"Good Knight, Sleep Tight" is the second of (so far) three picture books set in the same fantasy world starring a loyal knight, his faithful horse, the royal family and "bears with long claws [...], swooping owls [...] and [...] hungry wolves with dribbly mouths." So far, so standard. But it's David Melling's art and sense of humour that make these books so wonderful.
In "Good Knight, Sleep Tight", the prince from "The Kiss That Missed" has acquired a baby sister ("He couldn't see what all the fuss was about.") The knight is sent on a quest to fill the royal pillow with "something soft and fluffy" for the princess, encountering bears, wolves and owls on the way. Keep an eye on his shield for the lion - who goes green as they climb up the tree, or gets knocked into the side as they leave so quickly there isn't "even enough time to finish the senten"... The text bounces round the pages with the action, winding round sequences of pictures and changing in size through the story. The pictures are utterly gorgeous and filled with little details that you pick up more of from each reading. They're also a lovely snapshot of aspects of real family life, and it's nice to have a king and queen who act like normal parents do.
I expect that the age range is aimed at 3-6 year olds. I say it's enjoyable from birth to adulthood - I've been reading it to my eldest daughter (now nearly three) since before she was a year old and to my youngest daughter (7 months) since birth. The almost-three year old chooses all three books on a regular basis and we sit down to read them - "Oh, no, what's happening!" she cries, in between quoting the next lines. All three books are huge fun for me to read to my daughters and I'm still seeing new things in the pictures, and love the humour. I enjoy all three, it was difficult choosing my favourite to write a review.
I can thoroughly recommend reading anything written by David Melling, and this fantasy trilogy is a very good place to start with young children - who understand that stories should start "Once upon a something..." and end happily after something a little bit scary in the middle.
This is a lovely book where the story follows a rather dopey knight on a quest to find a soft filling for a pillow to help the new princess sleep. What is refreshing is that although a baby princess and the prince's relationship with the new arrival is the basis of the story, it is in the background with a friendly knight adventure overlaid over the top. This means that although the book would be a nice gift for a family with a impending/new sibling it will be enjoyed by all children who love a thoroughly great picture book. The book uses good words in interesting ways both textually and visually - I liked the `grizzled bears' and the use of `Neigh' as a negative by the knight's steed, and adults will smile at the way there wasn't even enough time for to finish the senten (ce have fallen off the edge of the page). The illustrations are gorgeous, with clean lines and strong cheerful colours. The appealing royal characters are mixed in with the cutest scary forest dwellers (wolves & bears) that you'll ever have come across. Plus there's humour in the pictures which stands this book apart from other books - look out for the bears' underpants, and the Knight's shield. This has a lion on it, but he's a little character in his own right, appropriately different each time he appears.
This book is suitable for both girls and boys (despite being green) from 2 through to 6. It has the same characters as The Kiss that Missed (also for boys and girls despite being orange) and is every bit as good, yet nicely different. In fact, it's hard to choose which I prefer so I recommend you put both in your basket and qualify for Amazon's super saver delivery!
This is a funny little book - we borrowed it from the library and I'm about to buy a copy here. I find the story a bit odd, it doesn't flow in a terribly logical manner, but my 3 year old requests it all the time. (Why do the wolves come and sniff and then go again?)
What really makes the book though, are the illustrations. They are really pleasing to look at. It's nice to see pictures that have been drawn with care and not just splashed onto the page like some children's book illustrations. And they are detailed (not cluttered) so that every time you read the book you notice something new. Following the recommendation above, I think I'll buy another one too!
Every time we read this book, we have so much fun, whether it is at home with my children, or in class with my little students.
Lovely sense of humour, gorgeous illustrations as always, and one thing I find very important - a simple yet worthwhile message - family love, one between a brother and sister. Not to mention the unquestionable loyalty from the good knight and his steed!
Such a charming, positive story, enriching our bookshelf and hearts!
Bought for my 4 year old son, we had read other books in this series and as he is knight mad it was perfect for him. Beautifully illustrated and we have shared this book together many times. Would recommend