Synopsis from Macmillan Publishers:
An adorable, heartfelt picture book debut from Manka Kasha, Small Knight and the Anxiety Monster follows the magical quest of a knight finding the courage to confront an ever growing monster.
The worry kept growing day by day, until… one morning Small Knight woke up to see a huge inky monster in their room.
When Small Knight feels pressure from their parents to be a perfect princess, an anxiety monster shows up. No one else can see the monster, so Small Knight and their best friend Tiny Bear, decide that it is up to them to save themselves. They set off on a magical quest, only to discover that the answer was inside themselves all along. Turning to face the Anxiety Monster, they learn how to keep it under control.
Personal and whimsical, Manka Kasha’s debut picture book is a beautiful story about understanding your anxiety and finding the courage to face it.
About: Small Knight and the Anxiety Monster is a children’s picture book written and illustrated by Manka Kasha. It was recently published on 9/7/2021 by Feiwel & Friends, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers, hardcover, 40 pages. The genres are children’s fiction, picture book, and anxiety. According to the publisher’s website, “Feiwel and Friends is a publisher of innovative children’s fiction and nonfiction literature, including hardcover, paperback series, and individual titles. The imprint is dedicated to “book by book” publishing, bringing the work of distinctive and outstanding authors, illustrators, and ideas to the marketplace. Feiwel and Friends is defined and guided by our principle: Our books are friends for life.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.
My Experience: I started reading Small Knight and the Anxiety Monster for my daughter’s bedtime on 9/2/2021 and we read it again on 9/29/2021 as a story time. Love the concept of this book! The illustrations were cute. The monster looked very scary but the locations of the Wise Owl, Big Bear, and the Dragon were fantastic. Little people shouldn’t have to worry about upsetting their parents so much but maybe it’s more strict with Kings and Queens. I do like how Small Knight kept up communication with their parents. When the monster appeared, they went straight to their parents for help. I liked how Small Knight took action into their own hands to find a solution rather than sat around to wait for a brave Knight to rescue them.
This book followed a little Princess who viewed themselves as a Small Knight. They didn’t think being a princess was bad but they enjoyed going on adventures with their Tiny Bear. The King and Queen wanted them to be a proper princess, but they didn’t know how to explain in a way that would not upset their parents too much. Small Knight’s worry grew day by day and everywhere they went their worry grew. The next morning, they woke up and a big shadow monster was facing their bed. They were terrified of the shadow monster because it followed them all over the castle. The King and Queen didn’t believe Small Knight about the monster and in order to get rid of it, they decided to go on an adventure to ask for advice on how to rid of the shadow monster. They asked the Wise Owl, Big Bear, Queen of Moths, etc. They only went home after they learned how to rid of the monster.
Small Knight and the Anxiety Monster was an excellent book for kids. A modern take to picture book with a character’s pronoun being as they/them. I only noticed it the second time I read the book. I liked how big animals in this story were made friendly. Can you imagine sitting down for tea and cookies with a dragon? I liked how helpful the animals were, pointing Small Knight to one they believe could be more helpful. Dealing with anxiety were made simpler to handle in this book and frankly it can be helpful to any readers, not just for kids. I recommend everyone to read this book!
I rate it 5 stars!
About the Author and Illustrator:
Maria Biktimirova aka Manka Kasha is a University teacher born and raised in Russia. She has a postgrad degree in English Language and Literature, and is reluctantly trying to work on her PhD in her free-from-drawing time. When she is not teaching her students (who are absolutely the best), or drawing, she prefers to read, listen to cast recordings of some musicals, or binge-watch TV-shows. Small Knight and the Anxiety Monster is her debut picture book. (Photo and info obtained from Macmillan’s website, book pictures obtained from Edelweiss).
More Information About Feiwel & Friends
***Disclaimer: Many thanks to MacKidsBooks for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.