Elephant Joe, brave knight, will! With his trusty sidekick, Zebra Pete, of course. But there's an unexpected twist in this tale. Is the damsel in distress who she seems to be? And what happens when Elephant Joe and Zebra Pete wake the dragon guarding the Dark Knight's tower? There'll be lots of jousting and heroics before it's all over in this comical adventure from British author-illustrator David Wojtowycz. And we mean comic-al! Witty asides and clever dialogue in word balloons add to the hilarity and ...
Elephant Joe, brave knight, will! With his trusty sidekick, Zebra Pete, of course. But there's an unexpected twist in this tale. Is the damsel in distress who she seems to be? And what happens when Elephant Joe and Zebra Pete wake the dragon guarding the Dark Knight's tower? There'll be lots of jousting and heroics before it's all over in this comical adventure from British author-illustrator David Wojtowycz. And we mean comic-al! Witty asides and clever dialogue in word balloons add to the hilarity and captivating design.
Review, The New York Times Book Review, June 17, 2012: “Illustrated in colorfully eclectic digital collage…[Elephant Joe, Brave Knight!] takes gleeful pleasure in upending fairy tale cliché.”
- Elizabeth Fronk
As Elephant Joe swims at the castle, he hears a cry for help. The Dark Knight has stolen the king's crown and Elephant Joe must get the crown back. Elephant Joe and his trusty sidekick, Zebra Pete set out to find the crown. They come upon the Dark Knight's tower but only find a damsel in distress; however, there also appears a suspicious-looking tail behind the tower. The tail turns into a fire-breathing dragon that melts Elephant Joe's sword. Elephant Joe and Zebra Pete thwart the dragon with some joust tickles. As they try to rescue the damsel it turns out the damsel is really the Dark Knight in disguise and he is wearing the King's crown. Fearing that the Dark Knight is getting away, Joe and Pete get a ride on the dragon and head towards the castle. Zebra Pete and Elephant Joe rescue the crown and the Dark Knight receives a suitable punishment for his theft. Colorful collage, comic-book speech bubbles and several font varieties all come together in this fun and rollicking picture book. Kindergarten to reluctant second grade readers can appreciate the humor and gentle poke at traditional fairy tales. While the story itself is slight, the clever illustrations and asides from the resident enchanted frog add much humor that anyone reading or seeing the illustrations might enjoy.
Wee elephant and zebra buddies seem no match for a fearsome dragon and an evil knight, but looks can be deceiving. It's a sunny day at the castle, so Elephant Joe and his pal Zebra Pete go for a dip in the moat astride colorful inflatable animals. A loud cry for help sends them running to the castle. It's the king--a pint-sized purple hippo--whose crown has been stolen by the Dark Knight. Joe and Pete set off immediately and soon arrive at the Enchanted Forest, whose trees are full of candy and cupcakes. At the Dark Knight's castle, they find a crocodile damsel in distress, but before they can rescue her, they're attacked by an enormous red dragon. With cool heads, the duo subdues the beast with a tickle and a sincere "Please." In no time, they're inside the castle, where the tables are turned and the Dark Knight (who has devilishly impersonated said damsel) escapes after imprisoning them. Luckily, the dragon has a spare key, and wings! He flies his new friends quickly to the castle, where they recover the crown. Both Joe and Pete are knighted and feted with a feast. Wojtowycz's digital-collage illustrations are a riot of bold colors and interesting shapes. A frog who looks like a green candy kiss offers snarky asides throughout. Blithe adventure for tiny heroes-to be. (Picture book. 3-6)
The New York Times Book Review
…takes gleeful pleasure in upending fairy tale cliché.
DAVID WOJTOWYCZ has illustrated dozens of books for children, many of which he has also written, such as the myriad adventures of Elephant Joe, and A Cuddle for Claude, which inspired an animated television series broadcast in England, where the books were originally published. One of David's most successful books is Rumble in the Jungle, written by Giles Andreae. David grew up in England and divides his time between London, Berlin, and Chicago.