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The Kitchen Knight: A Tale of King Arthur
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The Kitchen Knight: A Tale of King Arthur

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  722 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
Noble Gareth defeats a dreaded knight and wins the hand of a fair maiden.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 1st 1990 by Holiday House (first published August 1990)
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(showing 1-30)
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Jul 14, 2009 rated it did not like it
Well, well, well.

Looking at fairytale books on amazon, this one came up with good reviews, so I finally checked it out at the library (good thing I didn't buy it sight unseen!). Just read it to the kids tonight, making snarky side comments all the way through.

I'm not a fan of authors who adapt fairy tales for kids without making it kid friendly. It's like she literally translated the text from the old english or whatever, regardless of whether or not it made sense. My kids were slightly confused
Nov 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Well, I have modern sensibilities and so could never get into Arthurian lore. But I loved Saint George and the Dragon by this team, and so I had to try this. So glad I did. Not dumbed-down for kids, not updated for feminists, it is what it is. And it does set up the scene, tone, atmosphere, values... well enough that I almost feel as if I could read further. And of course it's beautiful.

I only give it four stars because I reserve five for books I can recommend to just about anybody, and I know
Sarah Monette
Mar 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Trina Schart Hyman's illustrations are AMAZING. She manages a mesmerizing combination of fine detail and a richly saturated palate.
Jennifer Heise
The story of the Kitchen Knight is one of my favorites, not just for the kitchen connection, but for Lynet's recognizable teenage spirit and Gareth's patience... and this is illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman. What else do you need to know?

Ok, my six year old son liked it. Hodges' writing doesn't follow Mallory completely, but gives a good flavor of it, and lets Gareth fight his own battles. While Hodges doesn't clarify Lynet's behavior as well as even Mallory does, for this age group with its ex
The illustrations make the book. The story itself is a little strange- well, it's not a modern tale, it's a medieval one, isn't it? And so it feels strange to us. Still, I have to say that Sir Gareth seems like kind of an idiot.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Margaret Hodges is a wonderful author, and with Trina Schart Hyman illustrating it, it has to be good.
I am only superficially familiar with the King Arthur legends, so I cannot really say how "authentic" this retelling is. It's certainly a damsel-in-distress saved-by-a-brave-knight-who-wins-her-hand sort of tale, but it is a medieval King Arthur story after all. I may not want a steady diet of that kind of story, but I enjoyed this as a picture book. In fact, my main reason for reading it at all was Trina Schart Hyman's illustrations. I recently read a profile of her in Show and Tell: Exploring ...more
Jan 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
This is a lovely adaptation of the first part of "The Tale of Sir Gareth of Orkney." As a parent and one who adores Arthurian tales I was familiar with Le Morte D'Arthur and left numerous adaptations of Arthurian tales scattered about my home as my children grew up. Today, when one of my daughters and I were in a local library this book caught our eye. She shared how much she had enjoyed this book as a young child. We enjoyed this book today primarily for the lovely illustrations and fond memori ...more
A.K. Klemm
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I picked this up because we already own and adore Margaret Hodges's Saint George and the Dragon. But after reading this, I'm not coming content to merely own all her work, I'd love to start collecting any books illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman; her artwork is glorious and captures the middle ages so beautifully.
Jun 09, 2013 added it
Shelves: 2013
When a strange boy comes to the Kingdom asking King Arthur to provide him with food for a year, King Arthur accepts. The strange boy proves himself worthy of Knighthood when he continuously slays enemies and does right by King Arthur and a maiden named Linette. It turns out that the boy was King Arthur’s nephew, Gareth, but did not want to be known because he wanted to see who his true friends were. In the end Gareth fights the ultimate knight: the Red Knight, and wins the heart of Linette’s sis ...more
Mark Austin
Sep 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
★ - Most books with this rating I never finish and so don't make this list. This one I probably started speed-reading to get it over with.
★★ - Average. Wasn't terrible, but not a lot to recommend it. Probably skimmed parts of it.
★★★ - Decent. A few good ideas, well-written passages, interesting characters, or the like.
★★★★ - Good. This one had parts that inspired me, impressed me, made me laugh out loud, made me think - it got positive reactions and most of the rest of it was pretty decent too.
Meg McGregor
Dec 01, 2016 rated it liked it
I have read many stories of princesses being rescued by valiant knights but no princess or Lady has been as rude and insolent as the one in this story. She is unnamed for most of the story.

