Thursday, 24 September 2015

Sir Scaly Pants - The Dragon Knight by John Kelly (Bloomsbury Children's Books)

He's green, he's righteous and he's the star of a new fantastic knightly romp launched today. Let's meet Sir Scaly Pants - The Dragon Knight by John Kelly...
We love a tale that puts familiar story elements together and whizzes them into a heady cocktail of fun and a wry observation or two. So it is with "Sir Scaly Pants - The Dragon Knight"

Found as a mere egg by a kindly knight and his wife, the tiny fire-breathing dragon is dubbed Scaly Pants, and enlists in Knight School to become a brave defender of the realm just like his dear old dad.

Scaly Pants has a tough time at school, but despite the bullies taunts and attempts to bash and smash Scaly, he weathers the storm and soon has the opportunity to really prove his worth.

A ghastly giant threatens the kingdom, moving in to make a real pest of himself by smashing buildings, scoffing food stores, drinking all the ale and basically being a thoroughly rotten egg. Scaly and the other knights from Knight School accept the mission to rid the kingdom of this cursed giant, but whereas the other knights are swiftly captured, Scaly and his trusty steed Guinevere ride to the rescue. Scaly's secret weapon - his fiery breath - might just save the day after all!

Sir Scaly is a fabulous character, and this story promotes a very strong anti-bullying message. Even despite Scaly's run in with his rather nasty cohorts at Knight School, he still does the right thing and rides to their rescue when they're taken by the giant. There's a rather nice observation in this when Scaly is being pilloried by the bullies, but their weapons (and insults) just bounce right off his dragon hide.

We like it a lot, twice now John has taken a very well established story genre and made it his own with some very neat writing (and his bold colourful illustrations). Watch out for Sir Scaly, he's out and about today!

Charlotte's favourite bit: Guinevere, who is a pudgy yet plucky little pony who certainly can hold her own in a scrap with a nasty giant!

Daddy's favourite bit: A brilliant and original take on a strong anti-bullying theme, a lovely twist to the usual brave knight / nasty dragon story.

(Kindly sent to us for review by Bloomsbury Children's Books)

"Sir Scaly Pants The Dragon Knight"

Written and Illustrated by John Kelly

Published by Bloomsbury Publishing

Release Date: 24th September 2015