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Beowulf Hardcover – August 6, 2007
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Beowulf 's action-heavy and single-minded take on heroism makes it an appealing choice for younger readers, while posing the challenge of tempering the intensity of the violent, limb-rending bloodbaths that make up much of the story. Rumford's version only lightly drips with gore, though, as he is more focused on preserving the language of the eighth-century epic. He carefully deploys only words derived from the Anglo-Saxon of the originalthose that evoke a simpler, sterner, and more perilous age, and retells the tale in an evenly measured cadence, which sounds great read aloud in as booming a voice as possible. The busy pen-and-ink artwork, while rough, is suitably dramatic and expressive, washed by pestilential sage-hued greens, murky underwater blues, and the golden whorls of dragon's breath. Rumford is obviously passionate about the source and admirably encourages readers to seek out the original, whose ancient words will make the night darker, the shadows deeper, and, perhaps, your heart bolder. This fine introduction may inspire them to do just that. Chipman, Ian
Horn Book, Starred
"[A] stunningly strong and melodic text that begs to be read aloud...sinuous line and expressive postures add fuel..."--The Bulletin The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"This hearty account...has terrific art that conveys terror and triumph." The San Francisco Chronicle 11/18/07 The San Francisco Chronicle
"[C]ommanding illustrations and concise prose retellings...make the most of the epic's narrative power." Star Tribune 11/22/07 The Star Tribune
"[V]ery cleverly adapted." NYTBR June 2007 The New York Times Book Review
"Breathtaking pen-and-ink and watercolor paintings." SLJ December 2007 School Library Journal
Top customer reviews
The illustrations have the look of the illustrations in my Tolkein books (or maybe that's just my edition of the Ring trilogy). This book is perfect for boys in that too-old-for-fairy-tales age group - heroic and challenging, beautifully made and full of adventure. Strong hearts and steady characters.
My 7 year old was totally enthralled. The author did an excellent job of capturing an epic in a very abridged version. It took us a long time to read it the first time because every picture had to be examined. Intricate, detailed artwork, set in 'mood' colors give this reading a much more intense feel. This may not be suitable for the 5-ish crowd, but 7 and up... yes. I think even a 12 or 13 year old might enjoy this. As an adult, I enjoyed reading it to my son. We are a homeschool family and I really wanted to start him out with some of the classics. This was a perfect introduction. By evening I had thousands of Playmobil pieces on my living room floor in a Beowulf scenario. Kudos to this author! I'm hoping he would do an entire series of these books. Some of the pictures do depict some violence. They are not overly graphic, and I consider myself somewhat conservative. One picture, for example shows the fangs of the dragon plunged into a neck, with blood droplets. Well, if you bite someone on the neck you're probably going to get blood.
This is not a "G" book, but "PG". However, it's the tale of a man killing a dragon, twice. It's also a wonderful tale of dedication, keeping your word, and honor. I don't see this leaving my son's bedside any time soon!
Most recent customer reviews
this author is incredible.
I will recommend it to everybody.
thanks a lot
see you soon