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King Arthur's Very Great Grandson Hardcover – July 24, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

Review

A New York Times Notable Children's Book of 2012

A Wall Street Journal Children's Book of 2012

Debut author Kraegel proves he’s a talent to be reckoned with. He has a Monty Pythonesque sense of language, humor, pacing, and character—the text’s mixture of bombastic and deadpan deliveries makes for a stirring read-aloud. This fine sense of the epically absurd also animates Kraegel’s rococo watercolor and ink renderings: in his hands, a dragon’s scales coalesce into an intricate mosaic, a tree is a swirl of mazelike lines, and the sea becomes a tangled mass of blue ribbons.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

From a gifted new author-illustrator comes an original story about a very old hand: namely, Henry Alfred Grummorson, the great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson of King Arthur. On the day of his sixth birthday, Henry sets out for peril and conquest... Alas, all he finds are peaceable beasts. A Cyclops who prefers staring contests, a dragon who blows smoke rings, a griffin who plays chess — everyone’s actually pretty friendly. It’s still exciting.
—The New York Times

About the Author

Kenneth Kraegel is a self-taught illustrator and writer. He is the recipient of a Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators Tomie dePaola Honor Award and was a finalist in the third annual CJ Picture Book Award in Seoul, South Korea. He lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 720L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (July 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076365311X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763653118
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 0.4 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #379,786 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David Crumm on July 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
We love violence! Come on! Be honest, now! We absolutely love murder, explosions and fights with all manner of weapons and super powers. After all, our biggest Hollywood blockbusters celebrate superheroes. Cop shows dominate prime time. Murder mysteries have all but swallowed up the best seller lists for adult fiction. And Young Adult best sellers? Now you're looking at the ultra-violent Hunger Games, the Twilight Saga and all manner of mayhem.

But, stop and think for just a moment about a child you love. Perhaps your own. Perhaps a grandchild. Perhaps a child you teach in pre-school or Sunday school. What stories do you want to lovingly share with them?

I find that readers always thank me for pointing out picture-book treasures celebrating peace like A Bedtime for Bear (Bear and Mouse), part of the multi-volume Mouse and Bear series by Bonny Becker and Kady MacDonald Denton, or Bob Graham's startling A Bus Called Heaven, or poet Ted Kooser's haunting House Held Up by Trees. We all know that these books are as much for the delight of the adults who buy them as they are for the children who first hear someone read the text. With repeat readings, these picture books can become a beloved part of an adult's life story. I've been a tough-minded journalist all my life, but the most precious corner of my extensive library is the little shelf holding a dozen dog-eared picture books published in the 1950s.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Laura K on August 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
My children and I love this book. The illustrations are beautiful and very appealing to both children and adults. The incredible detail in the drawings is something you rarely see in children's books and although they are detailed they are not "fussy", and have this fun about them. I simply lack the words to describe how much I love looking at these pictures. My children ages 5 through 9, also love them very much.

The story is fabulous as well. It gets at children's sense of desire for adventure and my five year old son really identifies with that desire. He also found it "hilarious" that the monsters wanted to play games. This is a book that will be read again and again at our home.

I can also see this book being used as "inspiration" for my children's artwork and for storytelling. A child could not draw in detail as Kraegel does, but I can see my daughter enjoy trying to replicate his style and it giving her incentive to notice texture and color in the world around her. I am so drawn to the bright colors and crisp lines in this art. It is very geometric but at the same time has a softness to it. I am a statistician not an artist so excuse my lack of ability in explaining art, I just love that every time I look at them I notice more detail and that they have this great depth to them, but also these simple lines that are so appealing. Hopefully someone better versed can explain it better, but get the book and see for yourself.

I think this book is a great book, and that if you buy one new children's book this year for your children that this should be the book. It is a new classic and it is the type of book I can see being read throughout the generations like Where the Wild Things Are or The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I will be recommending it to all my friends and to my children's teachers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Aimee Fritz on July 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We just received our pre-ordered copy of this book, sat on the couch and read it as a family. Everyone (including me) loved it. They have read it a few more times without me.

My thoughtful 8 yr old daughter is absorbing all the detail in the illustrations, and running the new words like "Leviathan" over her tongue.
My wild 8 yr old son reads the boy's challenges to the monsters with gusto.
And my 4 yr old daughter gasps at each new creature.

I am very impressed with this book. It will be my go-to birthday and Christmas present this year.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
There aren't enough stars for this gorgeous picture book!

My kids are in love with this book. They have asked me to read it about 10 times since we received it in the mail yesterday. And, of course, I was more than happy to spend more time with this book.

The illustrations are vibrant, full of detail, happy-making. The story is heartfelt, fun, full of a great lesson. I love this book. I recommend it very highly.

Just lovely.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I pre-ordered this book and enjoyed it when it arrived but today is the first time I read it with a child. My nine-year old neighbor stopped by and read it aloud to me this evening. It was delightful to watch her experience this story. She loved the large print for Henry's proclamations because she knew that she should read it with expression and read those parts boldly throughout the book. Each new monster was a surprise to her and she laughed as the challenge was answered in a new way. When she turned the page to reveal the Leviathan she actually gasped. At the end of the story, she asked me to tell her more stories about King Arthur. This beautiful book engaged and entertained but, even better, it also inspired curiosity.
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