The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived (1999), written by Daniel Errico and illustrated by Shiloh Penfield, follows Cedric, a young quick-witted boy who begins life on a pumpkin farm as he grows up, becomes a knight, and falls in love with a prince. Cedric is given the opportunity to serve as a knight’s squire after using his wits to outsmart a thief. Cedric, who is never depicted with parents, mixes his love of pumpkins with his talent for knightliness. As a result of his heroics. A king and queen offer Cedric their daughter in marriage, but Cedric surprises them by asking to marry the prince. At first distressed by Cedric’s request, the king quickly realizes that the prince and knight were meant for each other. A royal wedding framed by a large rainbow ensues. The text ends with back-matter from the United Nations Human Rights Office about human rights.
This is a sweet story of queer love and the constant presence of pumpkins adds some silliness to the text. I’ve read this with my Kindergartner and we both enjoy it a lot.
This review is part of my “Snapshots of LGBTQ Kid Lit” project. I’m working on a book, The Transformative Potential of LGBTQ+ Children’s Picture Books, which is forthcoming with the University Press of Mississippi. Part of my research is identifying and interpreting English-language children’s picture books with LGBTQ+ content published in the US and Canada between 1979 and 2019. Follow my blog to follow my journey!