The Forgetful Knight, was published on 5th July 2016 by Dial Books (an imprint of Penguin Random House). Written by Michelle Robinson, illustrated by Fred Blunt, (both of whom have featured previously on the blog – welcome back!). The Mudwaffler knew this book was going to be a dazzler!
Said the Mudwaffler… ‘Hilariously entertaining from start to finish! A tale (not) easily forgotten.’
Once upon an olden day... .
A knight, clad in armor, atop a horse (also clad in armor), is riding away from a distant castle, past the local peasants and a happy looking squirrel and off on an adventure…
This looks to be a ‘standard’ knight’s tale, but wait! It’s NOT. As you might have already guessed by the title, things aren’t exactly ‘standard’ in this tale, and already, just a few words in, it’s clear that the story teller’s memory isn’t quite up to scratch, because a turn of the page reveals that there is no horse! The rhyme was strode, not rode – the story teller forgot. And so begins a brilliantly written, hilarious guessing game – in rhyme – which sets the pace and rhythm for us going forward. It’s easy to read and so much fun!
We know the knight is on his way somewhere, but where..?
Ah yes! Of course! He’s intending to slay a big, green, mean dragon with an appetite for pets and, mostly notably, Sir Clopalot – the knight’s best mate (great name!), although the knight can’t exactly remember who or what Sir Clopalot is!
“You ate my friend!” the brave knight said. But hang on – was Sir Cloppy dead?
The knight remembers his dear old friend at last, and attacks the dragon, with a sickening result! But do we ever get to see Sir Clopalot? And what about all those other pets? And who is this forgetful storyteller? You’ll have to find out!
Fred Blunt’s loose, energetic line and scratchy colouring technique is so, so fun – in everything he does, I should add – but here it really shines and in the perfect match to Michelle’s words, bring them to life. It’s Fred’s ‘other’ characters that always get me, the little deatials he’s added and the stuff going on in the background. The title page of the book is a great example of this – check out all those characters!
The old lady walking a dog wearing a cone around its neck! And a chicken, so frightened it’s clucked out an egg mid-run! Plus a whole host of other characters all fleeing from the dragon. It’s fantastic! Some title pages are a bit lacking, this one is ace.
This book is noted online as a ‘…hilarious, Monty Python-style sendup of the classic knight-and-dragon story…’ and it’s spot on. If you like laughing, you’ll love this tale. It’s a great picture book, confirming that picture books don’t have to be full of meanings and lessons. Fun is best served funny.
The Mudwaffler, needless to say, absolutely LOVES this book. Huge thanks to Fred Blunt for sending it to Mudwaffler’s nest to review. We’re already looking forward to seeing what’s next from these two picture book stars!
Be sure to check out…
Michelle’s website: www.michellerobinson.co.uk
or find her on Twitter: @MicheRobinson
Fred Blunt’s website: www.fredbluntillustration.com
or find him on Twitter: @FredBlunt
And check out the previous Mudwaffler reviews for…
Michelle’s A Beginners Guide to Bear Spotting (illustrated by David Roberts)
and There’s a Lion in my Cornflakes (illustrated by Jim Field)
Swamp Hugs! Till the next time…