Alexander Asenby's Great Adventure

Alexander Asenby's Great Adventure is written by Stephen J. Brooks and illustrated by Rajesh (who is apparently famous enough to be called only by his first name, like Cher.) It is a story about a young boy, Alexander Asenby, who ventures each night through his closet into a magical fairy kingdom. There he is revered as a brave night, and he has a fire-breathing dragon to ride on. In his titular Great Adventure, he is asked by the fairy king to save the kingdom from a band of vile ogres.

In history and culture, heroes arise by displaying courage in the face of danger and adversity, or from a position of weakness. I find it troubling that the book seems to present Alexander as a hero, but it does not show him exhibiting any heroic act or valorious virtue. Conflict is what drives great stories, and this story is lacking in conflict.

However, it is intended for young children aged 5-9, so the conflict between Alexander and the ogres is intentionally downplayed by the author. Young children will probably like it just fine, especially if they like dragons. I think the child in all of us likes to fantasize about venturing off into a magical kingdom where we are famous and powerful.

As for the artwork, I find the shapes are sometimes inconsistent from one page to another (such as that of Alexander's head.) The pictures would also be better if there were more detail overall.

The text is written in rhyming verse, which makes it nicely suitable for a bedtime story or for reading with a parent.