On his sixth birthday, Henry Alfred Grummorson, the great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandson of Arthur, King of Britain, goes in search of adventure.
First, he challenges a fire-breathing Dragon that simply blows smoke rings. He announces his presence to the giant Cyclops who, instead of fighting, engages him in a staring contest. “NO! NO!” cries Henry. “I want a struggle of arms, a test of might and courage!” Travelling far in search of a worthy adversary, his search leads him past the winged Griffin (who offers a game of chess) to the sea monster Leviathan. Has he finally found something worthy of a fight? With all the courage and flourish of Arthurian legend, Henry’s formal voice bellows each call to duel, all in capital letters and in a distinguished font from ye olden days. Kraegel teases this tiny knight with monsters that prefer play over fray. Despite the determined lack of conflict, Henry still manages to find a treasure he didn’t know he was seeking. The illustrations succeed in matching the rugged scenery with the adventurous text while giving clues to the surprising ending.
This is a good choice for reading aloud and for discussing such topics as friendship, aggression and the bravery it takes to change your mind. (Picture book. 4-7)