Welcome back to my bookshelf!
Today, we are still on my short shelf, and we’re continuing in the series of children’s books on magic by the wonderful author, Edward Eager.
A note on order here: I’ve shelved and will thus write about this series in order of publication, which puts Knight’s Tale second, published in 1956. I’ve lost the original sleeve the series came in that wrote the order they were meant to be put into the sleeve in, so I don’t remember what order I read them as a child. This is possibly the third one to be read.
I’ll explain more on that note in the next post.
This story, however, is the story of progeny of the original children from Half-Magic. Martha’s children, Roger and Ann, are visiting their Aunt Katherine and her children, Eliza and Jack. As can be the case with cousins who don’t see too much of each other, they have very different personalities and get off to a bit of a rocky start at first.
Magic fixes that, naturally.
As I said before of the series, the rules are totally different. This is more reminiscent of Toy Story, where everything comes alive at night. The children build a city of toy figurines and old boxes, and with a little mythology help from the novel Ivanhoe and a dash of magic, they find themselves inside the city, interacting with the figurines, learning the rules of chivalry and discovering that familiar fantasy dilemma: How to explain to creatures of a different era or place why you’ve suddenly appeared on their turf with strange clothes that are actually your pajamas.
So, as with the other Eager book, Knight’s Tale uses imagination, creativity, and the rules of magic to spice up a less-than-agreeable family holiday. It also bonds the cousins together in a way that only such magical experiences can do, and they find that they have a thing or two in common after all.
By the way, it’s not on my bookshelf, but if you haven’t read Ivanhoe, you really should. It’s a spectacular story and this book is twice as enjoyable after having read it. I know, because as soon as I read Knight’s Tale at the age of nine, I checked Ivanhoe out at the library and devoured it.