Joan of Arc: The Lily Maid

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
In the last two years several books have appeared about Joan of Arc. In this one, the story is kept simple with brief comments about the political situation in France and the long standing war with England. The dispirited and defeated French are rallied by Joan, The Lily Maid, who truly believes that God has placed her on earth to save her beloved country. She leads the troops to victory, attends King Charles VII's coronation, is captured by the British and tired as a witch, found guilty and burned at the stake. The text is accompanied by striking sepia tone illustration executed through two print making techniques--dry point and etching. They give the book more of a 15th century feel and offer plenty of detail and action for young readers. An author's note provides background on the Hundred Years War.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4 Recently, there have been several picture books and at least one novel about Joan of Arc; Hodges's retelling of the famous story can claim a niche as a first introduction to this most famous French heroine to a younger age group. The brief narrative includes only the most familiar incidents and anecdotes of Joan's life in skillfully structured language that is clear and understandable. Like the text, Rayevsky's illustrations are reduced to essentials. Delicately drawn etchings with subdued coloration, inspired by medieval manuscripts, are placed within bordered rectangles of varied size. They perfectly match the quiet, explanatory tone of the writing. The only alterations to the legendary story occur with the banner carried by Joan, said here to display the royal lilies of France (thus her name of the Lily Maid) rather than the sign of the Virgin Mary, and all mentions of angels and God are in the mind and heart of Joan or are attributed to the popular piety of the time. In contrast, Josephine Poole's Joan of Arc (Knopf, 1998) is the story of Joan's sainthood as an instrument of God. Diane Stanley's Joan of Arc (Morrow, 1998), written for upper grades, tells of Joan's role in French history. Hodges's emphasis is on Joan's faith and determined leadership, giving this narrative the underlying theme of a young woman's courage in a time of war and brutality. The story stands alone for its adventure and values, but an author's note gives background details of the 15th-century war in which Joan took part. Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
While Josephine Poole and Angela Barrett's Joan of Arc (1998) focused on Joan as a saint, this spirited but reverent telling emphasizes Joan as a hero. In the little village of Domrémy, Joan did not learn to read or write, but she listened to stories of the saints' great deeds, worked with her parents, and aided the sick. When St. Michael the Archangel first appeared to her in a great light, she was 13; he told her she would save France, and the people supported her, outfitting her with horse and armor, and a white banner with the golden lilies that symbolized the French king. All the highlights of Joan's story are elegantly recounted here: her recognition of the king hidden in the crowd, her victory at Orléans, Charles's coronation, her capture, abandonment, trial, and death by burning at the stake. Rayevsky's drypoint and etching illustrations use the muted colors and sepia backgrounds of old prints; the simple, sinuous line and stylized faces are particularly evocative. His visual trope of a flowerlike flame in the fireplace of Joan's home is startlingly recreated in the final image of Joan at the stake. (Picture book/biography. 6-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823414246
  • Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/1999
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 9 - 11 Years
  • Lexile: 790L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 11.20 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.35 (d)

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