the trees looked like sharp claws…, his skin became all goose bumpy and his teeth chattered like ice cubes." Yet the branches don't look menacing, the dragon's scales show no signs of distress, and his mouth is closed, with no chattering teeth revealed.—Anne Beier, Hendrick Hudson Free Library, Montrose, NY

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing