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by Bob Wilson & illustrated by Bob Wilson

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 1-84507-496-3
Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Younger readers who prefer their tales of knightly valor straight up should eschew this droll, double-stranded import. Expressing doubts that King Alfred really burnt those cakes, or that Canute got wet feet, Wilson proceeds in paired cartoon panels to deliver a rhymed official rendition and a slangy factual account of how young Dave the peasant drove a fearsome beast out of Princess Peach’s bedchamber—thus, naturally, earning her hand in marriage. Dave’s quick-thinking mother expedites the process, determining that the “horrid creature” squeaks and is fond of cheese, but persuading the suspicious King Arfwitt and Queen Girdlestein that it’s a dragon nonetheless, then letting nature take its course with the young folk. Wilson outfits every character with eyeglasses, “arms” Dave with a wooden sword and a bucket for a helmet (“you look a right wally,” his mom observes), and encloses verses, dialogue and the frequent asides in balloons. Children trained to expect action on every page may find the episode a bit wordy and slow-going, but there’s certainly food for thought here, as well as an amiable, silly story. (Picture book. 7-9)