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The Children's Book of Heroes Hardcover

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The Children's Book of Heroes + The Children's Book of Virtues + The Book of Virtues for Young People: A Treasury of Great Moral Stories
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (October 6, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590273299
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684834450
  • ASIN: 0684834456
  • Product Dimensions: 12.1 x 9.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,337 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

William J. Bennett served as Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy under President George H. W. Bush and as Secretary of Education and Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities under President Reagan. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from Williams College, a doctorate in political philosophy from the University of Texas, and a law degree from Harvard. He is the author of such bestselling books as The Educated Child, The Death of Outrage, The Book of Virtues, and the two-volume series America: The Last Best Hope. Dr. Bennett is the host of the nationally syndicated radio show Bill Bennett's Morning in America. He is also the Washington Fellow of the Claremont Institute and a regular contributor to CNN. He, his wife, Elayne, and their two sons, John and Joseph, live in Maryland.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter 1


William Canton

Our favorite heroes live forever in their stories and in our memories, cheering us forward in our own brave fights.

For you who love heroic things

In summer dream or winter tale,

I tell of warriors, siants, and kings,

In scarlet, sackcloth, glittering mail,

And helmets peaked with iron wings.

They beat down Wrong; they strove for Right.

In ringing fields, on grappled ships,

Singing, they flung into the fight.

They fell with triumph on their lips,

And in their eyes a glorious light.

That light still gleams. From far away

Their brave song greets us like a cheer.

We fight the same great fight as they,

Right againgst Wrong; we, now and here;

They, in their fashion, yesterday.

Text copyright © 1997 by William J. Bennett

More About the Author

Michael Hague was born in Southern California in 1948. His mother, Marie, emigrated from England just after World War II and settled in California where she met and married Riley Hague. Michael is the eldest of three children. His mother introduced him to the stories and art in the fairytale books she enjoyed herself as a child. He attributes this and his mother's encouragement to pursue drawing while growing up, to his interest in becoming an illustrator.

Michael Hague was influenced by a wide variety of artistic styles, ranging from the movies of the Disney Studios, to the oriental printmakers Hokusai and Hiroshige. His mother banned comics from their house when Michael was a child, which of course made them all the more attractive to the young artist. Exploring this genre he discovered the work of the comic artists Hal Foster and Windsor McKay. The artists from the Golden Age of Illustration such as Arthur Rackham, W Heath Robinson, Howard Pyle, and Dulac also influenced his work and he is an avid collector of their books and art. His study of classical fine art contributed to his skills in drawing, painting and composition.

Mr. Hague describes his technique: "Once the subject is chosen, I start out with very small compositional sketches. These small thumbnails are then enlarged to full-sized sketches, where I develop the details of the picture. From there I proceed to re-create these initial sketches as finished pencil illustrations. When these drawings are completed, I am ready to begin painting. Today I have added a new tool to the painting process of my work, the computer. Often I do the complete coloring process on the computer. Other times I paint and then rework the piece on the computer. It has opened up a whole new world of possibilities and I am still discovering new ways to paint and draw."

About his work, Michael Hague says, "I count myself as one of the most fortunate of beings. For as an artist I have not only the pleasure but also the duty to daydream. It is a part of my work. I have been a contented daydreamer all of my life, often to the exasperation of those around me. I have always wanted to be a book illustrator. Books are what got me interested in the art field in the first place. I try to infuse my illustrations with the same spirit that the author of the story produces in my imagination. I strive to create something from an empty canvas that becomes a whole "other world" that people can visit for a while and totally believe in --- that's what is exciting to me as an artist. It doesn't matter whether it is a Greek myth or an American legend, my approach is the same, to try and blend fantasy with realism."

In 1980, the classic novel, Wind in the Willows with illustrations by Michael Hague, ushered in a new era in children's books. During the following decades his artistic talents brought attention to this magnificent tale and other classics in children's literature. Millions of children and adults re-discovered these wonderful stories and delighted in the visions Michael created. Mr. Hague continues to work expanding his art to comics and graphic novels.

