Books by Shelley Moore Thomas

Books by Shelley Moore Thomas
Books by Shelley Moore Thomas are available from Indiebound, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and many other fine book shops.

Good Knight


Here's what folks are saying about the Good Knight:



From Publishers Weekly

In this magical bedtime tale set in a dense forest in a faraway kingdom, three wide-eyed little dragons are lonely--but not for long. Thomas (Somewhere Today) introduces a Good Knight who nightly keeps watch from a "crumbly tumbly tower" atop a "very tall wall." One night when he hears a loud roar, he hops on his horse and gallops ("Clippety-clop. Clippety-clop") to the roar's source at the mouth of a cave. There a little dragon clad in tartan pajamas asks for a drink of water. The chivalrous hero grants this request and on subsequent return trips (with a charming refrain) reads a story to a second dragon and sings a song to a third. Not surprisingly, the knight finds this routine a bit trying and his asides ("I don't believe this"; "This is too much") will sound familiar to youngsters and especially their parents. Many will be able to guess the wee dragons' final demand. In one of Plecas's (Rattlebone Rock) many droll images, the three dragons with their eyes shut and lips puckered lift "their scaly little cheeks" for a goodnight kiss. Copious artwork, controlled vocabulary, effective repetition, brief sentences and a chapter-book trim size make this a comfortable fit for children just beginning to read solo. A fine way to bid good night. Ages 4-7. (Jan.) 
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2-Whether used as a beginning reader or as a read-aloud at bedtime, this sweet story will charm readers and listeners alike. When the Good Knight hears a "very large, very loud roar," he sets off on his faithful steed to determine its origin. Thus begins the first of four visits to a homey cave where three lonely, young dragons are delaying their bedtime. The creatures appear more precocious than ferocious with their teddy bears, bunny slippers, and patterned "jammies." Young children will immediately recognize the tactics the wide-eyed, pudgy serpents use as each request for a drink of water, a story, or a song prompts another visit from the Good Knight. On his fourth call, the youngsters explain that they can't fall asleep without a good-night kiss. The intrepid hero kisses "each scaly little cheek" and patiently waits for them to fall asleep. Only when he hears them snoring does he head back to the castle for his own peaceful night's rest. The short, simple, repetitive phrases are sure to capture the imaginations of young children. The knight stands guard at a "crumbly tumbly tower" and gallops through the forest, "Clippety-clop. Clippety-clop." Observant viewers will enjoy the expressions of the horse as he awaits his master upon each visit to the cave. With a palette dominated by the blues, grays, and purples of the nighttime setting, Plecas's illustrations are a wonderful complement to this endearing tale.

Maura Bresnahan, Shawsheen School, Andover, MA 

Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.



From Booklist

In this Dutton Easy Reader, a gentle knight on his castle watch gallops through the forest to investigate strange noises. The source? Three young dragons wanting to be tucked in for the night. Each has a different request--a drink of water, a bedtime story, a song--that the knight dutifully grants, then snuggles into bed with the dragons despite his chain mail and helmet. The story's appeal lies in its sheer silliness, played out through repetition and plays on words. But it is Plecas' charming, hilarious illustrations, with flannel-clad young dragons lifting their "scaley little cheeks" for a bedtime kiss, that make the book so irresistible. Gillian Engberg --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Kirkus Reviews

Stories of valiant knights slaying fearsome dragons are going to fall sadly flat after one reading of this bewitching tale from Thomas. During the long evening hours, a knight keeps watch over the kingdom while in a nearby dark cave three young dragons struggle to go to sleep. A tremendous roar hastens the knight to their cave, where he is greeted not by the requisite fierce creature spewing fire, but by a small dragon who needs a drink of water. Bewildered but good-hearted, the gentle knight fetches the water and tucks the little one into bed. Twice more he is summoned by the dragons' plaintive wails, for stories and song; when he is summoned one last time, he finds that good-night kisses are in order. The weary but dutiful knight, exhausted from traipsing back and forth across the kingdom, finally succumbs to the sleep of the just. Plecas's whimsical illustrations make full use of the dragons' woeful looks and the beleaguered knight's harried expressions; children and adults will recognize the elaborate bedtime rituals, while the brief sentences and repetition of words make this an ideal easy reader. Thomas is a consummate storyteller: the language and the rhythm of the text, along with her great sense of humor, carries readers merrily along to the conclusion. (Picture book. 4-7) -- Copyright ©2000, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2-As in Good Night, Good Knight (Dutton, 2000), Thomas and Plecas bring engaging twists to familiar story elements for beginning readers. Here the knight finds his three little dragon friends suffering with terrible colds and the noble fellow sets off to seek a healing potion. The wizard's "scaly, snail-y soup" is too dreadful to eat and his slimy, grimy brew equally distasteful, so the knight asks his mother for help. With a "little of this and a little of that," she prepares a delicious cure. Plecas's cartoon illustrations have requisite picture clues, cheerful colors, and lots of details. Ingredients for the wizard's concoctions are printed in bold type over the steam coming from his pot. Dragons whose expressions are oh-so-miserably sick miraculously beam with health and vitality on the last page. This is a royal treat to soothe any beginning reader's blues and will inspire repeated readings.
Laura Scott, Baldwin Public Library, Birmingham, MI
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