I do admire how Gareth was able to not lose his temper with her. When she finally apologized, Gareth chilvarously forgave her.

I am a bit surprised at who Gareth falls in love with at the end of the story but "the faraway face of the Lady _____ made his heart light and joyful." I don't want to give away the end
This is a re-telling. The artwork is wonderful, amazing illustrations in this book. This is a story of a royal knight comes to a castle and works as a kitchen boy. He is battling to save the lady's sister from the Red Knight who has capture her. Over and over again the lady is rude to him and really is a snob. I would have just left because she was just horrible. The best parts are the ending. That made me laugh.
Sep 30, 2016 rated it liked it
The illustrations are beyond gorgeous, but the story doesn't translate well for today's children.

A man is treated badly when he is perceived to be a lowly kitchen hand, but treated, well, like a prince when it is revealed that his is the son of a king. And the women? There is a snotty bitch, or a trapped-in-the-tower bimbo. This would sure angry up my blood were I a young girl.

The lucky, lucky kitchen knight apparently gets both gals . . . wink, wink, nudge, nudge.
Miss Clark
Aug 24, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: picture-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Trina Schart Hyman is among the greatest of all illustrators, for children's books or otherwise. Every illustration in this book is astounding, and the story isn't too bad either.

For those who are wondering, this book IS better than Hodges' St. George and the Dragon, even if St. George won the Caldecott.
Debbie Tanner
A gorgeous picture book re-telling of one of the stories of the Knights of the Round Table. A mysterious young man comes to King Arthur's castle and asks to be fed and housed for a year and then he will ask two more favors. The favor is that he should be allowed to go and rescue a princess. It's a lovely, old-fashioned story.
Dec 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children, fairy-tales
Obviously I chose this because of the genre (children's fairy tales) and the illustrator (Trina Schart Hyman) are favorites of mine. The plot is a little convoluted for a child to follow, however, and certainly needs explanation as you are reading it, even to an 8-year old.
May 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
Eh, it's been done better. Hodges' language really isn't accessible to kids. I'd recommend The Squire's Tale over this, because although it's a lot longer, it's spunkier and funnier and more coherent.

And when I got to the end, my eyes got big and I said, "Kinky!" out loud. At work.
Jan 01, 2010 added it
Shelves: picture-books
Another triumph of a children's "Arthurian" book from Hodges and illustrator Hyman. Like their "Saint George and the Dragon," it is finely told and excellently illustrated.
Apr 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Beautiful artwork, and really great story. Loved this book.
Jul 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
Wonderfully told ... MAGNIFICENTLY illustrated !!
Apr 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
While I wasn't completely won over by the story, the illustrations are 100% beautiful. I think I will be seeking out more by books illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman.
Jun 20, 2009 rated it it was ok
A rather soppy, overblown version of the tale, in which Gareth vanquishes several knights and wins the fair maiden. Gorgeous watercolor illustrations. Grades 4-7
Aug 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-to-the-kids
This was a fun read aloud for my 5.5 year old. I had to explain the fanciful language more than I think is good for the flow of the story, but he still liked the fighting knights.
Dec 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Beautifully illustrated and well told classic tale. However, the faeries and wildflowers of St. George and the Dragon simply outshine this book.
Jul 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-to-children
This book really kept the kids' interest. The illustrations were marvelous with great fighting scenes depicted.
Sep 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Beautiful illustrations, fine storytelling. I just like Linette better, but no one ever accused Arthurian legend of well-rounded characters.
Aug 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
An introduction to the King Arthur stories for the early grades. . . great story and exceptional illustrations.
(Picture Book) A royal knight comes to a castle and works as a kitchen boy. A fair maiden doesn't want anything to do with him until he proves himself and she learns he is royalty as well.
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Margaret "Peggy" Hodges was an American writer of books for children.

She was born Sarah Margaret Moore in Indianapolis, Indiana to Arthur Carlisle and Annie Marie Moore. She enrolled at Tudor Hall, a college preparatory school for girls. A 1932 graduate of Vassar College, she arrived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her husband Fletcher Hodges Jr. when in 1937 he became curator at the Stephen Fost
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