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Small Knight and George and the Royal Chocolate Cake is a picture book by children’s author Ronda Armitage, illustrated by Arthur Robins.

My children rather loved this book. It is very silly, about such a small knight that he has to be winched onto his gigantic horse by a team of helpers.

Small knight lives in the castle with his bigger family.  One day they get a summons to say that the King and Queen are coming to the castle for tea, and they must absolutely have some of the chocolate cake that the castle cook makes so well.

The castle cook rushes to the kitchens and whips up a cake as big as a bed.  It turns out to be far too tempting for a gang of unruly brigands lurking in the woods nearby.  They are feeling pretty cheesed off that they haven’t been invited to the party, and sneak into the castle at night and steal away with the cake.

Small knight must go to the rescue, but he doesn’t really know what to do, or what brigands are, and it’s all a bit scary in the woods, especially when he finally meets the brigands.

Small knight saves the day in a rather unconventional and lovely way, and the chocolate cake is restored to the castle, and everything works out wonderfully in the end.

The illustrations by Arthur Robins are full of character and life. The pictures are busy and colourful and there is lots going on here that you can talk about with a child. It would be an excellent book if you were doing a topic in school on castles, or knights, or even on heroes.  Part of what makes Small Knight so appealing is his smallness.  He is so much easier for children to identify with, mostly being rather small and overwhelmed by things themselves.

There is a lovely gentle humour in the book, and I loved the way the author used the word brigands and then cleverly explained it in the text, because Small Knight doesn’t really know what a brigand is. It is a great way of enriching a child’s vocabulary without making them feel silly. If the hero doesn’t know what the words mean either then the hero and the child can bond and learn together.

George, by the way, is a tiny dragon who is Small Knight’s friend. He doesn’t really do much in this book, but my six year old was very taken by the fact that at the end of the book George sleeps in the drawer in Small Knight’s room. It was a good talking point and a really sweet touch.

A great book for children aged between three and seven.

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