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Lugalbanda: The Boy Who Got Caught Up in a War
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Lugalbanda: The Boy Who Got Caught Up in a War

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  54 ratings  ·  18 reviews
From the land we now call Iraq, comes the story of a young prince's extraordinary adventures. On his way to war with his older brothers, Lugalbanda meets the goddess Inana and the magical Anzu bird, who gives him the power to be strong, tireless and to run like lightning. He uses these to resolve war and become a great ruler.
Unknown Binding, 72 pages
Published May 31st 2006 by Not Avail (first published April 11th 2006)
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The oldest written Sumerian story tells of the youth of Lugalbanda, father of the famous Gilgamesh. Lugalbanda was the youngest son of Enmerkar, who drained the marshes to build the city of Uruk (according to myth, at the direction of the goddess Inanna). Wanting to make Inanna's city the most beautiful, Enmerkar decides to conquer the beautiful neighboring city of Aratta and pillage all its lovely art. His sons all go with him, but during the difficult journey through the mountains, young Lugal ...more
Melissa Mcavoy
A bull eating bird with shark teeth, superpowers visited on a deserving, clever child, and the opportunity for our hero, Lugalbanda, to rescue two civilizations from the worst excesses of war, are all packed into the oldest story known to man. Lugalbanda, is a five thousand year old Sumerian tale. Translated in the seventies it sees print for the first time in this richly illustrated children’s book, perfect for second through fourth graders. Despite its antiquity there are welcome and familiar ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I loved the way Kathy Henderson retold this tale. I'm sure the original cuneiform text is incomplete, and she must have had to add in explanations for ideas and objects unfamiliar to today's readers. The text reads smoothly in prose, with portions of it written in its original poetic form. There are some loose ends in the story, but, as the author explains at in a note at the end, this is because portions of the story have been lost or are yet to be discovered. I especially liked Jane Ray's illu ...more
My seven year old son loved this story about Lugalbanda and his mystical travels in the mountains. The prince, who accompanies his seven older brothers to war, becomes sick in the mountains. He is left to recover with enough provisions to supply his needs for several weeks and his brothers promise to return for him after the battle. Lugalbanda recovers some and after seeking the blessing of his gods and the powerful mystical bird of the moutains who blesses him with speed and strength, Lugalband ...more
An ancient Sumerian tale recorded in cuneiform over five thousand years ago. The tale describes a boy who comes of age during a war using his wits and courage and who eventually becomes king.

The fact that this tale is older than the Torah, Koran, and the Bible is especially intriguing. It was written in cuneiform on clay tablets some five thousand years ago. The fact that it also comes from Ancient Sumer, which we now call Iraq, makes it particularly relevant given the attention that Iraq has re
Anja Manning
This book is amazing. Framed by history and explanations of the scholarly background of this old(est) tale, Kathy Henderson tells the story of the 'little prince' in words that reflect the oral tradition of the tale. This book is a masterpiece. Illustrator Jane Ray carefully researched the historical period for her illustrations in this book. Every watercolor-ink-and-collage painting is a piece of art and further invites the reader into this outstanding story.

I like how the text of each page end
Tejas Janet

While clearly aimed at a younger audience, I enjoyed its simple story and beautiful illustrations. The story presented here is really from two ancient poems originally recorded in cuneiform on clay tablet. I don't know of any other general audience versions available out there.

Drawing upon available academic sources, the author attempts to convey the meaning in the language rather than a literal word-for-word translation. Reading such an ancient story gave a greater depth to the experience. I lo
The story reads much like a Western fable, which helps to bridge the unfamiliarity of the names and ideas to modern audiences. However, this doesn’t overshadow the basic themes of the story, such as the virtues of bravery, loyalty, compassion and humility, the honor of keeping a promise and pointlessness of prolonged war. This ancient story will resonate with today’s reader, even though the themes are as old as the story itself.
This warmly worded and intricately illustrated epic enchants our daughters with its exotic beauty and its underlying themes of kindness and generosity, in spite of its war and gore and shark-toothed, eagle-taloned Anzu birds.

Listen to our chat about this book on our Children's Book Podcast:
It was very good in the beginning. But at the end you always know that you want it to carry on the stories. I thought the baby bird was cute. And I thought the mother and father looked really scary even when he said what he did was very good, they still looked a bit like they didn't like it. And his brothers were very nice to him, so that's a good thing. I like the pictures and the way they spoke.
May 18, 2008 Renee rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 5th-8th grade
This is based on a story recorded in clay tablets about 5,000 years ago. In Notes on the Story, the author gives further factual information of the story and admits that though she did stay true to the spirit of the story, she did make changes. Vibrant watercolor illustrations make this short oversized chapter book palatable for younger audiences.

Positively reviewed in Booklist and SLJ.

One of the oldest written stories was found in ancient Iraq (the Sumerian city-state of Uruk) and translated from cuneiform into this children's picture book. Beautiful illustrations.
One of the earliest known written tales, Lugalbanda is about a boy who, with courage and kindness befriends and tames the fearsome Anzu bird. Middle Eastern setting.
One of the earliest known written tales, Lugalbanda is about a boy who, with courage and kindness befriends and tames the fearsome Anzu bird. Middle Eastern setting.
Great retelling of one of the most ancient written stories in the world, wonderfully illustrated. My kids enjoyed hearing me read it to them.
Dalia Mahdy
The oldest written story in the world !
A simple beautiful one , it was really interesting and I loved the drawings so much
Winner of the 2007 Aesop Prize, Lugalbanda tells an original Iraqi folktale with mythical and folk elements.
Beautiful pictures and an engaging story . . .very cool to be reading such an ancient story.
to look into. Lugalbanda, father of Gilgamesh
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Kathy Henderson was a Therapist in Physical and Cognitive Rehabilitation for many years.

After receiving a life changing diagnosis she felt a spiritual calling to share her journey. Her faith and life have been strengthened as well as tested. She has gone from therapist and caregiver to patient humbled by the stories of others.

Kathy feels truly blessed to share the direction she felt during this
More about Kathy Henderson...
Look at You!: A Baby Body Book And the good brown earth Baby Knows Best The Baby Dances The Little Boat

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