Photo Copyright: Adam Fedderly

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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I highly recommend this book for children of ALL ages!
Deanne Ridge
Racism in the Jackie Robinson story) may be a little much for children under 5, but overall a great collection with beautiful full-color illustrations.
All of our children like this book, and each story has a good moral overview at the beginning.
Clemson Tigers 1991

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

71 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 27, 2002
Format: Hardcover
William J. Bennett and Michael Hague, having teamed together to produce the national bestseller "The Children's Book of Virtues," now offer up "The Children's Book of Heroes," which celebrates heroic deeds, both historical and fictional, as appropriate inspiration for children. Certainly it is interesting to see the dozen-plus heroes, from Christopher Columbus and Jackie Robinson to the legendary Sir Roland to a young girl named Tashira, who are presented in this volume.
People might be surprised as to how few religious and political figures are included in this volume given that Bennett is the editor. For the former there are just the Biblical story of "David and Goliath," the story of "Father Flanagan" of Boys Town, and "Mother Teresa" as the epitome of the modern-day heroine. The only political figures, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, appear in episodes well before they each became president with "A Prayer at Valley Forge" and "Honest Abe" respectively. However, one of the better aspects of this book is that some of the stories and poems are not about famous people but rather about a mother ("About Angels"), dads ("Only a Dad"), and even how kids can be heroes by putting themselves on the line for someone they love ("The Hero of Indian Cliffs") and showing moral courage in order to avoiding temptation ("Our Heroes").
Because of my academic interest in mythology I was especially interest in the two classical myths that were selected. The story of Theseus and "The Minotaur" is given as an example of doing the right thing even when afraid of danger while the story of Oedipus and "The Sphinx" is used to remind us that heroes use their brains.
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75 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Wayne A. Smith VINE VOICE on July 20, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Bennett has edited another fine book that introduces young children to values and charactor while making reading interesting.
This book of heros combines mythical and historical figures with everyday folk (moms and dads) whose actions and charactor speak to the better values that should be taught to children. The book is fairly accessible to ages 4 and 5 -- the gist of the story will usually be understood and there are enough new concepts / words to prompt meaningful discussion. The illustrations are rich and invite children into the story by providing an attractive visual introduction to each vignette.
Bennett continues to provide a great service to parents and children with the series of which the Book of Heros is a part.
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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 21, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I used this book as a read aloud in my second grade classroom and the children begged me to get it out each day. There was a great variety of genre and the stories inspired the students to aim for courage, duty, honesty and loyalty. Each classic tale was exciting and held the children's interest while providing a hero who truly was a positive example. The realistic, colorful illustrations were outstanding.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Katie on December 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I actually purchased "The Children's Book of Heroes" to give as a gift, but decided to go ahead & read it before passing it on - and I have to say that I'm really glad I did! This is a beautifully written & illustrated book that includes various poems & short stories about many different kinds of heroes - from knights to mother's & everything in between.

Overall, I would highly recommend "The Children's Book of Heroes" to all parents & children. It serves as a wonderful reminder of the importance of keeping your word, helping other's, being brave, and much, much more.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By E. Gorden on April 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This beautiful book contains 18 stories that are 4 pages long on average. The pages are not stuffed full of words, but contain 1/2 words & some beautiful colorful illustrations. The stories include well known heroes lik Dad, Jackie Robinson, David & Goliath, Abraham Lincoln, Mother Theresa, Helen Keller, Hero of Indian Cliff, and more. These stories can be enjoyed as a family read aloud as early as 4-5 years. Children could read on their own by 3rd grade. What a lovely addition to our library!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 11, 1998
Format: Audio Cassette Verified Purchase
Bennett's compilation offers a nice mix of the very familiar (to older listeners) and the new. As a panorama of the many faces of heroism, the anthology works well dealing with duty, physical bravery, inspiration and integrity.
There were instances where the audio quality of the presentation tended to be a bit uneven, especially the difference between the volume of the musical breaks and the performers' readings.
Mr. Bennett's introduction, targeting the youngest readers, seemed redundant for older readers. The delivery by the female performers lacked some of the strength and vibrancy of the male performers.
Even though excellently performed by Mr. Scott, "A Prayer at Valley Forge" was by far the weakest of the stories. Strongest among the stories were "Knights of the Silver Shield", "The Minotaur" and "David and Goliath".
Despite some minor problems, the collection offers a good variety of stories that touch on the same moral lesson. Children should find it entertaining and instructional, while adults can enjoy the storytelling skills of fine performers retelling well-remembered tales.
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