Students and teachers have gone back to school, sweaters are being pulled out of bottom drawers, and the pumpkin latte is back. Yep, it’s fall again! When the weather gets nippier, there’s nothing quite like snuggling up for a cozy storytime right before bed. My newest read-aloud favorite is King Jack and the Dragon by Peter Bently, with illustrations by the incomparable Helen Oxenbury.
King Jack and his knights build an enormous fort in the backyard and do battle with the fearsome monsters threatening their domain! But as night falls, “giants” come to take Sirs Zack and Caspar to bed, and King Jack is left alone to guard his kingdom. As the shadows grow longer and deeper, our hero feels less and less daring. When his parents come to take him home, King Jack is more than happy to snuggle up warm and safe in his bed.
The story is simple enough, but Bently uses whimsical rhyme to make his tale come to life. Helen Oxenbury’s much beloved signature style lends a classic feel to this new picture book. The imagination of Where the Wild Things Are is combined with the playful attitude of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt to create an entirely new adventure that will be beloved by generations to come!
King Jack and the Dragon, by Peter Bently, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury. Penguin Books, published August 2011.