March/April 2022 Kids Indie Next List
“A tiny owl dreams of being a knight and is asked to patrol during the darkest hours, testing his bravery. But who better to be a night owl than a clever Knight Owl? Adorable illustrations and a powerful, kind message make this a perfect gift.”
— Heather Weirich-Roy, Gibson's Bookstore, Concord, NH
A determined Owl builds strength and confidence in this medieval picture book about the real mettle of a hero: wits, humor, and heart.
Since the day he hatched, Owl dreamed of becoming a real knight. He may not be the biggest or the strongest, but his sharp nocturnal instincts can help protect the castle, especially since many knights have recently gone missing. While holding guard during Knight Night Watch, Owl is faced with the ultimate trial—a frightening intruder. It’s a daunting duel by any measure. But what Owl lacks in size, he makes up for in good ideas.
Full of wordplay and optimism, this surprising display of bravery proves that cleverness (and friendship) can rule over brawn.
About the Author
Christopher Denise spent much of his childhood in Shannon, Ireland, exploring castles and dreaming of great adventures. He is the illustrator of many critically acclaimed books for young readers, including Anika Aldamuy Denise’s Bunny in the Middle, Alison McGhee’s Firefly Hollow, Rosemary Wells’s Following Grandfather, and Anne Marie Pace’s Groundhug Day, as well as several in Brian Jacques’s award-winning Redwall series. His books have appeared on the Indie Next List and the New York Times bestseller list and in the Society of Illustrators’ Annual Exhibition. Knight Owl marks his author-illustrator debut. Christopher’s current adventures include exploring coastal Rhode Island, where he lives with his family.
Praise for Knight Owl:
A New York Times Bestseller!
An Indie Bestseller
An Indie Next List Pick
A Barnes & Noble’s Best Children’s Book of the Year
An Amazon Best Children’s Book of the Year
An NPR Best Book of 2022
A PW Gift Guide Selection
A Good Housekeeping Best Kids' Book
A Bookpage Best Picture Book of 2022
A Washington Post Best Children's Book of 2022
A Kirkus Best Book of 2022
A Junior Library Guild Selection
* "Denise gives youngsters an old-fashioned story with an amusing twist and a cute-as-a-button protagonist that charms on every level. This will satisfy a wide range of readers, from Dragons Love Tacos fans to wannabe knights."—Booklist, starred review
"It’s dangerous to label any picture book a 'contemporary classic,' but Knight Owl tempts you to try.... Sweet and epic by turns."—NPR
"Adorably earnest and gallant…. A charming blend of whimsy and medieval heroism highlighting the triumph of brains over brawn."—Kirkus Reviews
"Through delicately conveyed firelight, deep shadows, and even an imagined tapestry, Denise (Groundhug Day) provides this cracking tale with illustrations that feel like fully fleshed animated classics as Owl’s actions subvert a traditional conflict story line."—Publishers Weekly
Praise for Bunny in the Middle:
A Kids' Indie Next List Pick
A Bank Street College Best Book of the Year
"This sweet picture book acknowledges the special place each sibling occupies in a family…. Kids will savor adorable details, such as children's artwork on a bedroom wall and winsome animal students lined up for school in a tree. Charming and comforting."—Kirkus Reviews
"[An] ode to the middle kid. The illustrations are lush…with inviting joy, and the subtle shading and gentle linework of the pencil and digital art envelop the scenes with a cozy feel. A nice gift for a youngster expecting a new addition to the family."—The Bulletin
"The author deftly describes precise situations that require compromise…Denise employs Photoshop, Procreate and pencil for scenes brimming with affection. This creative team parents three girls and here shares insights honoring the child who’s sometimes overlooked."—School Library Journal