Ogres Awake!, by James Sturm, Alexis Frederick-Frost, Andrew Arnold (July 2016, First Second), $14.99, ISBN: 9781596436534
Recommended for ages 5-10
Little Knight and her faithful steed, Edward, are back for another installment! This time, the two discover that ogres are sleeping in the castle courtyard! Knight rushes to the castle’s defense, but finds out that there’s already an army assembled, and they’re wielding potato peelers and spoons instead of swords and shields. Knight and the gnome army have a LOT of stew to make before the ogres wake up… HUNGRY.
This is the fourth outing for the Drawn and Quarterly gang; the third Little Knight Adventure. I love this series: it’s a great way to introduce graphic novels to young readers and they’re fun stories that have a little bit of drawing instruction, a la Ed Emberley’s old step by step books, that I used to love when I was a kid.
Little Knight is a kid that kids will recognize: she’s excited, she wants to jump right in and be in the center of the action, and learns a valuable lesson in each outing. This time around, she learns that not every confrontation needs to be handled the rough way. Sometimes, an act of kindness is all you need to avoid things getting ugly. It’s a great message, communicated with fun, bold, cartoony art and witty writing. Add this series to your shelves; your kids will love you for it. I read this with my 3 year-old, who thoroughly enjoyed it; if you’ve got preschoolers in your life, curl up with them and read it! It’s a great opportunity illustrate sequencing and talk about doing nice things for people: even ogres.
Make sure to check out Gryphons Aren’t So Great and Sleepless Knight, the other Little Knight books by Sturm, Frederick-Frost, and Arnold, as well as Adventures in Cartooning, where we first meet Little Knight and Edward. Don’t forget to check out Drawn and Quarterly, too! Take a look at a few pages from Ogres Awake right here: