The Errant Knight by Ann Tompert, illustrations by Doug Keith
This book is recommended in my copy of Connecting with History in volume three at the beginner level, though I can't seem to find it on the RC History website.
A knight sets out to serve his King, but is continually pulled away from a direct journey by those in need. At the end of his life, he finally arrives at the castle, dressed in rags because he has given away all that he had. This is one of those magnificent picture books that seems to effortlessly combine an entertaining story with a great Truth. In the pages of this book, we can see how we may truly serve our Lord and King by serving those we encounter any day, anywhere.
In the author's biography, we learn that Ms. Tompert wrote this book "as a tribute to her father, a selfless, hard-working man whose personal dreams were often postponed as he raised his three daughters alone." She has done so perfectly.
The illustrations add wonderfully to the story. Though the story takes place over many years, it begins in the springtime, shows the knight traveling through the summer and fall and arriving at the castle in the storms of winter. And I very much love the illustration of the knight racing through the fall leaves, trying vainly to forget the monk struggling to rebuild his church before turning back.
My children were just as enthralled with this book as I was.