5 Kids’ Books About Knights That Even Adults Can Love

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.

Kids’ books about knights 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, there’s not much space left for books with diverse characters with knights, 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 even 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!

(New to my blog? All my children’s book recommendations are here, or check out my children’s books Pinterest board. My book posts all use affiliate links, but check your local library too!)

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. Violet 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 something, maybe medieval tapestries? (People who know anything about art, please feel free to correct me here.) It’s lovely, focused, and confident. One of our fave picture books about both princesses and knights.

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.

And that’s the list! If you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments – and thanks for sharing on social media or with friends!

17 thoughts on “5 Kids’ Books About Knights That Even Adults Can Love

  1. Brandi

    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.

  2. Skye

    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!

  3. Natalie

    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! :)

  4. Skye

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

    Paris, I’m looking that one up in our library system right now…

  5. Alli

    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!

  6. Michelle

    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!

  7. Jeanae

    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!

  8. Skye

    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.

  9. Ann

    Thanks for the list. We recently visited our local fine arts museum for an exhibit on the Hapsbergs. There was a young man dressed as a knight walking around to entertain the kids. My 2 1/2 year old grandson was really excited (his Aunt had been enthusiastic telling him about the knight) to see the knight. I am not sure he really knew what he would be seeing. He is a smart kid, so maybe he knew. When the Knight in costume walked up with his helmet shut, needless to say, my grandson was a little more apprehensive. The knight tried asking for a “high five.” My grandson was still not so sure. Hence the search for “knight books.” I love reading to him. He is pretty amazing with his vocabulary and his quick grasp of things. He loves the Richard Scarry books; the busier the better. So, this will be a new subject for us to tackle. Thank you again for this list. I think he is smart enough to grasp a few of these. Some books for his age group are too baby for him already.

  10. Ann

    Oops, forgot to mention that my grandson is German. He is from the land of castles!! Another reason I feel this topic will be fun. I am going to search for these titles. Another book I have found in my searches on the subject of Knights is called “Little Knight’s Painting Place.” For those of you out there with slightly younger readers. I am hoping my local used book store will have some of these. Hope everyone enjoys reading to their little ones!

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