Newcomer Kenneth Kraegel wryly draws from myth and legend to craft a daring and inventive tale to delight adventurers of all ages.
Henry Alfred Grummorson is the great-great-great-great-great-greatgreat grandson of Arthur, King of Britain. On his sixth birthday, adorned with a helmet and sword, Henry goes in search of adventure. He challenges a fire-breathing dragon to a fight, but the dragon prefers a game of blowing smoke rings. A cyclops wants only to have a staring contest. Even the griffin will not engage in "a battle to the uttermost" of the type Henry desires. Desperate for a real battle, strength against strength, might against might, Henry seeks out the fearsome leviathan. Has he met his match at last — or might he find something he didn’t know he was looking for? Children bold and imaginative will relate to Henry’s quest — and smile at its unintended consequences.
Debut author Kraegel proves he’s a talent to be reckoned with. He has a Monty Pythonesque sense of language, humor, pacing, and character—the text’s mixture of bombastic and deadpan deliveries makes for a stirring read-aloud. This fine sense of the epically absurd also animates Kraegel’s rococo watercolor and ink renderings: in his hands, a dragon’s scales coalesce into an intricate mosaic, a tree is a swirl of mazelike lines, and the sea becomes a tangled mass of blue ribbons.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
From a gifted new author-illustrator comes an original story about a very old hand: namely, Henry Alfred Grummorson, the great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson of King Arthur. On the day of his sixth birthday, Henry sets out for peril and conquest... Alas, all he finds are peaceable beasts. A Cyclops who prefers staring contests, a dragon who blows smoke rings, a griffin who plays chess — everyone’s actually pretty friendly. It’s still exciting.
—The New York Times