Kasha, Manka

Small Knight and the Anxiety Monster

(3) K-3 Kasha tells an encouraging story about being brave and conquering anxiety in service of being true to oneself. "The king and queen hoped their child would be a proper princess," but princessing isn't for Small Knight ("...not that being a princess is bad..."). Taking "Proper Princess Lessons" distresses the young adventurer, though, and their parents are cluelessly dismissive: "One day a brave knight will save you!" Use of nonbinary they/them pronouns for Small Knight adds another layer of meaning to the narrative. The emotionally charged illustrations effectively depict Small Knight's worries about parental disappointment as a creature-shaped mass of angry sharp lines. In the end, a wise dragon provides the key: "What you should do is look inside yourself."


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