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Saint George and the Dragon Paperback – September 4, 1990
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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This special new paperback edition of St. George and the Dragon commemorates the 25th Anniversary of the Caldecott Award-winning picture book. Hodges retells an exciting segment from Spenser's The Faerie Queene, in which the Red Cross Knight slays a dreadful dragon that has been terrorizing the countryside for years, bringing peace and joy back to the land. Featuring a fresh new cover design - with artwork that highlights the dragon adventure within - and distinctive embossed gold Caldecott Award sticker, this is the perfect way to introduce the classic tale to a whole new generation of readers.
- Format: Paperback
- Publication Date: 9/4/1990
- Pages: 32
- Reading Level: Age 3 and Up
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This is a surprisingly wordy little book, although this is in all likelihood by necessity given the level of faithfulness to the source material (Hodges also includes a couple of lines directly from Spenser). Hodges tells the story with ample description and impressive drama; while this helps make it compelling, the book may be too advanced and too intense for small children who are attracted by its short length and big, colorful pictures (there's also a not-insignificant amount of blood illustrated).
The unequivocal highlight of this book is Hyman's art. She has illuminated the pages, using the margins both to supplement the distinctly English setting and for storytelling. Her illustrations are thoroughly wonderful: her characters, faces, her use of color and shading, her sense of setting, her inclusion of native English plants, her attention to detail - they're all fantastic, and every inch of every page is worthy of attention.
On the whole, Saint George and the Dragon is a very satisfactory telling of the legend, and one of the most gorgeous children's books you'll ever find.
I sprang for the hardback this time. It's just as beautiful as I remember it... perhaps even more so, now that I am an artist, myself, and can better appreciate Trina Schart Hyman's wonderfully illustrated watercolor images.
If you have a young child, or are a child at heart, yourself, you owe it to yourself to pick up a copy.
My grammar-stage son...well, his comment was, "A[...] wanted the dragon to win!" He's a big softie when it comes to critters. I think most kids will relate to the citizen's fearful reluctance to approach the dragon, even when dead: "'Those claws might scratch my son, or tear his tender hand.'"
Great way to introduce an old story to a young audience. Fantastic illustrations. Four stars!