Saint George and the Dragon
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Saint George and the Dragon

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  4,289 ratings  ·  246 reviews

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 fr...more
Paperback, 32 pages
Published September 4th 1990 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 1984)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Saint George and the Dragon, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Saint George and the Dragon

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Shanna Gonzalez
In this retelling of a segment from Spenser's Faerie Queen, Saint George, the Red Cross Knight, is guided by the lady Una to her parents' realm, where in a mighty battle he slays a dragon who has terrorized the land. After thus proving himself, he and Una are married.

Hodges' prose distills much action and color into a fairly brief text, sprinkled with quotes from the original work. The adaptation retains a courtly eloquence but should be easily understood by older readers. For younger listeners...more
Christine Locke
Here's what I LOVE about this book: the illustrations! Wow! Artist Trina Schart Hyman does a fantastic job. I want to touch the dents in George's shield and Lady Una's gowns are to die for. The writing is well-paced and puts the story into terms a child will understand well. However, there is a too much passive voice and use of "had" for my taste. But I know from personal experience that it is difficult to retell an old story without a bit of both.

My grammar-stage son...well, his comment was, "...more
Lea Lea
The rivers run deep in this book. The themes of redemption are woven through it all. Any of Margaret Hodges books should bought not borrowed. I read it over and over.
I'm sure I read this before, but I definitely read this while I was in high school and dreaming up stories about the middle ages, because I distinctly remember drawing the dress that Una wears at the end of the book. I loved the illustrations in this book because there was more to them the longer you looked - they were done like illuminated manuscript pages, and all along the borders there was this allegory comparing George's quest to slay the dragon with a ship sailing across the ocean. I didn'...more
Kristi Scramlin
This book has a whole new take on fairy tales and the gender roles of the mid evil times. This is the story of the how Saint George conquered the evil dragon that was threatening Princess Una’s country. The princess and Saint George take off in hopes of finding the evil dragon. After many days of traveling they finally found the dragon, and he was ready to fight. They both got some good hits until the dragon was too injured to fly and blew fire that burnt Georges face, but he coincidentally land...more
The story itself is a little longer than it I needs to be but the beautiful illustrations make up for that. This may be a hard read-aloud for antsy kids, but an excellent one for patient children.
John Cheney
This is one of my absolute favorite children's books. The story is a great myth, translated into a digestible length for children's storytelling time, and the illustrations knock your socks off. Illustrator Trina Schart Hyman's decision to create an illuminated book for modern readers is brilliant. There's so much visual detail to study, even in the small corner and side frames. Children of the appropriate age will find those visual details fascinating. Mind you, the fight with the dragon is dep...more
The story is a bit long-winded, but the illustrations are absolutely gorgeous!!! Definitely a great "old fashioned fairy tale" sort of feel but good for boys who aren't into the princess thing.
Woody Calhoon
As a story I am not intricately familiar with, I found Saint George and the Dragon to be a very interesting and entertaining read. The story has all the classic elements of a fairy tale, such as the existence of magic and impossible creatures, but has enough of a different story and different elements to no quite fall into that category. One of the biggest differences in this story being the specific names of people and locations which is not an often occurrence in typical fairy tales.

The art i...more
We raised our children on this book--an all-time family favorite. The illustrations are magical, marvelous, luminous--and the story is classic.
With sumptuous flower-filled illustrations borders that evoke the Renaissance and scenes depicting an epic battle between a man and a beast, this picture book retells the story of Saint George and the Dragon for a younger set. The text describes how the dragon is making havoc in the lives of one kingdom until the king's daughter and a brave knight set out to defeat it. While this is a lovely book, filled with details, it isn't intended for early readers since the book contains quite a bit of tex...more
Meh. The illustrations are pretty--have that old feel to them. But the story dragged for a picture book. Too much text. Too much description. This is what one would get if I wrote a picture book! And that's not a very good thing. I had hoped I'd see glimpses of the legend I saw portrayed in "Lark Rise." But no. And what was up with the pretty castle in the middle? Or the hermit knowing an unknown identity. I suppose legends often don't make sense. But if you're going to write or re-tell a legend...more
Brad Umfer
Amazing children's book with fantastic artwork
Samantha Irving
This was excellent! The adaptation would be great challenge for your younger, yet advanced students. The writing is in the same sort of style as a story of this type would be with vocabulary that is challenging, but not impossible.