K-Gr. 2. In this Dutton Easy Reader, a sequel to Good Night, Good Knight (2000), the Good Knight gallops through the forest to find out who is sneezing. He soon finds a cave where three feverish little dragons lie coughing and sniffling. Answering the knight's plea for help, a wizard concocts first a "scaly snail-y soup," then a "slimy grimy soup," but neither is palatable enough to swallow. When the Good Knight's mother makes chicken soup, though, the little dragons slurp the cure down. A plot summary does little justice to a book that goes beyond good narrative structure and simple words to create a tale that is always winning and frequently funny. The subject and the appealing ink-and-watercolor illustrations will attract young readers, but a great deal of the book's charm lies in the telling. Excellent for young readers and for reading aloud to younger children who are intrigued by knights and dragons. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review


Methinks—at least mehopes—the Good Knight will become a fixture on the early reader shelves. -- BCCB


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From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2–In this addition to the series, the knights dragons try to make a birthday present for a friend and enlist the young knights help. However, attempts to make a cake and a card and put on a magic show result in complete messes. At midnight, the dragons cry drippy droppy dragon tears and explain that the gifts were meant for him. The Good Knight reassures them and a merry birthday celebration ensues. Plecass charming ink-and-watercolor illustrations enhance the setting and mood of this sweet, well-told story. The use of repetition and word patterns makes this a fine purchase for beginning readers.–Bobbee Pennington, Bryan Public Library, TX
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

K-Gr. 2. Like Good Night, Good Knight (2000), this third easy-to-read chapter book about three little dragons and their friend the Good Knight replaces the usual swashbuckling knight-in-armor action with cozy domestic farce. The dragons need a birthday gift for someone very special. Unfortunately, they don't have any money, so the Good Knight shows them how to make gifts that come "from our hearts and our hands." First they make a cake, but they wind up with one big mess. Good intentions also go awry when they try to make a birthday card and put on a magic show. The warm friendship story is beautifully captured in Plecas' ink-and-watercolor pictures, which show the dragons' cozy cave and the kitchen, study, and sitting room of the Knight's "crumbly tumbly" tower. The surprise at the end is as satisfying as the messy slapstick. A great addition to the Dutton Easy Reader series, this book will also work well for reading aloud. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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From Booklist

Three lovable little dragons from the Dutton Easy Readers series that began with Good Night, Good Knight (2000) now appear in a large-format picture book. When a friendly old wizard asks them to watch his cats while he is gone, they readily agree. Later, unable to read his instructions, the preliterate dragons are baffled but still game. They pore over his illustrated message, guess at the words, and use clues from the pictures he has drawn, but they wildly mistake his meanings. In one case, they imagine that a pool of water means "take the cats swimming" rather than "give the cats fresh water." Well suited to reading aloud, the story is written with a keen ear for language and a good understanding of what makes young children laugh. Meisel's ink-and-watercolor illustrations, full of lively details, are as entertaining as the story. Sure to please the not-reading-quite-yet set as well as the many fans of the previous books. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Oppenheimer Toy Platinum Award

Selection for Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

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From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2—This picture book features the characters from the "Good Knight" easy reader series (Puffin). Three big-eyed baby dragons are shivering in their cave until they are rescued by the Good Knight. He takes them to the castle, where a fancy ball is being held, and entreats them to mind their manners. Unfortunately, these little dragons do not know what manners are and cause a series of incidents that disrupt the party. A little too easily, the Good Knight teaches them to say please and thank you and all ends well. While the plot repetition may make for good reading practice, the message does get a little tired. Still, the candy-colored watercolor-and-ink illustrations will appeal to the intended audience, and the book's larger format allows Plecas to pack the pages with more detail, action, and humor. Consider purchasing where there are fans of the easy readers and where etiquette titles are in demand.—Angela J. Reynolds, Annapolis Valley Regional Library, Bridgetown, NS, Canada
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The creators of the Good Knight easy reader series expand to a larger, picture-book format in this wintertime title that takes the familiar trio of endearing little dragons to a fancy ball at a castle. Good Knight warns the threesome to use good manners, but the childlike dragons cause a few dramatic disturbances. Then Good Knight realizes that the dragons are a bit fuzzy on what “good manners” actually mean. The etiquette lessons are smoothly woven into the entertaining, charmingly illustrated story, and many kids will see themselves in the curious dragons who struggle with adult rules of comportment. Preschool-Grade 2. --Gillian Engberg

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School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—The Good Knight, worn out from performing heroic deeds, is given a few days to get away and rest. Unfortunately he takes along his little dragon friends who, like any youngsters on vacation, need frequent stops and lots of attention. Instead of the anticipated nap by the peaceful stream, the peaceful meadow, and the peaceful mountain, the Good Knight must attend to the many needs of the little dragons. They listen at last when he shouts, "I want to REST! I want to RELAX! I NEED a BREAK!" Letting the knight sleep atop the wagon, they drive his long-suffering horse back to their quiet, peaceful cave. There they make him a simple meal, massage his tired feet, and kiss him good night. The cartoon-style illustrations are done in watercolors and ink, perfectly capturing the weariness of the Good Knight and the antics of his friends. With a larger trim size and more extensive vocabulary than earlier easy-to-read titles in this series, this well-told tale is a good choice for listeners and early readers alike. The Good Knight's newest adventure has broad appeal.—Mary Jean Smith, Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN







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