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Hardcover Saint George and the Dragon (Caldecott Medal Winner) Book

ISBN: 0316367893

ISBN13: 9780316367899

Saint George and the Dragon (Caldecott Medal Winner)

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

Winner of the Caldecott Medal

Adorned with astonishingly beautiful art from beloved children's illustrator Trina Schart Hyman, here is an award-winning tale of bravery, perseverance, and peace.

This breathtakingly illustrated adaptation of a classic story is a must-have addition to any collection of folklore and fairy tales. Saint George and the Dragon dramatically retells the epic episode from Edmund Spenser's...

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

Beautifully written and illustrated

I loved this book all the way around- esp the morale at the end, when the good Knight keeps adventuring on behalf of the sovereign because he's made an oath to do so and the "narrator" wraps up by pointing out that that's why sailors keep going out to sea. My husband travels frequently for work, so I LOVE that my daughter can see gorgeous illustrations of heroic acts of valor and then have it draw a parallel to her Dad.

Best Introduction to the Genre

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. <p>>The dreadful dragon was the cause of her sorrow. <p>>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. <p>>It is time for me to tell you that you were not born of fairy folk, but of English earth. <p>>Then they heard a hideous roaring that filled the air with terror and seemed to shake the ground. <p>>The knight brandished his bright blade, and it seemed sharper than ever, his hands even stronger. <p>There is just enough to create the effect without going overboard. Sometimes, at key points, the alliteration is stepped up to alert the reader to pay attention.<p>>In his tail's end, two sharp stings were fixed. But sharper still were his cruel claws. Whatever he touched or drew within those claws was in deadly danger. His head was more hideous than tongue can tell, for his deep jaws gaped wide, showing three rows of iron teeth read to devour his prey. <p>There are also instances of anaphora<p>>Once more the Red Cross Knight mounted and attacked the dragon. Once more in vain. <p>internal rhyme<p>>Yet the beast had never before felt such a mighty stroke from the hand of any man, and he was furious for revenge. <p>and Homeric similes.<p>>Like a sailor long at sea, under stormy winds and fierce sun, who begins to whistle merrily when he sees land, so Una was thankful. <p>These are all tropes I would have pointed out when I was teaching Medieval and Renaissance Lit. and are spread thinly enough not to be over done. They are in fact very appropriate to the material, being standard Anglo-Saxon techniques. The surrounding prose is also extremely well written. There were only three alliterations which I felt were overdone, but-hey-that's also true for equivalent portions of Beowulf!<p>I can't think of a better introd

Recreates an Illuminated Manuscript to Tell about St. George

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. The king and queen come out to welcome the knight, and offer him many riches. The knight modestly declines and pleads that the riches be given to the poor, instead. The king offers Princess Una's hand in marriage and his kingdom. The knight protests that he must serve the Fairy Queen for 6 more years. The king says that is all right, and the two are married. The knight comes and goes to serve his duty.In time, he becomes known as St. George, the patron saint of England.The story contains many worthwhile moral lessons such as being steadfast in one's duty, overcoming adversity through persistance and courage, and preferring to help others rather than seeking rewards for oneself. As such, the book is much more inspiring and heroic than most modern children's literature, and will become a favorite of those who like to take the challenges of the hard path. After you and your child finish reading this story, on some occasions you should talk about what challenges face modern people. How can we serve others? How can we be modest in our pursuit? How can our lives provide lessons for others?Pursue to the limits of potential and imagination!

A very old favorite...

When I was 7, my family moved to Georgia (I'm an Air Force brat); our library in Georgia had a copy of Saint George and the Dragon. Until we moved when I was 10, I checked this book out repeatedly, read it repeatedly, traced the illustrations repeatedly, and fell asleep with it, only to check it out again on our next trip to the library. I am now 14, and about to get this book for my 5 (almost 6) year old brother. Raised on Narnia, Middle Earth, and Fairy Land, I am a firm believer in dragons, unicorns, faery, gnomes, and an even firmer believer in their place in childrens books. This is a beautiful, beautiful book, the kind of book every child deserves.

Great Introduction to literature for young readers

My four year old son picked this out and he and I both love it. The prose is a pleasure to read aloud. The writing is very detailed, and this is echoed in the wonderful illustrations. This is a very good first introduction to a longer or more complex book for four and five year olds, and presents many opportunities for further discussion. As a mom who has spent many hours reading aloud, I can't speak highly enough of this book.

Spenser's "The Faerie Queen"

This children's book is a retelling of the story from "The Faerie Queen" by Edmund Spencer (c. 1552-1599) about the Red Cross knight George (who really lived and who died about 303 A. D.). The Red Cross Knight (the basis of the red cross in the Union Jack) accompanies the Princess Una and succeeds in slaying a dragon that had been besieging the castle of Una's father. Teachers may consider recalling for their classes that Spenser's tale is allegorical in nature in which George represented the Church, Una represented Truth, and the dragon represented Error. This can lead to discussions of other works of literature. The book was beautifully illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman and it won the 1985 Caldecott Medal for best illustration in a children's book. Children always seem to enjoy reading this story.
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