A fierce dragon needs slaying, and young knight Nick’s determined to do it.
It seems Nick is “dying to fight a real dragon.” (The text sporadically breaks into bold and italicized type with little apparent logic.) The dragon he has chosen is Breakhorn, which has been bedeviling the village at the base of the snow-capped mountain where the dragon lives. Young Nick makes his quest and confronts this great red beast armed with such a rinky-dink sword that Breakhorn refuses to engage, so the villagers equip him with a proper one, and back up the mountain he goes with a sword three times his height, but now he has no shield….Down and up, down and up Nick goes, till finally he has sword and shield and is wearing a practically immobilizing suit of armor. Turns out Breakhorn never wanted to fight in the first place: “I prefer talking or playing games.” Chess, for instance, at which Nick is quite good. “And that’s how our little knight defeated a dragon after all.” Although the conceit is cute, the text seems to get as tired as Nick with all the to-ing and fro-ing. Dijkstra paints a charming, medieval European village whose residents are all white, as is Nick, and a great, red dragon that looks rather like a benevolent Smaug.
Nick’s great quest to “fight” a dragon is more buildup than story. (Picture book. 4-8)