Reader Reviewed Sir Dancealot by Timothy Knapman

Sir Dancealot

Written by Timothy Knapman
Illustrated by Keith Robinson

3+ readers   Baby and Toddler   Books of the Month   
Download an extract Add to wishlist Share this book

The Lovereading4Kids comment

September 2016 Book of the Month Little Sir Dancealot would fit right in on Strictly! This nimble-toed young knight has a novel approach to combat – he dances his enemies into submission, waltzing or jiving with them until the words ‘disco lights’ are enough to give any passing monster the frights! Then one day a dancing dragon appears and challenges Sir Dancealot to a competition – on ice. This zany idea is perfectly executed through a jolly rhyming text and lively illustrations. Kids will love the idea of Strictly with dragons, and you’ll be glad to hear that the two combatants are dancing happily together by the end – no blood on the dancefloor here! ~ Andrea Reece

Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and so in addition to the review by one of the Lovereading4kids editorial experts some of our Lovereading4kids parent/toddler Reader Review Panel members were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Molly Brown, age 2 - 'With fabulous illustrations that team up with the perfectly written dialogue this tale is great for any youngster who loves dancing, monsters or both.'
  • Eloise Thomas, age 5 - 'This book is funny, happy and a little bit sad...I really enjoyed reading this book!'


Sir Dancealot by Timothy Knapman

Sir Dancealot is the go-to Knight for moving on fearsome fiends! He jives away trolls and boogies aside booglesnots. He even bops off beasties! There’s no fearsome foe Sir Dancealot can't defeat with his dance moves!

But when a fire-breathing dragon arrives at the castle gates demanding a dance-off, everyone is worried. Could this be one step too far for our hero of the dance floor?

About the Author

Timothy Knapman

Timothy Knapman has written the words for songs and plays and picture books. He was born in London and always wanted to be a writer. He likes jokes, daydreaming and curry and has a loud voice, a big nose and a laugh that makes people want to leave the country. His hobbies include dragon spotting and swashbuckling.

As a child

I was born in Chiswick, West London. I had a very happy childhood and I remember stories, and the pictures that went with them, made a deep impression on me from a very early age. Maurice Sendak’s Wild Things, and Tomi Ungerer’s Ogre caught my imagination; I’ve always been drawn things that are bizarre, strange and a little bit scary. I’m sure that’s why I liked science fiction and comedy. I loved films too. I suppose my fascination was always for the “other world”, the place through the wardrobe, down the rabbit hole: the magic land that’s so close you can almost touch it.

As an adult

I studied history at Oxford, but I didn’t work very hard – something I now regret. I also wish I’d studied ancient history as well as modern (modern history at Oxford begins with the fall of the Roman Empire). Swords and battles and myths and all that – from a safe distance, of course - have become a great passion as I’ve grown older. When I left university, I wrote a few plays for grown-ups, but no one came to see them; then a friend got me translating comic Italian operas, which got people laughing and the next thing I knew, everyone was having children and I was reading lots of picture books. I didn’t think “this is easy, I could do it” but I was intrigued and inspired by the possibilities of the form: so few words, so few pages, and yet you can create worlds, and (if you work very hard and you’re really lucky) memories that children will carry for the rest of their lives.

As an artist

I work best in the morning. Generally speaking, I will sit at my desk from 9 to 12 from Monday to Friday. That’s the concentrated writing bit. For the rest of the day I will read, or go and see a film, or go for a walk, or see friends. Anything that means I’m not concentrating on the story in hand. I find that not thinking consciously about the story allows my unconscious mind to come up with new ideas, and to solve problems that I’ve encountered. For longer stories, especially when they’re nearly finished, I will work through the afternoon too. I find a momentum builds up and the moment comes when you’re having to write as fast as you can to keep up with all the ideas that are pouring out of your head. My big sin as a writer is starting too many things all at once, but I like to have lots of different projects on the go so I can flit from one story to another. I think writing each story helps with the writing of the others. My collaborators, who have to wait for me to finish things, don’t quite see it that way, and I am very grateful for their patience.

Things you didn’t know about Timothy Knapman

The first job I wanted to do was be a stunt man. I liked adventure films, and the idea that I could be the person doing the really exciting thing in the middle of one of them was too good to resist. Then someone told me you had to be good at PE to be a stunt man, and I was rubbish at it, so I gave up.

My favourite colour used to be red, but then my parents painted my bedroom red because I asked them too and it was soooooo bright. My favourite colour is now purple, but I have never had a purple bedroom.

I like laughing and making people laugh. It is my favourite thing. When you think of a funny idea when you’re walking along, it’s like you’ve stood on a vent in the ground and all this laughing gas suddenly shoots up your trouser legs and makes you giggle till your ribs are sore.

My favourite words are “ocean”, “archangel”, “berserk” and “riotous”. Just saying them out loud makes me smile.

I don’t have any pets, but I’ve always wanted a dragon. I know you have to get a big cage, and it has to be fireproof, but I still think it could be fun.

Making things up – stories and jokes – is like playing. The more relaxed you are, the easier it is. I believe that if you think about a problem too hard, you might just break your brain.

Often when I’ve seen a film I will come out pretending to be one of the characters. People find this odd.

If you’re working on something with someone else – an illustrator or a composer, say – you should always leave a space for them to do their work. If the words you write tell the whole story, you are not leaving anything for your collaborator to do.

It took me ages to get to be any good as a writer. Far longer than I expected when I started out. I did lots and lots of practising and making mistakes and being rubbish.

I have three bits of advice to anyone who wants to be a writer: 1) Write a lot; 2) Read a lot; 3) Whatever you’re writing, get to the end of it. Often when you’re writing a little voice in your head will tell you it’s no good. Ignore this voice. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like what you’re writing the first time through: you can always go back when you’ve finished and make it better.

Photo credit: Robin Farquhar-Thomson

More books by this author

Loading similar books...

Other Formats

Book Info


32 pages
Interest Age: from 0 to 5


Timothy Knapman
More books by Timothy Knapman

Author's Website

Author's Facebook Latest


Bloomsbury Childrens an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

Publication date

8th September 2016




LoveReading4Kids is a modern and creative way of emphasising the value and importance of books in this digital age #booksforlife

Amrit Bunet – Teen

Writing reviews help the children with their literacy skills and we always read the books together which gives us good quality family time!

Cat Bisland (on behalf of the Bi

Love “Lovereading4kids” as my son gets to hear about & read new books before his mates which keeps him interested in reading=a very happy Mum

Liz Evans

Lovereading4kids is great, we get books really early never late. We love to read and review, and think you would like it too. The excitement

Jasmine Harris-Hart, age 12

I think Lovereading4kids is an amazing company because of the friendly staff and the fabulous chance to read great books before publication.

Adam Graham

At @HHSHaringey we love @lovereading4kids because our pupils can practice reviewing & get free upcoming books before anyone else!

Helen Swinyard – Heartlands High

I have told all my friends, family & teachers to see for themselves just how great the site is. Without fail, they are hugely impressed.

Alexander Boxall – age 11

I love Lovereading as it provides an honest opinion and showcases a range of fiction. Suited to both parents & kids alike, it’s a must-use.

Georgie Rowe – age 16

Lovereading 4 schools