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Past Posts

5 Kids' Books About Knights That Adults Can Love Too

Like with robots, children's picture books about knights are few and far between. I'm not sure why. Have superheroes in capes replaced them? Do castles and dragons no longer captivate children's imaginations? I'd say no, at least from my experience with my son from ages four to six, because he loves knights.

Knight books also suffer from the same illness as children's books in general: lack of diversity. With the very small number of children's books that feature people of color or other diversity, and many of them being (very needed) historical or "issue" books, there's not much space left for books with diverse characters on topics that a lot of kids are interested in. This goes for knights as well as pirates, dinosaurs, dragons, fairies, magic, firefighting, princesses, and superheroes. So far I have not found any knight books featuring people of color! Not even books I didn't like. I realize the traditional knights, castles, and dragons come from a European historical background but I still wish there was more going on in this topic - especially since medieval Europe wasn't all white, see art history site medievalpoc for inspiration!

With that caveat, here are my son's favorite books about knights that I enjoyed as much as he did. Enjoy, and please leave any suggestions in the comments, especially for diversifying our reading list!

(If you need to get caught up, here are all the children's picture book posts: friendship, dogs, pirates, bedtime, awesome girls, robots, magic, gardens, cats, superheroes, love and marriage, knights, family, animals, science fiction, food and cooking, art and creativity, dinosaurs, princesses, pets, dragons, spooky and monster books, and kids' poetry books. WHEW, that's a lot of books! You should also check out Good Comics For Kids (Even Little Ones!). Does this post use affiliate links? Yes! More about that if you're not familiar.)

Knight Night by Owen Davey. I thought five year old Boy Detective would find this book too simple, but he was completely engrossed by the transformation of familiar daytime scenes and objects into the rich imaginary world of knights and castles. This is a beautifully illustrated book and perfect for bedtime.

Elephant Joe, Brave Knight! by David Wojtowycz. If you don't think this is funny, you're going to think it's really dumb. Elephant Joe and Zebra Pete set off to rescue a damsel in distress from the Dark Knight. But the damsel in distress is not who she appears to be, and there's this frog who keeps commenting from the sidelines... you know what? It takes like five minutes to read. Just check it out from the library and let me know what you think. :)

Cornelia Funke's The Princess Knight, with illustrations by Kerstin Meyer, is the kind of book people would probably call "girl power." But it's quieter than that, focused and confident. Violetta is incensed when her father offers her hand in marriage as the prize for a jousting tournament. Her youngest brother offers to win the tournament to save her, but she says "Thank you, but I think I'd better see to it myself." Her dad may end up regretting all that swordplay, jousting, and horsemanship training she's had. The art in this one uses interesting multi-level page layouts that remind me of medieval tapestries maybe? Anyway, it's cool.

The Knight and the Dragon by Tomie dePaola. I'm not a big dePaola fan in general, it's just not my style. This book, though, overcame that with its humorous premise and fun details. A knight who isn't really into fighting, a dragon who has nothing against knights - what happens when the two meet? A friendly little tale that celebrates thinking outside the box and finding your true calling.

The Knight Who Took All Day by James Mayhew. Funny sendup of a pompous knight and the squire who serves him. At five years old, Boy Detective had a very good grasp on who the real heroes of the story were. And all the people (who behaved) well lived happily ever after.

Thanks so much for reading! Please leave any suggestions in the comments, as we're always looking for more good books on this topic! And if you're on Pinterest, please consider pinning this post to help others find it.


You continuously find and share THE BEST books. Thanks.

Brandi said at May 21, 2014 11:12 AM:

I love the books you find. I don't have any little people in my life currently...bummer! I think it is interesting the lack of people of color, maybe that will change soon.

Skye said at June 27, 2014 7:16 AM:

Patti, thanks for your kind words, as always! I figure if we've suffered through 5 million ho-hum books, I may as well share the gems.

Brandi, I'd like to think it might!

I am loving the illustrations of Knight Night. I am putting this on my list to purchase. Thanks for sharing.

Ooh these sound cute. Kids books are definitely a new world for me hehe.

We're always on the lookout for fun, new books. The fact that I love medieval literature gets me really excited about this list. Pinning! :)

These sound awesome! My daughter has a book called the Kiss that Missed that has a knight chasing after the kiss and that's a fun book.

Great list! We are reading Pirate books but may have to add Knights to our list :D

Thanks for stopping by everybody, glad you saw something you liked!

Paris, I'm looking that one up in our library system right now...

I'm sure all of my grandsons would be into these books about knights. I'll show them this post and see if they've read them. You always have the best lists of books!

Thanks for this great round up! My son went through a HUGE knight phase and we missed some of these titles! I bet he'd still enjoy them so adding them to our library list, thanks so much for sharing!

My son loves dragons and he has a love for reading this year finally so I will make sure he checks out some of these books.

These are such great picks!
My son is a 2nd grader; maybe these books would interest your son:
The Time Warp Trio by Jon Scieszka. This is a series of stories about boys who time travel, but the Knights of the Kitchen Table might be a fun read for you guys.

Night Flight (I can't remember the author right now) is about a boy whose parents want him to go to bed. The problem is he keeps turning into a knight, or a pirate, or something. Hilarious!

Alli, thanks so much for the compliment! I just really enjoy sharing the love for the books we've appreciated.

Michelle and Kita, hope y'all find something they really get a kick out of. :)

Jeanae, our library had the first two so they're in our queue now. I'll have to track down the other one because it sounds like fun.

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