The Knight Who Was Afraid to Fight by Barbara Shook Hazen, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
The Knight Who Was Afraid to Fight

The Knight Who Was Afraid to Fight

by Barbara Shook Hazen

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Phobic knights are a minor specialty for Hazen ( The Knight Who Was Afraid of the Dark ). Sir Fred, who faints at the sight of blood, would rather trick or tickle dragons than slay them, and his sword becomes grass-stained from slicing blameless bouquets for his true love, Lady Wendylyn. But Fred's aversion to violence soon attracts the mocking attention of the brutish Melvin the Miffed. Rather than look like a coward in Wendylyn's eyes, Fred agrees to a duel with Melvin. Although he can't get ``a good knight's sleep'' on the eve of the battle, the nervous knight eventually faces his foe with a blunted lance. Melvin, meanwhile, has planned some dirty tricks--all of which backfire and effect his disgrace. Goffe, whose The Legend of Lightning Larry featured a pacifist Wild West cowboy, neatly fills her ink outlines with light, bright watercolors. She favors conventional cuteness over artistic derring-do, and the sweetness of her illustrations matches the placid tone of the narrative. Ages 4-8. (May)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Sir Fred and Melvin the Miffed from The Knight Who Was Afraid of the Dark (Dial, 1989) are back in this spoof with all its medieval trappings. Fred is said to be the bravest and boldest knight in the land and is dearly loved by Lady Wendylyn; mean-spirited, rotten-to-the-core Melvin is insanely jealous. Knowing his rival pales at the sight of blood, he challenges him to a duel. But tricky Fred upends his challenger, humiliating instead of hurting him, and he and his True Love canter off into the rosy morn. The sprightly text includes an interplay of words and phrases-``Rules of Duels,'' ``a good knight's sleep''-that add to the humor of this morality tale. Goffe's ink-and-watercolor illustrations have satirical touches that broaden characterization of hero, villain, and maiden. Stubble-chinned Mel wears a Viking helmet and spiked collar and bracelets. His fierce-looking cat wears a matching collar. Conversely, Sir Fred and his feline are fair, ingenuous, and seem baffled by it all. This book calls for a bold, brave, dramatic reading for laughs all around.-Virginia Opocensky, formerly at Lincoln City Libraries, NE
Merri Monks
The contrast between two styles of masculinity is humorously portrayed in this medieval tale of Sir Fred, who prefers to avoid fights; Melvin the Miffed, who loves to stir up trouble; and Lady Wendylyn, Sir Fred's true love. In an effort to sully Sir Fred's pristine reputation, Melvin "sneaked and peeked about endlessly, searching for a crack in Sir Fred's armor." Melvin observes Sir Fred leaving the round table when the other knights brag of their exploits, recalls that Sir Fred had driven monsters from the castle by tickling their tails rather than beheading them, and tricks Sir Fred with ketchup and red vegetable dye. Melvin plants a "wicked seed of doubt" in Lady Wendylyn's mind and manages to challenge Sir Fred to a duel. In spite of Melvin's treachery, Sir Fred wins not only the battle, but also respect for his gentleness from Lady Wendylyn and life happily ever after with her. Goffe's whimsical pastel illustrations convey medieval details, gentle humor, and two very comical cats.

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
10.76(w) x 8.81(h) x 0.37(d)

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