by Matt Phelan
“Mel wavered. She was feeling beaten. The flying lizards were too large. Too fast. Too attentive. It was hopeless. But I mustn’t give up, she thought.”
Sometimes a children’s book is just for entertainment. Maybe not the most polished writing or very lofty goals, just fun. This children’s book amused me from start to finish, and I felt it was a perfect antidote for any pre-teen sitting around saying ,”I’m bored.” It’s got a little of everything – knights, Merlin, dinosaurs, and (spoiler alert) – two female characters, who had to hide their gender to become squires and knights. Their adventure is action-packed but not scary or gruesome, just filled with improbable dinosaur creatures they have to battle. Of course, the good guys and girls win in the end.
I love that more and more often, a children’s book like this bucks the gender trend, and lets genders play equally in every role. It is interesting to see that this is not about crusading one way or another. It’s simply making things the norm when both genders are mixed and matched. Let’s hope there’s more of this.