I felt as if I was reading a Grimm’s Fairytale, only nicer (even with the darker elements) by the time I finished Kerry and the Knight of the Forest by Andi Watson. There is a medieval feeling to the text. There is the “peasant” looking child, Kerry (and with flashbacks/memories his family are farmers also dressed in that peasant looking garb). And to make things a little more interesting, most of the action is shown in wordless images. It does not rely on text to make the points needed. Yet, the text is important when it is there.
Watson is also the illustrator of this middle grade graphic novel. The details of the illustrations are what is needed to move the story along, although they can be minimal to medium in number of things shown. Due to my copy being a reader copy, I do not know what the color will be like, but descriptions say there will be full color. The adventures are thrilling, without being “shoot them up/violent.” Yet, things can get “scary” (Kerry is trapped several times, they face monsters). The main character is sympathetic and seemingly smarter than seems at first. Ages 10 to 14 would be the best audience, but younger could do with help. And while not “too much” to the story, it can be a tad spooky (there are ghost children, animals trying to harm Kerry).
Due to the plot itself, there are two levels to this book. The first is the message that Kerry learns at the end, “Make enemies of your friends and friends of your enemies.” As he says, you should not put your faith in everyone, but you should try and see the good in them. Plus, sometimes a friend is not a friend. Then there is the obvious part: Kerry must get the medicine to his parents, escape the mysterious forest, and live happily ever after. Therefore, this book can be read on different levels by different people and even the same person can see different things if they do multiple readings of it.
Image taken from Random House Instagram.