Kirkus Reviews QR Code
KNIGHTS OF THE KITCHEN TABLE by Jon Scieszka

KNIGHTS OF THE KITCHEN TABLE

by Jon Scieszka & illustrated by Lane Smith

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: May 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-670-83622-2
Publisher: Viking

 The author of the hilarious The True Story of the Three Little Pigs (1989) comes up with an entertaining formula in this first ``Time Warp Trio'' story: Narrator Joe is given a magic book (''The Book'') that transports him and two friends to King Arthur's Britain, where they find themselves confronted by a fearsome Black Knight--who's easy to defeat with some quick dodging when he's in mid-charge. Then Lancelot, Gawain, et al. happen by and take the boys for heroes--a reputation they sustain by tricking the loathsome giant who's menacing the castle into fighting the terrible dragon (Smaug) that has also just turned up. Scieszka unobtrusively slips in several classic references and defines some chivalric jargon by having the boys comically paraphrase it; there is some daring juvenile humor on the subject of the giant's various atrocious smells, and the contrast between the boys' breezy manner and the knights' pseudo-formality is also good for several laughs. A little forced, but this should serve its purpose. Smith's drawings deftly reflect the blend of everyday kid with zany, mock-gruesome adventure. See also a simultaneously published sequel, The Not-So-Jolly Roger, reviewed below (in brief). (Fiction. 8-12)