Sometimes when I go to school we talk about jobs that dogs have, and about my job as a therapy dog and library dog, and about how I was headed towards being a guide dog but ended up taking a different path.
This sometimes leads to talk about what kids want to do when they grow up. When my Mom Person was little she wanted to be a horse. What?! I don’t think that she has achieved this goal yet. I don’t really understand this concept of “growing up.” The idea of things in the “future” is a little murky to me. My days are centered around the here and now. The future means dinner and maybe some tennis. And those dreams are for NOW! Most little kids think a lot like me. They don’t seem to know how to dream about “some day.” But those bigger kids DO! And they tend to have BIG dreams! Kids are so funny! They ALL say that they want to have lots of dogs! Then there is talk about being super heroes and conquering bad guys. Or being sports stars. Lots of kids want to be firemen. Some want to be teachers. Some want to be farmers or ranchers or rodeo stars. It’s fun to listen to imaginations going wild. Where will those imaginings take them?
We read a book this week about big dreams. About a young boy, who is obviously quite a reader, looking for adventures.
The Bravest Knight
by Mercer Mayer
published by Dial Books for Young Readers in 2007
originally published by The Dial Press in 1968 under the title Terrible Troll
This is a fiction book suitable for ages 4 and up
Themes would be fairy tales, knights, dreaming big, doing good deeds
I wish I lived a thousand years ago.
There would be beautiful castles, kings and queens,
good knights, bad knights, fair ladies in danger,
evil dragons from the mountains, and a giant troll
that roars and eats anything.
Are those not the words of a big dreamer! This boy imagines himself being the squire of the bravest knight in the kingdom. I’m impressed that he knows what a squire is! My readers sure didn’t!! See what kinds of doors a book can open?! Anyway, the boy squire envisions all the tasks that he would have to do as a squire and all of the adventures he would be a part of. He would help the knight in times of trouble and the knight would help him. There is quite a twist at the end of this tale that I am NOT going to reveal to you. Suffice it to say that it brought GASPS from my readers!!
This is an incredible picture book! It’s got it all! A fanciful tale with lots of suspense, a fantastic little hero, morals about working hard and taking care of your friends, and some incredible illustrations. I had one little reader on this day who was a real wild child. She would not sit long enough to read one page. But when she sat down with this book, she was mesmerized! We read the whole thing through and she even studied the pictures on every page. It was incredible!
Mr Mayer has a couple of websites that you might want to check out –
One is a gallery of his artwork HERE.
The other website is the Little Critters official website with lots of fun interactive stuff.
You can find it HERE.
Hear Mr Mayer talk about his name — http://www.teachingbooks.net/qlqswpm
This book is a perfect jumping off spot for some dramatics! Playing at being knights and trolls and damsels in distress. What would it be like to live in a castle? What kind of food would the kings and queens and knights eat? What kinds of pets might they have? This young squire has a cat – but no dog! What’s up with that?!
HERE is a link to some great crowns that kids could make for their play time.
And a link to a clever DIY Knight’s helmet HERE.
Susanna Leonard Hill keeps a list of Perfect Picture Books and resources to go along with these books. Fridays are devoted to these perfect books. You might want to check it out at her website HERE.
So, go slay some dragons this weekend and save some damsels in distress. And maybe toss a tennis ball to your best dog —
Your dreaming friend