Tuesday, October 27, 2009

REVIEW: The Bravest Knight

Mayer, M.  (1968).  The Bravest Knight.  New York:  Dial Books for Young Readers.

The Bravest Knight, which was reissued in 2007, shares the story of a young modern boy who dreams of having lived a thousand years ago so that he could have been a squire to a knight and enjoy all of the fantasy and romanticism ascribed to that time.

The Bravest Knight is illustrated in Mayer's familiar style with full color and a lot of humor incorporated.  And the reader needs to have acquired visual literacy to be able to understand that humor.

Since this is a classic and is reflective of when it was written with regard to the fact that feminism still hadn't snuck into children's literature yet, the princess figure is rather passive, a character to be rescued.


The Bravest Knight could be used to begin a lesson on what daily life would really be like during the dark ages, since the book (at least early on) does a decent description of a squire's duties before shifting into a more fantastic path.

This book could give voice to a desire for those young children who prefer fantasy and imagination to reality.  I wish I had found this book when I was a child.

Quotes of Note:

"I wish I lived a thousand years ago."

"There would be beautiful castles, kings and queens, good knights, bad knights, fair ladies in danger, evil dragons from the mountains..."

"I would work for the bravest knight in the kingdom and be his squire."

"The knight and I would wander through the countryside in search of adventure."

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