A new-to-us series of books by David McKee, creator of Elmer the Elephant, King Rollo & Mr Benn. Yes, please!
Melric the King’s magician, comes to the rescue when reports of dragons are brought to the palace. The King’s soldiers are getting fat & he thinks that a dragon hunt will be just the thing to give them some much needed exercise. But are the dragons really as terrifying as all that?
While the soldiers blunder off hunting all the wrong kinds of dragon — kites, pub signs, paintings — Melric sets about finding the real dragon.
Melric and the Dragon is sweet, funny and entertaining, and the pictures contain little details that sharp-eyed readers love to return to: the soldier cutting a cake with his sword, the old lady knitting, the pair of soldiers buying burgers before they set out on the dragon hunt.
There’s a great short video (3 minutes) of David McKee talking about his work here. It seems that the Melric books have been around since the 70s but I’d somehow never come across them before. Five are now reissued by Andersen Press — I think Melric the Magician Who Lost His Magic is the first in the series.
Related loves: the Mr Benn TV series was a staple of our 80s childhoods (only 13 episodes — how many times must we have seen them?!) & has also been loved by our children. What could be more magical than entering the mysterious magic costume shop & disappearing into another adventure? We spent a year living in Putney when we were students & would often walk past Festing Road, upon which Mr Benn’s Festive Road was based. It felt like magic every time.