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The Hero Beowulf

3.43  ·  Rating Details ·  61 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
The epic warrior from earliest English literature

Beowulf was always a hero. As a child, he borrowed his father's sword to attack a nest of savage trolls that preyed on travelers. Now a young man, he seeks to defend the Danish king
Hrothgar from a monster named Grendel. King Hrothgar asks Beowulf, "Are you not afraid?" Beowulf replies, "Why should I fear? If I am fated to wi
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published May 7th 2005 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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We read this as part of our study of the Vikings. I try to introduce these "staples of our culture" at a young age, but in a fairly gentle manner. I'm hoping that as they encounter these later in life, they'll recognize the plots and characters and will be able to understand them better.

Anyways, on to this book. This tells the first part of the poem. We'd previously read some of the poem and so the kids were all "hey, this is like the poem we read." The text is not a poem though, it is simplifie
Sep 22, 2016 Teri rated it really liked it
Nice easy adaptation of one of the oldest surviving long poems written in Old English. Feels a lot like Greek Mythology.
Lizeth Velazquez
Mar 01, 2014 Lizeth Velazquez rated it it was amazing
Shelves: etech545class3
Kimmel, Eric A. (retold/adapted). The Hero Beowulf. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005.

Characters: Beowulf (hero), his father Ecgtheow, Hygelac (King) Grendel (a savage monster), Hrothgar king and Wealhtheow the queen of Spear-Danes.
Setting: Nordic region of Sweden and Denmark, the sea, Spear-Danes at the Heorot Hall.
Theme: Courage, strength, battle of good vs. evil
Genre: Legendary epic hero
Plot/Summary: Beowulf has been known as a hero and for good deeds. Since he was 10 years old he dis
Feb 03, 2014 Ashley rated it really liked it
Color me surprised that there is a picture book rendition of Beowulf that is not only acceptable, but actually maintains the heart and meat of the story for a younger audience. We see the grotesque nature of Grendel, the heroic escapades of Beowulf, and even an accurate, albeit brief, glimpse into the world of Norse tradition; all the while being immersed in the story of a dramatic hero with larger than life feats to name.

Dec 13, 2014 Tricia rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture, classic
I wanted to read Hinds graphic adaptation of Beowulf, but my library doesn't own it. So this rides me over while waiting for the inter-library loan to come in. I don't remember the storyline from the unit we did way back in high school english, but I gather this is a decent adaptation of part of the epic. The prose is bland, though. The illustrations are also bland and not my style, not really up to the epic nature of the tale. The version by James Rumford is better in pretty much every way (lan ...more
Mar 06, 2008 sarafem rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2008, picture-books
Retelling of the epic Beowulf for a younger audience. I'm going to sound like a broken record I know, but I'm just not sure this is really an appropriate story for kids. This book depicts the first section of Beowulf, wherein he defeats Grendel. It kind of glosses over the purpose of it all and focuses on the gore and violence, and if I personally were to write a children's book based on Beowulf, I would maybe want to point out the whys rather than the hows. The point should not be to teach warf ...more
A.K. Klemm
Aug 30, 2016 A.K. Klemm rated it it was amazing
"What a guy! He tore off the monster's arm! I can't even do that," thus sayeth my five year old as we read this book today. We're sitting on the cusp of where our ancient education spills over into our year in the middle ages, and what better way than to dive into the ancient myths and legends of the celts, normans, and anglo-saxons. She was very pleased that this particular picture book could give the story in "one-sitting, all today" as opposed to the stories of Odysseus and Troy which all too ...more
Dec 17, 2009 Tabitha rated it liked it
Independent Reading: 3nd -4th grade

Kimmel retold and adapted the epic poem “Beowulf” into this traditional English literature, “The Hero Beowulf”. This is a narrative style legend that explores a brave hero from the age of ten who bravely fought creatures despite their size or magic powers. The text contains simple vocabulary with some challenging words. Fisher designed a wide array of images that portrayed Beowulf as normal looking person and the creatures were very detailed and powerful. In th
Apr 22, 2015 Melanie rated it liked it
Shelves: kids-2015, history
Since reading about Beowulf during our history studies my kids have really enjoyed the story. This book is a great retelling. I thought that it was a little gruesome. but it is Beowulf after all.
#Heroic exploits of the first #hero in #English literature. In this retelling of the #Epic, Beowulf battles the #beasts and wins over them.
Kayla Pollema
Mar 15, 2010 Kayla Pollema rated it liked it
Beowulf is a story that is about a hero that battles many creatures from the ancient world.

