There are many authors of childrens books who are simply writing to tell a good tale and to make children happy. And while there’s nothing wrong with that, there’s something extra special about finding an author who not only wants to tell a tale, but who wants to teach a lesson (to both children and parents) while he’s telling the tale. Tomie dePaola is known in the literary world for using his books as a way to teach lessons about society, the way it is, and the way it should be.
In The Knight and the Dragon, a knight who lives in a castle is told that he’s supposed to be out fighting dragons. The knight, however, has never fought a dragon. At the same time, a dragon learns that he’s not really a dragon unless he’s fought a few knights. Both of them decide to go out and to learn everything that they can about how to fight each other. The knight reads old stories and the dragon looks through his ancestors belongings to learn how to fight the knight!
In the end, though, both The Knight and the Dragon learn a valuable lesson – that being yourself is the best way to be happy, and that you don’t have to live up to society’s expectations of you in order to be truly happy. The story of The Knight and the Dragon itself is delightful to read, and the moral that the story teaches is one that is a valuable one for any child to learn.