Cover of Acorn Quest by Jane Yolen

Acorn Quest, The

An Arthurian spoof, with animals instead of people: King Earthor (an owl), Sir Belliful (a groundhog), Sir Tarryhere (a tortoise), Sir Gimmemore (a rabbit) Sir Runsalot (a mouse) and the Wizard Squirrelin. The knights and wizard go off to save the kingdom, sneak past a dragon, and finally manage to snag the Golden Nut from the giant hand in the middle of the lake. It is that Nut that will save the kingdom. There are rhymes and adventure and silliness.


  • One of the Parents’ Choice Awards for  Winter 1981

What reviewers have said:

  • “A clever spoof on the Arthurian legend. . . .a witty animal fantasy, a story about friendship, belief, trust, and courage.”–The Reading Teacher
  • “This is an extremely well-written story with delightful humor. . .”–Christian Science Monitor
  • “This humorous takeoff on Arthurian legend….A funny spoof for those not minding Arthur done up lightly.”–Booklist
  • “A lively transmogrification of the Arthurian quest format featuring the Acorn Four–a trembling quartet of animal knights led by an eager but bumbling squirrel wizard, A woodland adventure full of zany humor and imagination with appropriate art.”–Bank Street Review
  • “Altogether the Fellowship endues a Perilous, Dolorous, and a Very Queer Adventure, none of them taken seriously by Yolen,who plays the whole as  a homey little spoof. As such it is well-turned and pleasingly light-footed.”–Kirkus
  • “With a light  and affectionate tone, [Yolen] creates a band of would-be heroes off on a child-sized adventure. As the king [an owl] reminds us: “Loose feathers leads to loose thinking.”, tuck in your tail feathers and let the quest begin.”–Parents’ Choice Magazine
  • “The gentle parody of Arthurian tales carries a double bonus in its spoof of knightly jousts and the nomenclature of the Fellowship. Names indicate the nature of their animal owners, as well as their literary antecedents for example, the mouse Sir Runsalot and the nutty Wizard Squirrelin.”–Language Arts
  • “With her raggle-taggle Fellowship on its heroic quest, Yolen has created a beguiling spoof of Arthurian legend.”–Childhood Education
  • “This story is particularly enchanting because its rodent characters are drawn so truthfully.”–The Common Reader
  • “Yolen has produced a hilarious story, full of monomaniacal characters and archetypal but silly incidents.”–School Library Journal