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Saint George and the Dragon Paperback – September 4, 1990

4.5 out of 5 stars 108 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This adaptation of The Faerie Queen features illustrations that "glitter with color and mesmerizing details," said PW. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.


Praise for Saint George and the Dragon:

"[The illustrations] glitter with color and mesmerizing details."―Publisher's Weekly

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 1080L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Rep Anv edition (September 4, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316367958
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316367950
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.1 x 10.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 21, 2004
Format: Paperback
It sounds like one of those triple dog dares English professors give one another between the Senior seminar classes they teach. "Hey! I dare you to adapt a story from Edward Spencer's, 'The Fairy Queen' AND to do it in such a way that it remains true to the essential story". And before you know it some poor sap has just devoted numerous wasted hours to adapting a piece of literature that was never meant to be dumbed down in any form or method. So thought I as I picked up and perused the Caldecott award winning picture book, "Saint George and the Dragon". I might well have abandoned it right there and then if I hadn't noticed that the illustrations (I should say the glorious illustrations) were created by the accomplished Trina Schart Hyman. I've always felt Ms. Hyman never got the respect she fully deserved, so out of respect for her I picked up this pint sized novella and read it through. Once I arrived at the last page a single thought paraded through my glory. "Glory be", thought I. "It worked".

If you're not familiar with the tale of the Red Cross Knight and his fair lady Una I'll give you a little update. In this story, Una is the princess of a realm that has been threatened by a dragon. Because her parents are wussies Una takes it upon herself to find a champion who will do battle with the fowl beast. Such a champion she finds in the Red Cross Knight and the two travel back to her land accompanied by her white donkey, pet goat, and dwarf servant (as per usual). In time, they find the dragon and three times does the Red Cross Knight fight with it. The first time he collapses from battle and is restored by a magic pool. The second time he collapses and is restored by a magic apple tree (don't ask).
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Format: Paperback
This book was a Caldecott Medal winner as the best illustrated children's book in 1987. You will never see a finer set of modern simulations of a Middle Ages illuminated manuscript. The full range of the rainbow is vividly and brilliantly worked into almost every illustration. On text pages, the illuminations surround the words while on illustrated pages, they fill across the whole page -- border and all.
Unlike most children's stories, this one captures the full richness of the original tale as told by Spenser in the Faerie Queen. Without all the background of that story, some references here are not clear, so you'll want to explain them to your child.
The book features a ferocious three day battle between St. George and the dragon. For sensitive children, that battle in this book could encourage nightmares. I suggest that you either not share the book with children who might be frightened, or read it to them early in the day.
When a dragon terrorizes her father's kingdom, Princess Una escapes from the family castle to seek help. After an arduous journey, she finds the Red Cross Knight and calls upon him for assistance. He follows her back toward the castle. Along the way, he glimpses aspects of his future life.
Upon the plain surrounding the castle, a terrible and aggressive dragon waits to attack. The knight bravely attacks, but his weapon is no match for the dragon. He is gravely wounded and falls to the earth. It looks like the battle is over. Miraculously, the knight is restored to full strength the next day. The battle recommences, and the knight is again devastated by the dragon. But the knight has injured the dragon a little. Once again, the knight revives and the third day provides the titanic battle in which the knight slays the dragon.
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Format: Paperback
Adapted from Spenser's Faerie Queene, this is a highly literate children's tale. We meet the Red Cross Knight as he is heading into his first adventure. Princess Una has sought him as champion for her parents in fighting the usual terrorizing dragon. The plot is the usual one: boy meets girl, girl tells boy how royal parents are being terrorized by a dragon. Boy slays dragon, marries princess. Though this story does not stray from the formula, it is realized in a very fine fashion and richly illustrated. Each of some dozen pairs of facing pages has fantastic illustrations on one side with a few paragraphs of text on the other. The illustrations are among the best I've seen, they rank together with Child of Faerie Child of Earth and Fairy Wings. Each illustrated page is nicely framed and usually filled with thematic marginal drawings, which is a very nice touch.
I think this is probably the most literate children's book I've read. The first line of most pages always includes some brief alliteration, beginning with the opening lines.
>In the days when monsters and giants and fairy folk lifvind in England, a noble knight was riding across a plain.
>The dreadful dragon was the cause of her sorrow.
>After many days the path became thorny and led up to a steep hillside, where a good old hermit lived in a little house by himself.
>It is time for me to tell you that you were not born of fairy folk, but of English earth.
>Then they heard a hideous roaring that filled the air with terror and seemed to shake the ground.
>The knight brandished his bright blade, and it seemed sharper than ever, his hands even stronger.
There is just enough to create the effect without going overboard.
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