It’s here! The third instalment in the hilariously bonkers series about Knight Sir Louis and life in Castle Sideways. Read on to find out more and to discover author Myles McLeod’s piece about writing funny, working with your brother, AND some top reading recommendations.
King Burt the Not Bad is in a huff with his chief dragon-slayer, Knight Sir Louis. So when a stranger with piercing green eyes and a devastating smile arrives at Castle Sideways, King Burt is thrilled and demotes Louis to chief cleaner. But Louis is suspicious about the stranger, Squire Lyme, with his charming compliments and endless supply of green gummies … with the help of his friends Reader Catalogue, Pearlin, his haiku-loving steed, Clunkalot as well as a few ogres and gnomes, our hero determines to get to the slimy bottom of things …can Louis’ calm courage once again save the day?
‘They laughed so hard it turned the page’ by Myles McLeod
Reading doesn’t have to be a task. But it will be if it you don’t feel anything. If you read and you say, yes, I’ve felt like that too, then you want to keep on reading. If you read a book and it makes you laugh, then you want to turn the page. And if you are a parent and child, reading together and you laugh together, then reading becomes a bonding experience.
People often say writing can be a lonely business, though that’s not my experience. Firstly, when I’m writing and I’m in the flow of it, I feel like I’m surrounded by my characters, and they feel alive. And secondly, I often collaborate with others including my older brother Greg. Having someone else to bounce ideas off, or who contributes their artistic skill to your writing, makes the process of writing much more enjoyable.
Greg is an amazing illustrator and he came up with the original idea for Knight Sir Louis. He drew a bunch of hilarious characters for his son (real name Louis). I loved the characters too and decided to write a story for my nephew. That was the beginning of the books. It really helped having an audience of one single person in mind. That meant we weren’t trying to please some unknown, imagined audience. It reminds me of what the late Kay Mellor said about pretending that no one will ever read what you’re writing. (Hopefully you’re wrong about that, of course!) But it’s a way of freeing up your imagination.
I think it’s important as a writer to read as widely as possible, not just books from your own wheelhouse. I enjoy books about creativity and just finished Creative Demons and How to Slay Them by Richard Holman which I highly recommend. Before that I read Sovietistan by Erika Fatland. A fascinating travelogue.
But, of course, it’s also important to read other children’s books too. At the moment I’m reading Wave Me Goodbye by Jacqueline Wilson to my 7-year-old daughter and we’re both enjoying that very much. Her characters feel very real and emotional.
But what about books in the same wheelhouse as Knight Sir Louis? Well, I do read those too. In the funny children’s books department, I’d recommend Loki by Louie Stowell. It’s a great read. Lots of humour, lots of great illustrations and a fantastic central character. And last week I finished the fourth in the Julius Zebra series by Gary Northfield. Hilarious characters in wonderfully ridiculous historical situations. And next on my list is The Animal Lighthouse by Anthony Burt who is also published by the marvellous Guppy Books. Illustrator Greg’s three favourite laugh out loud children’s books are: The Reluctant Vampire by Eric Morecambe, Asterix and the Mansions of the Gods by Goscinny and Underzo and Zagazoo by Quentin Blake.
The Knight Sir Louis series is from the brains of award-winning sibling duo, The Brothers McLeod. Knight Sir Louis and the Sorcerer of Slime is published June 2022 by Guppy Books. https://guppybooks.co.uk/authors/the-brothers-mcleod/
You can follow The Brothers McLeod: Twitter @brothersmcleod | Instagram brothersmcleod | https://www.bromc.uk/
Guppy Books: | Twitter: @guppybooks | Instagram: guppypublishing | www.guppybooks.co.uk
I love that the book started out as a story for Myles’ nephew, Louis. Lucky boy! I’ll also be looking out for some of those recommendations.
As well as being rib-ticklingly funny read, it is also fantastically engaging. There are so many brilliant illustrations and comic book layouts to explore and enjoy – I particularly liked seeing the characters have little chats and arguments between themselves before getting on with the rest of the story.
Superbly silly and highly recommended by readers! 7+
*Many thanks to Guppy Books for sending me this title to review*