Sir Scaly Pants and the dragon thief by John Kelly
Bloomsbury, 2017. ISBN 9781408856062
(Age: 4-7) Recommended. This is the second story about Sir Scaly Pants the Dragon Knight and is just as entertaining as the first. This time the king is kidnapped by an evil dragon and Sir Scaly and his clever horse Guinevere, go to the rescue. After traipsing past a cyclops, a warty witch and a long-haired lady, Sir Scaly discovers the king tied up to a flagpole on the top of a very tall dragon tower.
Then he and Guinevere have to use all their wits to work out a way to rescue him.
The reader is introduced to 'The story so far' in an explanatory one page rhyme which describes how a knight raised him, how he went to Knight School, beat a smelly giant and became the King's champion. Then the story continues in humorous rhymes which are a joy to read aloud. The allusions to myths and fairy tales, like Rapunzel, will also appeal to astute readers, who will also appreciate the twisty ending.
John Kelly has been shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal and his illustrations, bold and very colourful, will certainly appeal to his young audience. The evil dragon is a joy to behold, gripping the king in its forelegs and the looks on all the faces of both people and animals will have young readers giggling aloud.
This is an uplifting and very humorous story that will have instant appeal to young readers and listeners.