King Arthur

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This spellbinding legend conjures up a vision of a Golden Age of heroism, sorcery, and chivalry. Full color.

A retelling of the story of the boy fated to be the "Once and Future King," covering his glorious reign and his tragic, yet triumphant, passing. Illustrated notes throughout the text explain the historical background of the story.

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Overview

This spellbinding legend conjures up a vision of a Golden Age of heroism, sorcery, and chivalry. Full color.

A retelling of the story of the boy fated to be the "Once and Future King," covering his glorious reign and his tragic, yet triumphant, passing. Illustrated notes throughout the text explain the historical background of the story.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
The cover illustration foreshadows the troubles that will face King Arthur and his Queen. He gazes out, a face full of concern; she also is gazing in a thoughtful manner but in another direction. The story of Arthur, his rise to glory and the fall of the kingdom, is simply and clearly recounted with plenty of callouts and sidebars containing full color illustrations that flesh out the period, characters, and unfamiliar concepts. The watercolor art by Humphries is wonderful. His faces are expressive-Morgan Le Fay and Mordred are evil, Lancelot is handsome and Arthur is pensive-and the clothing and other trappings are faithful to the Middle Ages. Endnotes provide information about the legend.
VOYA - Rebecca Barnhouse
Given the recent television mini-series Merlin, and a new animated film about the Grail quest, these two books are timely. Kerven's title, part of the Eyewitness Classic series, follows DK Publishing's usual format with sidebars of pictures and text supplementing the main text. The information, however, is confusing: although the introduction and the sidebars indicate Arthur's legendary status, the main text presents a story of King Arthur as if it were historical. Likewise confusing is the pastiche of pictures, ranging from medieval manuscript miniatures to Pre-Raphaelite paintings to twentieth century movie stills-and even to modern photographs (apparently taken for this book) of people dressed as Merlin or a lake spirit. Sometimes the pictures' sources are indicated, sometimes not. While these photographs are fun to look at, they fit uneasily with the main text and its watercolor illustrations of fifth-century Britain. The story of Arthur's life, divided into eight short chapters, is a conflation of episodes from several medieval tales beginning with the sword in the stone and ending with Arthur's removal to the Isle of Avalon after the last battle. It is as if the book cannot decide whether it wants to be a collection of facts or a storybook about the legendary King Arthur. Riordan, on the other hand, has definitely chosen a storybook format for his "retelling" of the life of Arthur from his boyhood with Merlin to his death in the final battle with Mordred. The language is formal and distant, as befits a legend, and lovely illustrations complement the text. Riordan, like Kerven, combines stories from several medieval sources such as chronicles and Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur. He discusses these sources in his notes and describes how he has altered them. For example, Arthur, not Gawain, becomes the central character in the story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. In fact, the adventures in both of these books star Arthur and not his other knights. In that respect, both books differ from their medieval sources in which Arthur is often just a background figure while the focus is on his knights' deeds. Malory devotees might be disappointed in some of the details in both books, such as Mordred not being Arthur's son. But the Arthurian tales have been retold differently over the centuries, and these two books retell the story yet again in their own ways. Illus. Photos. Note: This review was written and published to address two titles: King Arthur by Kerven and King Arthus by Riordan.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-These series entries don't know if they want to be information books or story collections, and the attempt to combine the two formats does a disservice to the potential of both. Aladdin is introduced by four pages of facts about Arabia and the history of the tales. In King Arthur, the background segments come between stories and interrupt the narrative. Because each selection is short, there is not much room for character development or majestic language. Throughout both books, sidebars are used to define words, expand on ideas, or present pictures and details about objects, such as a sword or a lamp. These asides often restate what is mentioned in the text and condescend to readers by assuming that they would not have picked up on the meaning from the context. These tidbits also prevent tension and excitement from building because of the interrupted flow. Both titles have average-quality illustrations that depict events in the stories. Librarians looking for beautiful, exciting versions of these classics should turn to Neil Philip's The Arabian Nights (Orchard, 1994) or Rosemary Sutcliff's The Sword and the Circle (Puffin, 1994).-Cheri Estes, Detroit Country Day School Middle School, Beverly Hills, MI
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789428875
  • Publisher: DK Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/28/1998
  • Series: DK Classics Series
  • Edition description: 1st American Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 8 - 11 Years
  • Lexile: 910L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.70 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2000

    The Original Camelot Re-told for Children

    This easy to read re-telling of the traditional tales of Camelot is lavishly illustrated with drawings, photos, and maps. In addition, it contains sidebars from the dogs of the times to women of power for the teacher, the better readers, or parents to further explore the history and legend. The book's 8x10 1/2 inch size and heavy paper make it the kind of book you'll be able to keep to read again and again.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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