Take a fantastically silly journey with the Brave Boy Knight and his monster companion, Butterscotch. Our young hero, helmeted with a colander and armed with a light up “laser sword,” sets out from his front door looking for some epic quests. Luckily, he soon runs into the animal princess with her ever-changing costumes and quests just waiting to become adventures. With her help, the boy and monster can fulfill their thirst for excitement and learn that not all scary guys are mean.
The story feels like an authentic childhood playtime adventure. Solutions are presented in such a way that readers are reminded that imagination is the ultimate Deus Ex Machina. Aimed at a pretty young crowd, the book does a nice job of balancing the sensibilities of kids and their parents. While the young knight does wield a sword, it is never used as a weapon against anyone. Later, though, he does comment on the bad guys’ smelliness and say “yuck” to the animal princess being a girl. However, that feels authentic to the early reader age group.
The art is cute and cartoony with a ton of bright colors and interesting settings. The bad guys are just scary enough to be interesting without going overboard. The pictures are well focused to avoid distractions on pages with dialog while still giving enough detail to have extra discussion with a grown up reading along.
Very kid focused, the book should read well for the new readers of early elementary grades. However, there will be an upper limit as the readers develop past the simple storylines. Still, the fun and imagination give even adults something to smile about as they share the book with youngsters.
The Totally Awesome Epic Quest of the Brave Boy Knight
by Pranas T. Naujokatis
Blue Apple Books, 2011