The illustrations are what really captured my eye. The vivid color and detail combined with descriptions of the battle make this a great book for your young knights. Even if your student isn't ready for this level of vocabulary, the illustrations make it worth it to a...more
I like when he fights the dragon.
I love this book. What rich language. A tale of a hero and an insurmountable evil opponent, where goodness does prevail in the end, though at times, all seems lost. My favorite kind of story. Where duty and honor and courage and a heart true are valued. Beautiful beautiful illustrations. Makes me want to find a copy of The Faerie Queen and read this.
Just picked up this picture book and read it, but now I think this story must be much more than that. I will look into the history of this tale.
The action rages with all the intensity of medieval romanticism in this retelling of a renowned mystical tale taken from the pages of Sir Edmund Spenser's classic, The Faerie Queene.

At the behest of the powerful Fairy Queen who owns his servitude for six years, the noble and brave Red Cross Knight sets off with the Princess Una on a journey to vanquish the unimaginably horrible dragon that has cast its shadow over Una's kingdom. The task set before the Red Cross Knight is more than just peril...more
Scott Pagel
This narrative adaptation of Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene is a wonderful story worth retelling over and over. The fairy tale itself contains all of the great elements readers expect from a classic tale. However, the most impressive part of this book is the Hyman’s illustrations. The illustration on the title page is a promising indication of good things to some as we catch a glimpse of fairies and dwarves at the edge of a wood pointing at something approaching across a glade at dawn. In th...more
This epic story is about a knight, the Red Cross Knight, that was given a shield with a red cross on it. He is given a quest by the Queen of Fairies where his strength will be tested by killing a fierce dragon. On his journey, he encounters a princess, lamb, and dwarf who join him in his quest to help lead him to the dragon. Along their way to find and fight the dragon, the knight is faced with decisions that may pull him away from his objective. What choices does he make? How does the battle en...more
Michael Kneeland
I am fairly certain 'St. George and the Dragon' was the first library book I took out to read by myself; I was 7 and in the 2nd Grade. (Though there were probably many before, 'The Hobbit' was the first book I remember taking out to read with my mom; I was then 5.)

What struck me as most memorable about this book at the time, not surprisingly, were the pictures. I read and understood the story well enough (not realizing, to be sure, that it was a retelling of elements of Spenser's 'The Faerie Qu...more
Susan Menk
Tags: Caldecott, legend, St. George, Dragon, Edmund Spenser, Fairie Queene, Red Cross Knight, folklore, Una, courage, virtue, standard source

George and Princess Una travel from the realm of the Fairy Queen to fight the dragon that is terrorizing her home. George fights the dragon fiercely and each night when he rests his strength is renewed through magic water or dew. Upon slaying the dragon, the knight is showered with flowers, gifts and many thanks including the hand in marriage of Princess Un...more
the story of Saint George dates back to the 4th Century; the real Saint George was a Roman soldier who became a martyr for Christianty at the time of his death in 303 AD. the legend of his dragon slaying was brought back to England by soldiers returning from the Crusades...thus resulting in George's becoming the patron saint of England. it is a standard fairy tale: knight meets princess, she tells him of the impending doom of her city. knight fights dragon and nearly dies doing so, but manages t...more
John Gardner
Originally posted at Honey and Locusts.

Of the many hundreds of children's books at his disposal, this is one of my son's most requested. That is just as well, because it's certainly my favorite book to read to him (besides the Jesus Storybook Bible, of course)!

