From School Library Journal
Grade 4-8 - Dramatic illustrations and formal language describe a medieval world of knights and castles in this picture-book adaptation of Scott's romantic classic. Mayer stresses the basic plot and quickly establishes the facts: hatred and rivalry are strong between the Saxons and the Normans; Ivanhoe has been disowned; Rowena and Ivanhoe are in love. Two short paragraphs of historical information and a cast of characters help novices to quickly grasp the conflict that drives the tale. In this much shortened version, some characters and subplots are omitted, and some development is also lost; however, the fast-paced simplification succeeds in creating a good adventure story. The dialogue-filled narrative reads much like a screenplay or comic book where excitement and danger come to life. The plot moves swiftly from a feast at Rotherwood castle to the royal tournament, Ivanhoe's imprisonment, his subsequent rescue by Robin Hood, and finally his marriage to Rowena. Classical-style oil paintings with eye-catching colors and composition romanticize the story and reflect the tone of the text. Illuminated letters and elegant drawings appear in the borders, making the pages reminiscent of medieval manuscripts. This title may be enjoyed as an accessible introduction to a great work of literature. - Carolyn Janssen, Children's Learning Center of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, OH
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Gr. 4-6. This large-format book offers a series of brief, dramatic scenes smoothly knit together to retell Scott's classic. Though the large cast of sketchily drawn characters is not particularly memorable as presented here, young readers who enjoy stories set in medieval times may be intrigued by the tale of adventure and romance. Mayer concludes with an excellent note on Scott's life and his influence on her work. With a full-page or smaller picture appearing on each double-page spread, Rush's series of dramatic oil paintings will draw readers to this edition. The artist's figure drawing and composition, combined with a rich use of color, recall illustrators such as Howard Pyle and N. C. Wyeth. A handsome abridged edition. Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved