Shanna Gonzalez's Reviews > Saint George and the Dragon

Saint George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges
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's review
Aug 20, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: children-04-08
Read in August, 2009

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 it will still be challenging, and it may be best to begin with a paraphrase of the story events, leaving time for questions, and gradually introduce the full text of the story with successive readings. Hyman's mesmerizing illustrations, augmented by lavish and intricate borders, make this book excellent for this kind of exercise, because the pictures do most of the work in capturing a child's imagination. This story of heroism and love is wonderful in its own right, but it should also whet the appetite and prepare the reader for a future experience of the full poem (original text of which is here, and audio is here
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04/02 marked as: read

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