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The Mightiest Heart Hardcover – October 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Lexile Measure: 650L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Dial; 1st edition (October 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803722923
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803722927
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 8.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #526,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Welsh legend has it that as a boy, 12th-century Prince Llywelyn was blessed with a faithful dog named Gelert, and this strange and sentimental retelling marks novelist Cullen's (Stink Bomb; The Backyard Ghost) picture book debut. Llywelyn and his canine companion are inseparable until he marries a cold princess and begins to ignore his true-hearted dog. One day, the couple's newborn son is missing and Llywelyn, discovering Gelert near the crib with a bloody mouth, raises his sword to the animal, only to find the infant safe and a dead wolf outside. Gelert then disappears, and Llywelyn is doomed to a life of regret. Later the prince is redeemed when the heroic beast reappears to him in two mysterious ways. Though somewhat stilted language dots the prose ("With an anguished roar, Llywelyn attacked Gelert"), the period setting and compelling plot will carry readers along. In a remarkable debut, Long crafts oil paintings that resemble medieval tapestries: steeped in a wide array of greens, sprinkled with blood reds and burgundies and teeming with flower and fauna. Her close-up renderings of expressive faces against deep landscapes of rolling hills and turbulent skies give the tale an epic quality. A handsome presentation of a fairy tale with an unusual moral: "The mightiest heart can come in the humblest vessel." Ages 4-up.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-5-Dog lovers and those who enjoy medieval tales will appreciate this retelling of a Welsh legend. Prince Llywelyn grew up with his faithful wolfhound at his side through every adventure. When the prince marries, his wife is not pleased with Gelert and complains that "He makes my gown stink of hound." The dog is banished first from the bedroom and then from the nursery when a child is born. One day when Llywelyn finds an empty cradle and a trail of blood, he falsely accuses Gelert of murder and almost kills the animal. The dog has kept the baby safe from a wolf, but because of Llywelyn's lack of trust, he runs away for good. He reappears long enough to give up his life to save Llywelyn from another wolf, and at story's end, the prince's son finds a puppy in the forest that looks suspiciously like Gelert. Thus, the boy-and-his-dog cycle continues. The rich, deep colors of the oil paintings complement the story's 13th-century setting and provide many details to pore over. They are similar in style and design to those in Paul Zelinsky's Rapunzel (Dutton, 1997). The influence of Jan van Eyck can be seen as well, especially in the bridal portrait. The author's note addresses the question of truth in Welsh legends.
Cheri Estes, Detroit Country Day School Middle School, Beverly Hills, MI
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
5 star
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See all 17 customer reviews
The story and the illustrations tug at the heart.
Scott B. Nicholas
The man greatly regretted getting too busy to love his dog, so this story involves one of most difficult human emotions to deal with, regret.
K.
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves either dogs, illustration or literature.
Mike Hawthorne

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Scott B. Nicholas on October 31, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is a gentle treasure. The story and the illustrations tug at the heart. The story is well told. It is gripping without being too intense for younger children. The artwork is lovely and adds to the sense of times past. This work will be handed down by generations of book and animal lovers. Exquisite. Highly recommended to all.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By K. on October 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is a story about a boy and his dog, but when the boy turned into a man, he no longer had time for his dog. But the dog never stopped loving his master, and the dog became a hero through his loyalty. The man greatly regretted getting too busy to love his dog, so this story involves one of most difficult human emotions to deal with, regret.

I'm not even a dog lover and this book brought tears to my eyes. What a touching and special story with amazing artwork. The reason I bought this book, since I don't often go through the third vender since Amazon no longer sold this direct, was due to the artist, Laurell Long. By now I have tons of these great picture book/fairy tales, and she is the top artist of them all. I appreciate great art, but her artwork blows my mind. I can't imagine anyone having the ability to create such art without using magic or something! Her talent is unreal. So therefor I did a search by her name and bought up most of the books from this genre that she illustrated, such as The Lady and the Lion. Not only is her artwork mind-blowing, but the stories are very special and well-written too. So memerable. I highly recommend you do what you can to buy up all her books too!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Thanks to all of you reviewers, you never let me down. I just received this book and devoured it as soon as I opened the box. Yes, the story is sad, and it brought me to tears, but I look at my own dear scruffy dog a little differently, and so does the little boy I read it to.
I collect Children's Books for their illustrations. I have to admit that some of the books that I own the content is so-so, but the illustrations are marvelous.
This one, stands out in all aspects. I am proud to add this to my library.
(I think I'll buy another one for a spare...I know we'll be reading this one alot)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 28, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I picked up the book because of the beautiful illustrations, and soon realized that I had a treasure. Both my grandchildren and I loved it. I teared up over the sensitive story and they were entralled by the pictures and the dog. It"s a keeper!!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 3, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I've got a 14 month old wolfhound, and I love legends and picture books. This book was a natural for me! The pictures are beautiful. The story is quite sad, so have tissues ready. A lovely rewrite of a traditional tale.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
What a lovely book. I am a humane educator for a humane society and find this book's message very sweet. An artist coworker loves the illustrations also. Very well done
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book for my children. They loved it. And I have to admit that I loved it, too. We have a dog, and the story really hit home. We keep The Mightiest Heart on our coffee table because this book is so beautifully illustrated and tells such a beautiful story. I would highly recommend it to everyone, especially people who love animals.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 6, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This is a great story involving the prince, his dog and his son. I think everyone has had a pet that was more friendly or faithful than their boyfriend or girlfriend. This story reminds you of the love that you had for that long ago pet. The story is well written and the illustrations are beautiful. This would make a great Christmas gift, one of those stories that work on an adult level and a children's level.
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