Review by Booklist Review
Of all the knights of King Arthur's Round Table, Cole admires Sir Percival the most. So much so, in fact, that Cole writes a letter in his finest blue crayon asking to be Sir Percival's assistant knight. Moved (to tears!) by the boy's request, Sir Percival takes him on. Thus Cole begins his training, learning to swing a sword, ride (and fall off of) a horse, take a punch from a princess, and soothe Sir Percival after the hero's nightmares about an Underwear Dragon. Unfortunately, those dreams come true when a rotund blue dragon in tighty-whities lays waste to the kingdom, leaving Cole as the last knight standing. Luckily, the boy remembers his training and is up to the challenge. This rollicking read, full of action and hilarious non sequiturs, will leave its audience in stitches, an effect furthered by Oswald's cartoonish spot art and dramatic double-page spreads. At its heart, this is a fun story of imagination and play, clues to which bookend the medieval derring-do, that speaks to children's inner hero.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Having written a disarmingly complimentary letter that made his favorite knight cry, Cole achieves his goal of becoming assistant to Sir Percival. The sweet spoofery of debut author Rothman's text matches Oswald's (Hike) gently irreverent, funnily anachronistic vignettes: the apprentice not only learns knightly lessons, such as how to ride a horse, but also gets punched by a princess sparring partner, waves a big red foam finger during Sir Percival's battles, and bandages the knight's extensive "boo-boos" afterwards. The child embraces his responsibilities with tireless enthusiasm, and it pays off big time. When the eponymous villain, rendered in striking textures of blue, gray, and black, lays waste to the kingdom and the knights, Cole draws on his hands-on learning to joust, wrestle, and catapult the dragon until its underwear falls off, and it flies away out of sheer embarrassment. The action moves as briskly as a well-oiled cartoon episode, and ends on an appropriately amusing note: in return for his gallantry, Cole wants an assistant of his own. Ages 3--7. (Oct.)
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Review by Kirkus Book Review
When the dreaded Underwear Dragon attacks the kingdom, only young Cole can rise to the fire-breathing challenge. Hoping to join his favorite knight, Sir Percival, as his assistant, Cole writes a heartfelt letter to the famed warrior. Cole's letter moves Sir Percival to tears ("That's right. Knights cry"), and Cole gets his wish. Soon enough, the assistant knight is learning to ride horses, swing swords, and calm Sir Percival's fears of the Underwear Dragon. It's a rough training for Cole, full of knocks from horses, princesses, and other knights. Nevertheless, Cole finds his knighthood education worthwhile, and he quickly becomes Sir Percival's greatest supporter. Then the Underwear Dragon arrives and lays waste to the kingdom. One by one, the knights fall to the dragon's wrath until Cole's the last brave hero standing in its way. Full of amusing asides, dry wit, and droll pacing, Rothman's tale of a knight-in-training piles on the laughs even if the humor seems hit-and-miss at times. (Giggles induced by the dragon's underwear will abate after a few pages.) Still, the author sneaks in a refreshing deconstruction of knighthood that peels back the impenetrable facade for something that's altogether comical and, thus, empathetic. Oswald's frenetic artwork--appropriately grand and splashy--provides lots of gags, particularly via exaggerated facial expressions. Cole and Sir Percival present White; the kingdom is a diverse one. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at 87.3% of actual size.) A tiny knight's tale that's hard not to like. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.