Knightly adventure isn’t all that flows following the literal “kid”-napping of Princess Phlema’s beloved goat.
An outrageous ransom note demanding the priceless Book of Loogey—a volume of mystical Gazoon’Tite teachings (plus “at least one outstanding oatmeal cookie recipe”)—prompts King Mewkus to summon his knights. Unfortunately, the kingdom of Boo’Gar has been at peace for so long that, of the entire order, only 13-year-old Sir Rowland remains. But even as Rowland uncertainly gallops off atop Tulip, his trusty ostrich steed, to face the huge and slimy Nose Goblins of the Boogerbald Mountains, it is revealed that the princess’s goat is actually under the king’s very nose, hidden in the castle by local monks Pik and Flik at the behest of conniving King Sinius of neighboring Sneezix. Fortunately, Roche digs out a generous handful of allies, ranging from the not-unfriendly Nose Goblins (“We not just scary plot device,” affirms green-skinned Tony) to intrepid Princess Phlema herself, to help Rowland save the day and win a bit of self-confidence. In the frequent color cartoon illustrations, which are about as simply drawn as the plot, Rowland and the rest of the main human cast are white, but in crowd scenes at least the author does vary the skin tones of his figures. The tale’s educational value is enhanced by drawings of medieval weapons and tools at the end.
A definite pick for fans of goo reading. (Fantasy. 8-10)