Arthur of Albion

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Claudia Mills
One wouldn't have thought there was much need for yet another retelling of the Arthurian legends. While Matthews's lyrical text does justice to the familiar tales of how Arthur pulled the sword from the stone, received Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake, created the fellowship of the Round Table, and shared stories of his knights' heroic quests and doomed adventures, it is Tatarnikov's sumptuous illustrative feast that gives this collection its raison d'etre. From the opening half title page, with its muted montage of half-dreamed vistas, to the closing map of "the realm of Albion," with each enchanted site carefully situated, the book transports us to "the time before time, when the world was still filled with marvels." Invoking the varied styles of past masters (Dutch landscapes, medieval books of hours, pre-Raphaelite maidens, Renaissance triptychs, Gustav Klimt's golden decorative feats), every page is a visual glory filled with its own marvels, ready to "vanish into the mists, never to be seen again." Happily, they are here in this brief, shining moment, offered for our awed and appreciative viewing. Reviewer: Claudia Mills, Ph.D.
Children's Literature - Shirley Nelson
This beautifully illustrated book includes ten stories of Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table that may be enjoyed together or individually. In the first story Arthur pulls the sword from the stone and becomes king. In the next story he receives Excalibur from the Lady in the Lake. Sir Gawain battles the Green Knight, Sir Lancelot avenges the death of his family, and Sir Percival begins his search for the Grail. While most people are familiar with these and other Arthurian stories, Matthews has included some that might be unfamiliar to young readers. The first quest of the Round Table is the complex, three-part search begun after a white hart interrupts Arthur's wedding feast. Young Owein attempts to prove himself in the search for the Marvelous Fountain. The last story tells of Arthur's departure to Avalon. Tatarnikov's exquisite watercolors lend a magical quality to the stories. This short book is a wonderful introduction to Arthurian legends, but will also appeal to those of all ages who already enjoy the tales of Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. Reviewer: Shirley Nelson
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781846860492
  • Publisher: Barefoot Books
  • Publication date: 9/1/2008
  • Pages: 94
  • Age range: 8 - 11 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.20 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 0.60 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great for Children and Adults

    I don't know about everyone else, but I have always been a huge fan of anything having to do with Arthurian legend. In high school I went through a phase where I only read stories that had to do with Arthur or Merlin, including non-fiction accounts. Due to my love for all things Arthur, I was very excited to read this book, and it did not disappoint.


    First of all, this book is just very graphically pleasing. The art work is graceful and very appropriate to the time period. The scenes and pictures of the knights and castles look like they could be housed in an art gallery, and they really add an extra something to the story. The cover art shows the illustrator's amazing style perfectly.


    Although this is directed mainly at middle grade readers as a chapter book, I think that it's perfect for older readers of any age who want to get their Arthur cravings satisfied or learn more about the legends that have infiltrated almost every part of our literary heritage. The wording is simple enough for younger readers while at the same time not condescending and interesting for older readers. The well-known stories of Lancelot, Mordred, Gawain and the Green Knight, and Sir Percival are all present along with stories of some of the lesser known knights.


    This is just a great read be it for the family, in the classroom, or for personal interests. I am expecting this to be a big hit with my middle school boys. They love reading about battles and adventures, and the pictures will definitely keep them engaged as well.

    Book provided by the publisher for a fair review.

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