Otter and Arthur and the Sword in the Stone, Dave Whitaker © 2012, Writ By Whit
Change of pace this time, a children’s book, late grade school age, the story of how Arthur came to be king by pulling the sword out of the stone, told through the eyes of the future king’s heretofore unknown rodent friend, Otter. The hero of the story, named Otter, is actually a mouse who lives in Merlin’s cottage. Otter shadows his human friend through his “knight training,” which appears to be mere exercise for Arthur, who is of ignoble birth and can never be a knight. Little do Otter or Arthur know of the latter’s true bloodline. Medieval excitement ensues, made especially enticing for kids when seen through a rodent’s underdog perspective. Think, The Mouse and the Motorcycle meets Excalibur.
The book is a little information heavy at the start, but once the plot gets going it’s a really fun read that has you cheering for Arthur to come into his noble own and for Otter to discover he has something even more special in his blood than a yen for adventure. This is a great book for educating youngsters about the classic Arthurian tale with characters who aren’t all boring adults. It covers Arthur’s earliest years, so there’s definitely room for a sequel or several for your kids to latch onto.
Otter is staying on my bookshelf for my grandchildren. Huzzah!