Inspiring Young Readers
The Knight Who Might by Lou Treleaven, illustrated by Kyle Beckett
Everybody likes an uplifting tale about perseverance, as long as there is some kind of positive outcome. This funny rhythmic story by one of my favourite authors is about a young man who is determined to achieve his dream of becoming a knight.
The mood is set by the front cover illustration which shows a doubtful looking horse with the rider who has his eyes closed – not the usual assertive image for this job at all. Despite this, he is definitely enthusiastic as he sets off from the crooked tower where he lives and tries to master riding the horse, and falls off. Then he has a go at using his sword, and accidentally drives it into a tree. The disasters continue, but he keeps smiling and when repeatedly challenged that he might not be a knight after all, he replies “But I might” insisting that he will achieve his ultimate dream.
Everything around him is magic (of course) which means that his horse, sword, and helmet can all voice their serious reservations. They are dismayed when he decides to enter a competition and decide to thwart his unrealistic ambitions by hiding from him. But they have underestimated his strong desire to become a knight, and when he realises that he will just have to manage without them, they feel obliged to help him out despite their concerns
'“He’ll be exhausted” said the horse.
“He’ll be cut to pieces, “said the sword.
“He’ll lose his head,” said the helmet'
It’s a good thing that they are so loyal, because when he sees a poster of a potential opponent, The Lord With the Scary Looking Sword, he begins to even doubt himself. But eventually reunited with his trusty friends, the Knight Who Might gallops confidently across the page against the backdrop of a huge castle. The other fierce knight rides to meet him. Who will win the inevitable clash and what will happen next? Obviously I am not going to reveal the details, other than to say that bravery and overall goodness is always rewarded in storybook world. Towards the end of the story we see him riding back to his own castle with the sword, helmet and horse, all looking equally pleased with themselves. But we all know the dangers of too much pride, especially when riding a horse.
I really enjoyed this latest picture book produced by the wonderful Maverick Arts Publishing Ltd which always places value on combining witty text with fabulously colourful illustrations. Young children will love reading about someone who doesn’t always get things right, but feels that he needs to keep following his dreams and achieve something to be proud of . With lots of encouragement and support from friends, that can sometimes happen.
(click on any image to view in a slide show format)