King Arthur’s Very Great Grandson, a 2012 picture book by Kenneth Kraegel, is an entertaining and gorgeously wrought tale of adventure and lessons learned.
At the ripe old age of six, Henry Alfred Grummorson awakes to destiny. ‘Tis the day, thinks he, to tread the adventurous path of his own Very Great Grandpa (known to the rest of us as the illustrious King Arthur). And so atop his trusted donkey, Knuckles, and with his gleaming sword at hand, young Henry rides off to confront the dangers menacing his world…
With each monster he meets — whether the fire-breathing dragon or dreadful Cyclops, the grim-faced Griffin or the ginormous Leviathan — Henry roars his manly challenge and prepares to battle his way to victory. Time and time again, though, the outcome is a far cry from what the valiant young knight was expecting, leaving him increasingly disgruntled. But ever so slowly, aided by mirthful monsters, King Arthur’s GREAT-GREAT-GREAT-GREAT-GREAT-GREAT-GREAT grandson begins to realize that perhaps fights to the uttermost are not the way to true victory after all.
The colorful vocabulary and syntax, and the nuanced drawings of this picture book work exceptionally well together. Adventure is tangible here, but so too are important lessons around misconceptions (e.g., heroes versus bullies) and the value of friendship. While Kirkus reviews the story as being appropriate for children aged 4 to 7 years, there is much to thrill and interest younger children, too. Additional reviews, a book trailer, and information about the author are also available on Kraegel’s personal website.