From Publishers Weekly
A typical household provides the perfect landscape for adventure-as seen through the eyes of a boy's imagination in this picture book debut. The king of pots-who rules the kingdom in the kitchen cupboards-sends a brave and armored Sir Ryan on a far-reaching quest beginning with the "jungle" of a bedroom closet, the garage "castle" filled with oily machines, and finally, the "cave" beneath the kingdom, home to a "moldy monster" (a collection of old boxes). Ryan gathers courage-and knightly accessories like a cape and shield-along the way. Young readers may grow weary of Ryan's elevated and somewhat cumbersome knight-speak, and may be puzzled that Ryan never seems to find what he seeks (the quest ends with a hug and some soup from Mom). However, the preschool set will surely relate to the boy's passion for active, imaginary play. Deeble's colored-pencil illustrations keep readers clued in to reality and fantasy alike and have a rough childlike quality that suits the subject matter. Ages 4-8.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
In a kitchen cupboard, pajama-clad Ryan meets the “king of pots,” who knights Ryan and sends him on a quest. Wearing a protective, cooking-pot helmet, Sir Ryan climbs stair mountains and explores a closet jungle and a garage castle before finally confronting the basement cave’s moldy monster. Retrieving his wooden sword, he returns triumphantly to the kitchen, where his supportive, smiling mom provides a “royal banquet” and hugs the brave knight. The colorful, softly textured, detailed illustrations cleverly depict how everyday objects and settings—together with a child’s imagination and creativity—can inspire playtime adventures. A hanging shirt and tie transforms into a “mysterious man; a tool cabinet and rake become a castle guard. The descriptive narrative incorporates knightly references and amusingly elevated language: “Look upon my enchanted cape and know that I have faced great danger to visit your castle today.” An artful blend of the fantastical and familiar, this charming debut closes with an affectionate, reassuring ending, in which the little knight discovers that his quest’s true rewards are the comforts of home. Grades K-3. --Shelle Rosenfeld