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The Making of a Knight Paperback – July 1, 1998
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From Publishers Weekly
O'Brien (illus. of A Pirate's Life for Me!) travels back to the age of chivalry, tracing the gradual metamorphosis of an English boy from lowly seven-year-old page to 14-year-old squire to a knight at 21. Despite the workmanlike prose, the narrative form works well here to hold interest and provide cohesiveness to the many nuggets of information served up. Readers learn about tournaments, feasts, 15th-century manners and customs, and the training in archery, sword-fighting and horsemanship (as well as in reading, writing and music) typically required of an aspiring knight. O'Brien crafts an intriguing visual mix, alternating full-page oil paintings with smaller vignettes and captioned close-ups?of horses, weaponry, falcons and the like. The artist uses light and shadow to good advantage, creating high drama (e.g., shafts of sunlight stream through an unseen window onto the kneeling youth as he is knighted), and he invests the pages with a sense of movement, from banners and flags streaming in the wind to the dust kicked up by thundering hooves. A robust blend of pageantry, derring-do and a wee bit of romance. All ages.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 4-Readers follow young Sir James to knighthood in this informative picture book. He begins his journey at age seven as a page, working his way up to squire and, after proving himself brave in battle, a knight. Children step into the world of the 1400s, complete with kings, queens, ladies, castles, and silken flags flying. As the boy learns about serving the king, chivalry, weapons, and suiting up for battle, youngsters are treated to captionlike asides that add details on life in the Middle Ages. This book has it all: battles, lavish dinners, jousting, and even romance. It is generously illustrated with detailed oil paintings. O'Brien has done his research; the story and illustrations fittingly portray England of yore. One minor protest: female characters haven't much of a role in this book other than as romantic objects. Still, youngsters clamoring for tales of knights will be pleased to find this accessible volume and may be encouraged to do further reading.
Angela J. Reynolds, West Slope Community Library, Portland, OR
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
In the book, the squire has to spend the night in a church before becoming a knight. The book says that he is thinking about the responsibilities of knighthood; my understanding is that this vigil was more religious, and the knight was supposed to be praying. So that feels a little unrealistically secular. Depending on your viewpoint, this may be a negative or a positive.
Although I've been an Amazon customer since the early 1990s, this is the first product I've ever reviewed. This book is that good! It's the kind of book your kids or grandkids will want to have read to them over and over. Great story; beautiful artwork. Nicely done!
And it doesn't hurt that you'll enjoy reading it too.