The illustrations in this book have a classic style that matches the story that is written on the pages. The story and illustrations play off one another in every way. The story is a classic; the illustrations are created with paint and textured brushes. The texture used not only is in the medium but also in the use of shadows. The shadows show depth and create a feeling of a photograph. Painting in this
Oct 14, 2011 Mary rated it really liked it
The author's note at the end of the book provides an unbelievable amount of information. I knew Beowulf was old, but didn't know it was the "oldest surviving epic poem in English literature." Nor did I know all of the history surrounding it. So there clearly is no problem with attribution with this book.

I also liked that there was an internet link give for more information. I plan on sharing that with some teachers I know.

As for this book itself, the story is told clearly and used language child
Michael Fitzgerald
Disappointing pictures and an over-simplified and abridged story.
The ancient tale of the viking hero Beowulf’s defeat of the monster Grendel is retold in picture book form. Although the straightforward storytelling is easy to understand, it lacks somewhat in excitement and may not be riveting enough to the hold young readers’ attention. Fishers’s paintings are simple and primitive with broad areas of color but don’t add much excitement to the epic story. An additional purchase for libraries wishing to build the 398.2 section, this retelling is solid if not st ...more
Aug 22, 2009 CLM rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
Found this at the library yesterday, and the nephews really liked it! At the beach today, James kept saying, "I see that Wolf guy's ship on the horizon!" Interestingly, the violence did not really come through in the reading - yes, Beowulf tore Grendel's arm off and Grendel eventually staggered away to die in the swamps but that's the kind of thing superheroes do every day so the boys didn't bat an eyelash.
Jan 08, 2009 Deanna rated it really liked it
This was a nice book to expose my children to the epic poem "Beowulf." They liked the pictures and came away understanding one of Beowulf's adventures. We followed the book up with a 30 min video from the library entitled "Beowulf" by Schlessinger Media. The video recounts all three of Beowulf's adventures.
Jan 24, 2013 Lindsey rated it liked it
Eric A. Kimmel adapts another classic into a picture book. A very good introduction to the story. This one ends with the death of Grendel and no mention of his dangerous mother.
Lars Guthrie
Mar 03, 2008 Lars Guthrie rated it liked it
Number five. At this point, maybe because I'm saturated, this one seemed a bit over simplified. It would be a good one to tackle first, or to show to a younger reader. Nice interplay of text and picture with illlustrator Leonard Everett Fisher.
Graceann Jacobson
It seemed a little graphic to read to younger grades but the history behind the story is something that the upper elementary grades would probably like to learn about.
Emilee M.
Aug 11, 2009 Emilee M. rated it liked it
Shelves: el-ed-340, other
I thought this was a great way to tell children the story of Beowulf. It brought back memories of the real book while keeping it pg for the kids.
Fiona Endsley
Oct 11, 2010 Fiona Endsley rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
A nice(though abbreviated)introduction to Beowulf for very young children, my two-year-old loved it!
Aug 21, 2008 Josette rated it liked it
A good introduction to the legend. My 5 year old was drawing pictures of Grendel after we read it.
Jul 30, 2011 Ella rated it it was ok
Leah rated it really liked it
Sep 08, 2016
BookDB marked it as to-read
Sep 04, 2016
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Aug 09, 2016
Nellie rated it liked it
Jul 29, 2016
Fivewincs marked it as to-read
Jun 07, 2016
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Eric A. Kimmel was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1946. He attended PS 193, Andries Hudde Junior High School, and Midwood High School. Brooklyn College was across the street from his high school, so he didn’t want to go there. He headed west, to Easton, Pennsylvania where he graduated from Lafayette College in 1967 with a bachelor’s degree in English literature.
Eric worked as an elementary school teache
More about Eric A. Kimmel...

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