Arthur and the Sword

Arthur and the Sword

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by Robert Sabuda, Thomas Malory, Thomas Morte D'Arthur Malory
     
 

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"Long ago in the time of great darkness, a time without a king, there lived a fair boy called Arthur..."

So begins this dramatic tale of a humble boy destined to be king of all England. Each year young Arthur travels with his family to the old church of Londontown to attend the celebration of Christ's birth. But this year something magical occurs: In the

Overview

"Long ago in the time of great darkness, a time without a king, there lived a fair boy called Arthur..."

So begins this dramatic tale of a humble boy destined to be king of all England. Each year young Arthur travels with his family to the old church of Londontown to attend the celebration of Christ's birth. But this year something magical occurs: In the snowy churchyard there appears a sword buried in a steel anvil in the center of a stone. Only he who can pull the sword from the stone and anvil can claim the right to the throne. Each knight in turn, including Arthur's older brother, is challenged to remove the sword but none succeeds. It is only when Arthur returns from a jousting tournament to fetch his brother's sword, that his true identity and the mystery of his royal destiny are revealed.

In this re-telling of a story at the heart of Arthurian legend, Robert Sabuda shares his artistic gift with beautiful stained glass artwork that subtly evokes the context of the story.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Noted author/illustrator Sabuda recreates the glory of the legend of Excalibur with startlingly powerful stained glass illustrations. Detailed swirls of liquid color-regal blues and purples, deep greens, a fiery amber-saturate each lead-veined image. As suggested by the unprepossessing title, Sabuda personalizes the epic tale, filtering the events through his eager, nave young hero: ``Long ago in a time of great darkness, a time without a king, there lived a fair boy named Arthur.'' Tinged with drama, the narrative succeeds in conveying both the grandeur of the legend and the personal transformation of a boy-king unaware and unsure of his gift. The final, radiant image of the sword conveys the splendor of the story: ``So in the quiet of that day in the small churchyard, the young boy lofted the mighty sword, raising high the country out of darkness and bring forth a new world.'' A page of notes following the story outlines the history of Arthurian legend, crediting this version to Sir Thomas Malory. Ages 6-9. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Deborah Zink Roffino
With the stunning radiance of sunlit stained glass, the pages glow with the legend of the boy Arthur. The story is told simply with lyrical language and just enough authentic vocabulary-steed, tunic, tattered cloak-to heighten the Medieval mood around a classic English churchyard. There, a bejeweled and glorious Excalibur stands waiting for the hand that would be king to hoist it from an anvil of steel. Focused on that single confirmation of Arthur's true destiny, this reverent version of British lore unites historical trappings, resplendent tones and a tale of promise to create an inspired piece of children's literature.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Sabuda's stunning illustrations for this best known Arthurian story make it an extraordinary effort. The retelling is solid with language that conveys the voice of the legend while remaining easily readable. In this short form, characters are sketchy. Sir Kay, usually providing comic relief and conflict with his pomposity, dishonesty, and churlishness, is here merely an opportunist. The tale of pulling the sword from the stone has so many interpretations that the writing alone doesn't warrant a new edition. The artwork is actually painted on glass, done predominantly in purples, blues, and russets with gold. Each double-spread generally provides one full-page and one smaller picture, all outlined in black leading, resembling medieval stained-glass windows. Here, Sabuda masters yet another medium in order to suit his story perfectly. Again, giving as much thought to the medium as to delivery, he has produced an outstanding piece of art-pictures that delight and really tell the story.-Helen Gregory, Grosse Pointe Public Library, MI
Kathy Broderick
In his newest picture book, Sabuda retells the story of young Arthur, who pulls Excalibur from the anvil and becomes the long-awaited king of England. The retelling begins with the appearance of the sword and ends with Arthur accepting his fate. But the artist's faux stained-glass images, created by applying liquid lead and glass dyes to Plexiglas, add a whole new dimension to the familiar story. The stained-glass effect captures the age, magic, and mystery of the story, especially for the picture-book audience. It's another successful stretch for a multifaceted illustrator who has already produced books such as "Saint Valentine" (1992), "Tutankhamen's Gift" (1994), and "The Christmas Alphabet" (1995). His stained-glass portraits, especially of Merlin and a shining Excalibur, demand attention. An author's note is appended.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780689319877
Publisher:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
10/28/1995
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.85(w) x 11.31(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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Arthur and the Sword 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Simply put, this book is an artistic CLASSIC, and is a must have in anyone's home library. The artwork is quite wonderful and its beaury stems from the rich, stain-glass window illustrations which the the artist, Robert Sabuda, uses to facilitate his re-telling of Mallory's storyline of a young boy who eventually becomes the famous King Arthur, via the sword-in-the-stone legend. The lustrous artwork resembles old-world cathedral stained-glass panels & the depiction is most outstanding (and the recurring kitty-cat is loads of fun for all cat lovers)