Leo the mouse isn't like the other knights. While they like fighting, he'd rather read a book. Leo's parents are keen to turn him into a proper knight, so they pack him off on a mission to tame a dragon. But Leo knows that books are mightier than swords, and he tames not just the dragon, but a troll and a griffin, too - by reading them stories.
The cover of this book is just too cute and grabbed the attention of Mr Six, Miss Four and myself as soon as we saw it. The kids really wanted to know why the mouse was standing on the dragon's nose. Were they friends or was the mouse in a very dangerous place? The kids couldn't wait for me to read it to them.
The story is about a knight (mouse) who loved to read and fighting just wasn't his thing. He loved books and managed to find a way to solve problems by bringing books into the lives of the other characters. This story is a good talking point for children as it shows that even if everyone else is telling you and expecting you to fight, that there are other options. It also shows the power of books and how they can change the world. There is a fantastic environmental theme at the end of the book too, where the knight teaches the dragon how to clean up his mess. The is a great message for children to show the importance of cleaning up after yourself.
The illustrations are adorable and are full of colour and detail. The children really enjoyed taking the time to enjoy the illustrations on each page. There is a sequence of images to tell the story about the encounter with each character in the book and the pictures can tell the story independently of the text. White space is used effectively in combination with full colour pages. The text is a nice size for Mr Six to read to himself, however I would prefer to see it a little bigger for sharing the book with multiple children at once. The text is well placed so that it doesn't inhibit the illustrations. Miss Four has now heard the book read many times and I am sure she will soon start to tell the story herself based on the illustrations alone (as she can't actually read the words yet).
Both my husband and I have now read the book numbers times to the kids over the past couple of weeks. Miss Four is particularly attached to it and happily makes it her book of choice out of a pile of books. Overall, as well as being a lovely story, there are some great discussion starters for children in the book. This is quickly becoming a favourite in our house.
Random listing from 'Books'...
In the early years of this century, Paddy Cleary moves his wife and seven children to Drogheda, an Australian sheep station,owned by his autocratic and childless older sister. For more than half a century we follow their fates, particularly those of Meggie, the only Cleary daughter, and the one man she truly loves, Ralph de Bricassart - stunningly handsome, ambitious, and a priest.
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