A brave young knight-in-training persists through her struggles to learn to read in this elementary-level graphic novel.
“Once upon a time…” there was a knight-in-training named Emiline, tan-skinned, with puffy brown hair, riding a purple unicorn. When she encounters a gate with written instructions, the words jumble together as she tries to read them. A classmate reads it for her, but Emiline feels discouraged. Her teacher, a woman with pink-toned skin and wavy purple hair, assures Emiline that she is smart even if it is taking her a while to learn to read. She is also learning the most important parts of being a knight, like sharing. Emiline spends more time practicing her reading, telling herself, “I can do hard things.” During the students’ next adventure, the group encounters danger when everyone but Emiline begins to fall asleep. She realizes it is because of the moon flowers, which she read about. The only one awake, Emiline must get the group to safety, mastering one more reading task along the way. The soft watercolors and pastel color scheme make this a gentle read suitable for younger children. Emiline’s struggles and triumph will find resonance with some readers, but many will not have the patience to follow her quest due to the absences of a strong personality and clear story direction.
Sweet and thick with lessons but unlikely to find a large readership. (Graphic fantasy. 6-9)