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Lugalbanda: The Boy Who Got Caught Up in a War: An Epic Tale From Ancient Iraq (Aesop Prize (Awards)) Hardcover – April 11, 2006


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 910L (What's this?)
  • Series: Aesop Prize (Awards)
  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (April 11, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763627828
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763627829
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8.4 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #774,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4 Up-Both timely and timeless, Lugalbanda is the oldest-known written story, predating even the epic of Gilgamesh (who may be Lugalbanda's son). The cuneiform tablets on which this Sumerian legend was inscribed were discovered during 19th-century excavations, but not deciphered until the 1970s. Henderson's vivid, yet stately words and Ray's Sumerian-inspired watercolor, ink, and collage illustrations bring immediacy to this story of a boy caught up in wartime. Lugalbanda's courage, native kindness, and prescience contributed to his heroism. Grievously ill, he is left behind in the wilderness while his brothers' army marches to war. Upon his recovery, Lugalbanda tames the fearsome Anzu bird with its teeth of a shark and talons of an eagle and persuades the monster to grant him supernatural strength and speed. In return, the prince promises that his people will venerate the Anzu bird in perpetuity. With the publication of this beautiful, fascinating book, modern readers can come to appreciate a compelling narrative from a civilization about which we are still learning.-Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Public Library, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 2-4. In this retelling of an ancient Sumerian tale, young prince Lugalbanda is determined to join his brother in battle, but he collapses during the arduous journey. From generous gods and goddesses, he acquires the strength and magical powers that allow him to help bring a peaceful resolution to war. In fascinating notes, Henderson introduces the tale as one of the oldest stories known to humankind, and she describes how she pieced together her retelling from translations of clay tablets recovered from present-day Iraq. The adventure story and the luminous, beautifully detailed watercolors of young men and gods will easily capture today's children. The background facts about the Sumerians, who are credited with the invention of written language, also makes this title a valuable nonfiction resource. The book will partner nicely with The House of Wisdom (1999), by Florence Parry Heide and Judith Heide Gilliland, which also presents a view of an ancient, wholly sophisticated Iraqi civilization. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

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Jane Ray enhances the work with her watercolor, ink and collage illustrations.
Cathy
The background facts about the Sumerians, who are credited with the invention of written language, also make this title a valuable nonfiction resource.
AWAIR Reviews
There are lots of questions like that, all handled in an exceedingly deft manner.
E. R. Bird

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on April 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The oldest written story in the world. Name it. I'm talking older than the Bible, older than the Koran, and older than the Torah. I hear someone mentioning, "The Epic of Gilgamesh". You're very close. Now just go a mere three hundred years older than that. Did you get it? If you said, "Lugalbanda", then you are correct! Discovered a mere 150 years ago on ancient Sumerian tablets, author Kathy Henderson has pieced together this book out of the poems "Lugalbanda" and "Lugalbanda In the Mountain Cave". The result? An incredibly readable and beautiful book that tells the story of a war in ancient Iraq. Timely, no? The mere fact that Henderson has been able to piece an infinitely interesting tale out of academic line-by-line translations (with some help as well from oral storyteller Fran Hazelton) and combine such a story with the breathtaking art of Jane Ray is reason enough to take a gander at this title. And as the book itself says, "So here, for the first time ever in our days of paper and print, is the story of Lugalbanda told for a new generation".

There once was a boy named Lugalbanda who lived with his seven brothers in the great city of Uruk. Uruk was ruled by King Enmerkar who had built it in honor of the goddess of love and war, Inana. One day, Enmerkar noticed that the faraway city of Aratta had far more impressive treasures and works of art than Uruk. Without further ado then, Enmerkar declared war on Aratta and set off to plunder its booty with his men. Amongst his men came the seven brothers and Lugalbanda. While en route to war, however, Lugalbanda became deathly ill and his brothers were forced to leave him with plenty of good food and drink in a warm cave, praying for his survival.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Cathy on December 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The ancient story of a young boy named Lugalbanda, is told in this beautiful book. Taken from Sumerian cuneiform tablets just translated in the 1970's, Lugalbanda's epic adventure from 5000 years ago takes place in what is now southern Iraq. War, a giant bird with shark-like teeth, sickness, and triumph make this an exciting story for readers and listeners alike. Jane Ray enhances the work with her watercolor, ink and collage illustrations. Excellent notes before and after the story are included.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By kalanamak on October 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
Although the artwork is not as stunning as the Gilgamesh Trilogy, the writing is better. Fascinating on many levels, you can discuss flattery, family loyalty, wars of aggression and jealousy, the role of gods, and just what the average Sumarian thought was important. The intro and coda are interesting to my 9 year old, too.
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