Beginners’ Guides from the most bonkers mind of Elys Dolan.

I have long been a fan of the work of amazing illustrator/ author Elys Dolan.  Her picture books have had my whole family crying with laughter and caused my husband to declare ‘Weasels’ one of his favourite children’s books ever (along with George’s Marvellous Medicine.)

Imagine my excitement then, when I received a new chapter book from Elys (the Branford Boase nominated ‘Knighthood for Beginners’), swiftly followed by a new title in the series ‘Wizarding for Beginners.’


3A563898-9329-441D-8761-2BECCDBE516CKnighthood for Beginners by Elys Dolan (OUP)

In this book, we meet Dave, who is really terrible at being terrible (in dragoning terms.) He can’t hoard gold, decimate villages or knit! Study as he might, he just can’t manage to pass his Dragon Test to become a fully-licensed dragon. As he wanders disconsolately away from the dragon caves he calls home, Dave stumbles across an old and discarded book – titled ‘Knighthood for Beginners.’

After reading the book’s introduction (which assures Dave that knights do not have to do any knitting), Dave decides that he has found his calling in life – to become a knight. The first thing he has to do is find a trusty steed then a suit of armour. Easy, right? Not if you’re a dragon and villagers are prone to chasing you with pitchforks!

With the help of charismatic Albrecht the German- speaking goat and his trusty beginner’s guide, will Dave’s dream come true?

I loved this! Still packed full of Dolan’s hilarious illustrations, slapstick humour and wry observations, Knighthood for Beginners is just as brilliant as I’d hoped it would be.  I fully intend to spend the armour token included within and saddle up ready for the next adventure in this exciting new series.

D318C494-7C40-4C0A-A8B4-CA2EDAC55442Wizarding for Beginners by Elys Dolan (OUP)

The dream team of Dave the dragon knight and Albrecht the talking goat is back in a brand new magical adventure.  Much to Albrecht’s dismay, the talking animals of Castletown are being kidnapped by Terrence the Terrible. And obviously there are only two creatures brave and bold enough to reduce them.

Dave and Albrecht hatch a daring plan to disguise themselves as wizards and sneak into the secretive Wizard Guild to try to teach Terrence a lesson he’ll never forget – but who knew that wizards had to follow so many pointless rules?

When get arrive, they discover the truth behind Terrence’s terrible need for talking animals and just how far he’ll go to gain power and popularity.  Will Dave and Albrecht manage to free the talking animals without breaking any rules and make good their escape? I have a feeling things won’t be that simple!

Excellent, hilarious and unexpected.  Another masterclass in creating highly illustrated, imaginative works for readers who are ready for more than just your average novel.

I have high hopes for another Dave and Albrecht adventure. In the meantime, hunt these two out!

Library Girl.

*Many thanks to OUP for sending me these titles to review*

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