Based on Edmund Spenser's classic epic poemThe Faerie Queen, this book tells the story of the Red Cross Knight and his battle against a dragon that has been terrorizing the English countryside. While there are no surprises in the plot— boy...more
Sharne' Cherry
1. Picture book, Traditional Literature
2. This epic story is about a knight, the Red Cross Knight, that was given a shield with a red cross on it. He is given a quest by the Queen of Fairies where his strength will be tested by killing a fierce dragon. On his journey, he encounters a princess, lamb, and dwarf who join him in his quest to help lead him to the dragon. Along their way to find and fight the dragon, the knight is faced with decisions that may pull him away from his objective.
3.a. Plo...more
“Saint George and the Dragon” retold by Margaret Hodges and illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman was deserving of its Caldecott Award. Although wordy for some younger children, the pictures told the story very well too. In the book a comparison is made between the events of George and Una with that of a sailor’s journey and experience, which was also told in pictures bordering the words. Some events of the story are shown in the pictures bordering the words as well. The book has a good story but it...more
Emily Mateos
Grade/interest level: 3rd grade
Reading level: Lexile Level 1080L
Genre: Traditional Literature

Main Characters: Una, Saint George, the Dragon
Setting: England countryside in the time of dragons and fairy folk
POV: 3rd person narration

This is a story about a girl named Una, goes off to find a champion to defeat a fearsome dragon terrorizing her land. The Queen of the fairies assigned the Red Cross Knight to this adventure of slaying the dragon. Together, Una and the Knight go back towards the danger...more
Taylor Destito
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The illustrations, especially using the border frame (sometimes like a window and other times as a decorative composite of scenes from the story, symbols, and pure ornamentation) are enchanting. The story and paintings are populatedd with fairies, a knight, a princess, a companion dwarf, and an enormous dragon. (Although the story is attributed as an adaptation from Edmund Spenser's FAERIE QUEENE, the story also has roots going back into Eastern Christianity. Notice especially the shield with th...more
I remember pouring over the pictures of this book as a child. It is still just as beautiful and this time I was able to read the story to myself.

Based on The Faerie Queen, it tells the tale of a knight who grew up among the faerie but is a human. He must become a saint and a king before he can go to the Holy City. A princess brings him to her land to fight the dragon that is ravaging their countryside. He fights the dragon the first day and collapses in a holy spring of water that cleanses and...more
Ashley Boris
This book is very lengthy in words and would present a hard time for younger or beginning readers to maintain interested in what was going on, unless they were really interested in the subject matter of dragons and the middle ages. Two main things stood out to me in this book, one being the vast amount of text on each page and the other being the weird pictures in the border on the edges of pages with text. The pictures in the boarder were not related to the main story of the text, but highlight...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Dragons, dragons ...: George and the Dragon 14 15 Sep 15, 2012 12:37AM  
  • Chanticleer and the Fox
  • The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship
  • Always Room for One More
  • The Funny Little Woman
  • Frog Went a-Courtin'
  • Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions
  • Duffy and the Devil
  • A Story, a Story
  • The Glorious Flight: Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot July 25, 1909
  • Noah's Ark
  • One Fine Day
  • The Rooster Crows: A Book of American Rhymes and Jingles
  • Time of Wonder
  • Sam, Bangs & Moonshine
  • Song of the Swallows
  • Golem
  • Shadow
  • Arrow to the Sun
The Kitchen Knight: A Tale of King Arthur Merlin and the Making of the King The Boy Who Drew Cats The Wave Milton's Comus

Share This Book

“The Fairy Queen has sent you to do brave deeds in this world. That High City that you see is in another world. Before you climb the path to it and hang your shield on its wall, go down into the valley and fight the dragon that you were sent to fight.” 2 likes
“Heart cannot think what outrage and what cries, with black smoke and flashing fire, the beast threw forth, turning the whole world to darkness.” 0 likes
More quotes…