Sleepless Knight is a graphic novel for beginning readers and for reading out loud. The main character, the knight of the title, can’t wait to go on her camping trip. She is so excited that she packs everything she might need, and maybe a little bit more, onto the back of her faithful horse, Edward. She sets up camp and is all ready to go to bed when she discovers that her teddy is lost. A rabbit tells her where to go, and she heads into the woods, ready to rescue her teddy bear, only to find that she has been directed to a real bear’s cave.
James Sturm, Alexis Frederick-Frost and Andrew Arnold have created a young knight who balances between exploration and safety; she leaves the castle to go into the unknown—but the walls are still in sight. She’s camping, but she makes sure to take her teddy—and she is brave enough to venture into the woods when he is lost. It is a gently humorous tale with a buck-toothed rabbit, a patient horse who strums his ukulele, and the (entirely understandable) confusion between a teddy and a real bear based on the knight’s description. The knight is an enthusiastic go-getter who never takes her helmet off. The drawings are simple and expressive with the knight gesturing, jumping, and showing her enthusiasm.
The book is designed for those just getting comfortable with reading and with comic book conventions. The lettering and word balloons vary with the knight’s excitement, and page-layout is straightforward, with no quirky panel shapes, and the reading is from right to left, top to bottom. The first and last few pages give step by step directions for drawing the knight, her horse, the rabbit, and the bear in various moods.
Sleepless Knight is a good beginner’s graphic novel with an energetic heroine. Recommended for young readers who like talking animals, knights, camping, exploration, and too many marshmallows.
Sleepless Knight will be published April 7, 2015.
Age Range: 3 – 5 years
Grade Level: Preschool – Kindergarten
Series: Adventures in Cartooning
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: First Second (April 14, 2015)