Davey debuts with a sleepy boy's "knight-time" routine, complete with toothbrush, shield, and sword. The opening spread presents mirror images of the yawning boy. On the left, he wears pajamas and a colander on his head, and his coat of arms includes an ordinary house. On the right, he wears chain mail and a golden helmet: the house is replaced with a castle. Though the text makes bedtime sound ordinary ("I head down the hallway... and climb the stairs"), the pictures reveal a combination of suburbia and medieval heraldry. The boy rides a unicorn past a (coat rack) tree and up a (staircase) mountain into a halo of sunrays. Alligators and a giant squid splash in his tub, and his bedroom door opens onto a horizon of spectacular turreted castles. Davey's digital illustrations resemble linocuts, and his earthy hues of amber, steely blue, and cream evoke warmth. The knight finally turns out the lights: "Though it has been a great adventure... even a knight needs a good night's sleep." While his quick surrender to sleep may be a touch idealistic, Davey creates a visually striking celebration of the last imaginative hurrah before bedtime. Ages 2–5. (Mar.)
Davey, a British illustrator, uses a striking palette of ocher, orange and cinnamon in this delightful debut, which recreates the imaginative pre-bedtime rituals of the aspiring titular knight. Simple, sweet and bound to induce sleep.
—The New York Times
Davey creates a visually striking celebration of the last imaginative hurrah before bedtime.
Every spread of this visually stunning British import is suitable for framing. Hip, stylized, beautifully composed cut-paper collages evoke the rich ornamentation of any self-respecting medieval fantasy, all saturated in a warm palette of deep gold, burgundy, rusts and oranges on what looks like handmade paper...A visual feast for very youngest fans of knights and castles.
Imagination melds with nighttime routine as the boy rides a unicorn through a forest (the hallway), climbs up a steep mountain (stairs), plunges into a swirling sea (bath), and says “night night” to a three-headed beast (dog) before returning to his castle (room) and crawling into his tower (bed). The book’s simple but enticing premise is fleshed out with artwork that uses heraldic hues of burnished orange and yellow and crisp graphic shapes for a warm, inviting look. A spread of the various objects the boy puts away—a sword, a jewel, a crown, a shield—will float in children’s minds as they nod happily off into the adventures of slumberland.
With kinetic folk-art patterns in rich, subtle colors, [the illustrations] show the young narrator as he takes readers through dense forests, up steep mountains, into large squid- and serpent-filled seas, and past a three-headed dragon. Children faced with the humdrum prospect of getting ready for bed need only look at NIGHT KNIGHT to remember that adventure is lurking everywhere…
—School Library Journal
Owen Davey’s NIGHT KNIGHT transforms every element of a typical, boring bedtime routine into something fantastical...The artwork, self-described as “contemporary and nostalgic,” calms in warm, muted brick tones, even as the imagined action busies itself with mythical creatures and noble exertions. Preschool and kindergarten children and parents will dub this daydream royally engaging.
Boy howdy and howdy boy, do I like these illustrations. This is simply the story of a young boy heading to bed, but there’s nothing simple about the imaginative spreads here. In his mind, you see, the boy is a knight and “going to bed…is a great adventure.” (Cue “ye olde yawn,” my favorite part of the book.)
—Seven Impossible Things blog
A bedtime adventure for your little knight of the round table. After defeating Rex, the three-headed dragon, he’ll be ready for some shut-eye.
Here's hoping the boys in your lives fall asleep to dreams of knights and adventures after reading this latest addition to your library.
—Huffington Post Parents blog
PreS-Gr 1—As in his completely wordless Foxly's Feast (Templar, 2010), Davey creates images as timeless as fairy tales to transport children to the enchanted forest of Imagination. Read the narrative of Night Knight aloud and it sounds ever so ordinary: "I head down the hallway…and climb the stairs. Then I have a bath… and brush my teeth. I say good night to Rex… and go to my room. I put away my things…climb into bed… and turn out the lights." But the illustrations tell a far more interesting story. With kinetic folk-art patterns in rich, subtle colors, they show the young narrator as he takes readers through dense forests, up steep mountains, into large squid- and serpent-filled seas, and past a three-headed dragon. Children faced with the humdrum prospect of getting ready for bed need only look at Night Knight to remember that adventure is lurking everywhere… yes, even by the umbrella stand, or behind the toothbrush. This book will be best appreciated one-on-one or in small groups.—Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY
An upside-down colander becomes a knight's helmet and a yawn becomes "ye olde yawn" when a small boy dreamer gets ready for bed. Every spread of this visually stunning British import is suitable for framing. Hip, stylized, beautifully composed cut-paper collages (dubbed "digital media" in the small print) evoke the rich ornamentation of any self-respecting medieval fantasy, all saturated in a warm palette of deep gold, burgundy, rusts and oranges on what looks like handmade paper. The 70-word text itself chronicles the boy's bedtime ritual in the briefest, most perfunctory fashion: "For a knight like me, going to bed… / is a great adventure," the boy begins. The armored knight gallops on horseback past paintings and a hat rack, down the hallway of his family home, which gradually transforms into a wild wood, complete with a fox. His pre-bedtime bath involves navigating the tentacles of a giant squid. (The touchstone to reality is the bathtub plug that doubles as an undersea anchor.) The boy knight brushes his teeth while hopping atop the snapping jaws of crocodiles. When he finally climbs into bed (up a turret, of course!) and turns out the lights, he concludes, "Though it has been a great adventure… / even a knight needs a good night's sleep." A visual feast for very youngest fans of knights and castles. (Picture book. 2-4)