Harold the High Knight and Princess Megan by Micheal Andrisano published by Outskirts Press is a new fantasy adventure novel written with the elementary school aged audience in mind. This book is reminiscent of the fantasy tradition of C.S. Lewis with the collision of the real world and imaginary worlds.
While this storyline will appeal to elementary aged children, the 213 pages of small font text is more appropriate for the older independent middle or junior high level reader. I could imagine this as a suitable story for parents to read to their children each night before bedtime. Nevertheless, the intricate story and detailed fantasy world is very engaging and will be certain to appeal to children of all ages. I can imagine this story would be enjoyed by young children as well older children. The mixture of fantasy and reality makes the characters and the circumstances are easy to relate to. The main characters, Harold and Megan are very well developed. The backdrop of their homelife is plausible and believable. This element of reality contrasts well with the fantasy world that the two children are introduced to. The adventures transport the reader to new worlds to interact with a host of imaginary characters.
Written in a conversational tone, the writing mimics the style of a young excited child who barely stops to take a breath while telling a fascinating tale. Perhaps that was the intended effect of the author, with his unique, non-traditional literary style which transcends and breaks from traditional rules of writing. The writing has an authentic child-like touch which gives it more appeal to the young reader.
There are a few illustrations within the text that compliment the story -- but it would have been better if there were more illustrations throughout. Everyone has heard of the phrase that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. Nevertheless that is normally the first impression when a customer decides on a book to purchase- especially a child. The cover's cartoon illustration is too simple and does not sufficiently depict the fantasy elements of the story. A more detailed fantasy art on the cover would do the story more justice and make the book more appealing to the prospective reader. The integration of Irish culture and folklore will certainly appeal to those readers of Irish ancestry.
As a blogger I received this book for the purpose of writing this review.