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Custard the Dragon and the Wicked Knight (Library of Nations) Paperback – September 1, 1999
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From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 4?As she did in The Tale of Custard the Dragon (Little, 1995), Munsinger brings Nash's appealing cowardly dragon to life through her lively ink-and-watercolor illustrations. Belinda is kidnapped by the notorious Sir Garagoyle and it is Custard, not the child's other reluctant pets, who sets out to rescue her. " 'Well,' said Custard, 'at least I'm in the mood/To be the toughest chicken that was ever chewed.' " Munsinger's deft portrayal of the poem's action and characters is a perfect match for Nash's clever wordplay. Her paintings, whether of the arrival of the evil Sir Garagoyle ("You could tell he was wicked, for he reeked of roguery") or of Custard's rescue flight ("With headlight eyes and spikes a-bristle/He pierced the air like a locomotive whistle") perfectly convey the poem's light tone. Thanks to Munsinger for introducing a new generation to Belinda and her "realio, trulio, little pet dragon."?Kathleen Whalin, Greenwich Country Day School, CT
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Ages 4^-8. As in The Tale of Custard the Dragon (1995), Munsinger illustrates Nash's nonsense poem with affectionate line-and-watercolor pictures that express the farce and the coziness of the story. Belinda's pet dragon is always getting flustered, so the other pets call him Cowardly Custard. Then, when Belinda gets captured by Sir Garagoyle, the shy dragon breaks down her prison gates with his "blowtorch breath," flattens the wicked knight, and flies Belinda home. Kids will love the first reversal--a knight can't always beat a dragon--but there's a further funny surprise: when Custard gets back home, he's scared by a rabbit in the kitchen. This time, he responds to the jeers with a nonchalant shrug: "I've learned what a nuisance bravery can be, / So a coward's life is the life for me." The rhymes are fun, and the pictures, with lots of purple and green, get the mock-heroic gestures and the cuddles of Belinda and her funny pet. Hazel Rochman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
*** SPOILER ALERT ***
The story: Custard is a very timid dragon who lives with a young girl, her dog, her cat, and her mouse. He is not fierce and is afraid of everything and his mates are always teasing him for it. Then one day, a wicked knight kidnaps the young girl and carries her away. When asked to help rescue her, the dog, cat and mouse all have lame excuses to offer and it is left up to Custard to save her. Custard saves the girl and kills the wicked knight (flattens him).
This is not the greatest children's book ever published. However, the nuanced language is intriguing. It has a meaningful moral - that true bravery is not always recognized or rewarded but is a wonderful thing nonetheless. As a result, the "Custard" books have a rather timeless appeal.