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Comment: Very good condition, wear from reading. Pages are intact and are not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged but may have spine creases from reading.
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The King Of Ireland's Son Paperback – March 1, 1997


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 and up
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic; 1st American ed edition (March 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0531095495
  • ISBN-13: 978-0531095492
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,295,949 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-6. A lively folktale containing all of the elements that please children. Originally published in Brendan Behan's Island-An Irish Sketchbook (Random, 1962; o.p.), the text was transcribed from a tape recording of Behan telling the story, adding to the immediacy of the narrative. The King of Ireland wishes to know the source of the heavenly music that can be heard all around the country, so he sends his three sons off on the quest. When the brothers notice the music coming from a hole in the ground, Neart and Ceart lower Art down, hoping to get rid of him. Art travels through a tunnel and meets three old men, each the father of the one before, and finally comes upon a talking horse who leads him to a palace garden, where he discovers a captive princess playing a harp. Art must trick her captor, a giant, and keep himself from being devoured in the process. With the help of the magical stallion and his own quick wits and good humor, he rescues the princess and returns triumphantly to his father's castle, where he inherits half of the kingdom, marries the princess, "and wasn't I at the wedding as well as everybody else...." The exuberance of Lynch's vigorous watercolors, from lush gardens to humorous facial expressions, perfectly matches the rollicking rhythm of the text to create a wholly satisfying read-aloud. A perfect choice for St. Patrick's Day or any folklore unit.?Connie C. Rockman, formerly at Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 3^-5, younger for reading aloud. In this folktale from Brendan Behan's Island--An Irish Sketchbook, the king's three sons set off to find the source of the "heavenly music" heard throughout the country. Steered by three generations of old men through a long tunnel, advised to mount a stallion at the other end, and warned about a ferocious giant, youngest son Art discovers the beautiful harpist-singer. To break the spell that imprisons her, Art must defeat a giant in a deadly hide-and-seek game. Behan's rich retelling, also found in Jane Yolen's Favorite Folktales from around the World (1986), begs to be read aloud. Greenaway medalist Lynch's handsome paintings are reminiscent of such early illustrators as Rackham. Full of drama, emotion and magic, they make this story more accessible to children. Linda Perkins

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Fisher TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
"The King of Ireland's Son" is an original fairytale by Brendan Behan, but so immersed in the traditions and familiarities of Irish folk-lore that is could well be taken for a true tale from that huge mythological canon. Behan narrates in a jaunty-like prose that reminds one immensely of the language usually connected to stories from Ireland, and incorporates many of the usual fairytale components: a tricksy giant, a damsel in distress, enigmatic guides upon the road, a helpful talking animal, a threefold trial and a triad of brothers: two malevolent ones to the virtueous youngest.
The King of Ireland hears the sound of "heavenly music" in his kingdom, and promises half the land to whichever son manages to find its source. The two eldest, Neart and Ceart, take the oppurtunity to get rid of Art, the youngest, by lowering him down the hole from which the music appears to be coming from. Art however, is sincere in his wish to follow the music, and follows the tunnel connected to the dark hole, ushered on by three elderly men, each one older than the previous, each the son of the following one.
Art follows their advice to a beautiful garden, where a beautiful, magical stallion carries him through an equally beautiful garden. There he finds the music's source: the daughter of the King of Greece is held captive there, under the power of a huge and evil giant. Captured by the giant, Art agrees to his challenge: for three days the giant will hide, and if Art does not find him, he'll be killed. If by any change he does succeed, then it's Art's turn to hide whilst the giant seeks. Again, should Art fail, it will end in his death.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fiction Fan on August 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
I bought this for my son and was very glad I did. It's an adventure tale of a prince who must defeat a giant. The pictures are lush and beautiful, and it's delightfully written with great descriptions.
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By Dream Guardian on January 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a good story. I thought it would be about three heroes and not just one. The way the hero outsmarted the giant was a little weird, but it was still a good story.
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Format: Paperback
My first-grader loves this book, we can't read it enough. My 3-year old sits by, spellbound, and sometimes I find him looking through the pictures on his own. I found this at the library, and we had to renew it so many times I finally bought it. The language is wonderfully rich and strange--best for those who love to read aloud with gusto.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By K. Huntermoon on February 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
Some things are great about this book: The Irish cultural references, beautiful artwork, and unique fairy tale elements like the three very old men. Some things are downright hilarious, like references to new-fangled foods, food appearing in the ears of the horse, and the places where the king's son hides (I won't give it away). But this book doesn't pass muster in my house, despite the Waldorf recommendation and the fact that we are homeschooling with a Waldorf curriculum. Here's why: It's very male-centered, and the female protagonist does nothing but sit around and wait to be rescued by a man. Then she marries the man (after being sure, of course, that he is royalty). Also, the hero's brothers needlessly try to get rid of him, without provocation, and end up banished at the end. The sibling hostility and banishment is such a minor and unexplained part of the story that it seems completely random and unnecessary. Why not just have the brothers try to help him in the beginning, and welcome him home at the end? This is the kind of detail I change when I am retelling classic fairy tales.

Maybe I would feel differently about this book if I had sons, but in my Pagan Feminist Waldorf Homeschooling house, raising daughters, this book went back to the public library quickly!
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