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The Sunflower Sword (Andersen Press Picture Books) Hardcover – January, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2-In this charming tale, an unnamed little knight with a colander on his head dreams of being big and brave enough to conquer the dragons who inhabit his "land filled with fire and smoke and endless fighting." He asks his mother for a sword. When she wonders why he wants one, he explains with a smile, "To whoosh and swoosh in the air." Instead of handing over a deadly weapon, she gives him a sunflower, and the intrepid lad resigns himself to pretending it is a sword. He climbs Dragon Hill whooshing and swooshing his sunflower, slaying imaginary dragons along the way. Suddenly he is confronted by the real thing. The fearsome monster spies the flower in the boy's hand and takes it from him, thinking the young knight wants to be friends. Soon all of the knights in the land are inspired to lay down their weapons, bringing peace to the community. The cheerful patchwork illustrations painted in bright, springtime colors add touches of humor to the story. The mother wears a rather modern floral print dress with a fashionable scarf around her neck, suggesting that the land of dragons and knights exists only in her son's vivid imagination. Children will appreciate the idea that fighting is not the best alternative and that an enemy can become a friend.-Linda L. Walkins, Mount Saint Joseph Academy, Brighton, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

"Latimer's illustrations are absolutely beautiful in this enchanting tale." The Bookseller "Brimming with charm in bold, striking colour - marvellously sweet." -- Philip Womack The Sunday Telegraph "I loved Miriam Latimer's illustrations - the little knight is a great character, and the style suits both the quirky start and gentle finish." -- Keith Dudhnath TheBookBag.co.uk "This is a lively book to read with young children, colourful and spirited." -- Morag Charlwood Armadillo Magazine "Well received in hardback, simple beautifully drawn tale of friendship triumphing over fighting and one of my favourite picture books of the year. Dragons and knights make it a great boys' choice too." -- Fiona Noble The Bookseller --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Lexile Measure: 750L (What's this?)
  • Series: Andersen Press Picture Books
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Andersen Press USA (January 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761374868
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761374862
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 9.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #241,968 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The knights stood fast and fought as they were surrounded by dragons of every color, but there was one little knight who wanted to join in the fighting, "but his mother said he couldn't." She held fast to his shoulders and peered over his colander helmet as the battle raged. She wanted to know why he wanted to have a sword and when he said, "To whoosh and swoosh in the air," she smiled and went off to find one. The little knight's eyes grew wide and his mouth grew pouty when she came back with a sunflower sword, but he decided it would just have to do and "could pretend" it was a sword.

The little night swooshed and whooshed the sunflower to see just what kind of sword he had and told his mother, "It won't be any good for fighting dragons." It would have to do because soon he'd be heading to Dragon Hill to do battle with imaginary dragons as they swirled around the hill. All of a sudden the wide-eyed little knight was surrounded by flames and smoke when a REAL dragon came through the trees. He stood fast and soon was on the back of the scaly dragon ready to do battle with his sunflower sword. Would the little knight be brave enough to slay this dragon? Would the sunflower sword ... swoosh ... whoosh ... do the trick?

This is a charming, imaginative story of a little knight who went into battle with a sunflower sword. Every youngster has a vivid imagination, but for this little knight it took a lot to believe that a sunflower sword could really slay a dragon. There was a certain panache and daring do about this little guy, even if his cowboy boots and colander helmet didn't quite match the seriousness of his imagined profession. The artwork was bright, colorful, and meshed perfectly with the tale. If you have a little wanna-be dragon slayer you're going to love this book!

This book courtesy of the publisher.
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Format: Hardcover
A little boy wants to be a knight like his father and to fight the dragons, but his mother says he can't. He wants a sword, but his mother gives him a sunflower instead. The boy is not terribly pleased, but makes the best of the situation by pretending the sunflower is a sword and pretends to fight dragons. But then one day, a real dragon comes along. The boy thrusts his sunflower sword at the dragon. The dragon is quite pleased with the gift of a flower and befriends the boy. The knights see what has happened and lay down their real swords for a flower and a chance at friendship with the dragons.

The illustrations are large, vibrantly colored, and very nice to look at.

The little ones will enjoy this tame dragon story with a boy who changes the way the adults see things. The illustrations are inconsistent due to the fact that the men are dressed as knights while the mother and the sunflower farmers are in modern clothes. From the illustrations, I feel that the mother planned the whole thing and got what she wanted in the end(peace instead of fighting), which takes away from the boy's triumph. But this is a cute concept children will enjoy.
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By Madigan McGillicuddy on August 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
A young "knight" wishes more than anything to join the other warrior knights who are busy fighting dragons. He begs his mom for a sword... but she gives him a sunflower instead. He decides to make the best of it, whooshing and swooshing the sunflower to and fro. Bright, cartoon-like illustrations feature the little boy's haphazard outfit, including a dagged tunic, a colander helmet and shoes that look more like cowboy boots than medieval wear. The mother's floral nightgown and whimsical scarf make her appear decidedly modern, inviting readers to wonder if the whole story takes place in a his imagination.

After meeting a real dragon, who mistakenly thinks that he's offering a gift, they accidentally broker peace. Soon all the knights are rushing to the hilltop, bringing offers of flowers, hoping for dragon rides. I almost wondered if this would turn into a bit of a love story... as the little knight offers the dragon a sunflower, her tail takes the shape of a heart. I love finding little details like that in the illustrations. Observant readers will note a small white dove that appears on every page, emphasizing the message of peace.
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Format: Kindle Edition
K picked this book up from our public library.

Me and K both enjoyed this story. It has knights and dragons and of course that always makes for a great read right! You have a little knight who doesn't have a sword but a Sunflower that if you used your imagination which I think is great to do it can be anything. In this case it is a sword! When the little knight meets a dragon he knows what to do with this sunflower sword but the dragon thinks otherwise! The young knight shows that you don't have to fight dragons but yet become friends by giving them sunflowers! The story was great to read at bedtime and the pictures were done wonderfully and went with the story being told
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