Why We Chose This Book: Five Brave Knights vs. the Dreadful Dragon

Five children and the foot of a dragon


Adapting a centuries-old midrash (Jewish wisdom tale) into a modern-day story that works brilliantly as a picture book is the literary equivalent of facing down a dragon. Fortunately, the world has Netalie Gvirtz, an author with the knightly skill and courage to pull it off to perfection.

The story is deceptively simple, taking place entirely in one family's yard during an afternoon playtime. But the siblings' game inevitably turns into bickering. The sage, imaginative parenting that follows inspires the kids to work things out, and we believe it will also inspire readers to be more thoughtful, cooperative playmates and calmer, creative parents.

The illustrations by Menahem Halberstadt are as playful and alive as his other gems in the PJ Library collection. When our colleagues in Israel shared the original Hebrew version of Five Brave Knights vs. the Dreadful Dragon with us, we immediately put on our Book Selection suits of armor and went to battle against time, to see how quickly an English translation could be published for PJ Library subscribers in the United States and Canada.