Sir Dana: A Knight as Told by His Trusty Armor

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The age of chivalry is always of interest to children. The story of Sir Dana, as told by his trusty armor, is a lively account of the life of a loyal though fictitious knight. When a class of children are visiting the medieval room of a museum, a guard tells them that if they press the correct button the knight's armor will answer their questions. At first things get off to a rough startthe armor is speaking 14th century English. But once it is fine-tuned, it provides informative, interesting answers to such questions as ``Why did Sir Dana become a knight,'' ``Were knights rich?'' and ``Did they have pets in medieval times?'' Using humorous illustrations (many containing ballooned asides) and color-coded foot notes, Fradon, a cartoonist for the New Yorker , has created an imaginative approach that imparts much information about knights and the middle ages. Ages 8-12. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-- In the ``medieval room of a great museum,'' a helpful guard introduces Miss Quincy's class to a suit of armor which responds to queries with reams of information about the knight who wore it and the customs of his time. This picture book continues in a question-and-answer format, although neither the museum nor the children appear again until the last, textless, page. The first pages favor cartoons over text and seem to be leading to an adventure such as Joanna Coles' ``Magic Schoolbus'' books (Scholastic). However, the questions are in a more traditional informational style, with humorous ink and watercolor cartoons illustrating pages of lengthy factual text. Fradon includes many anecdotes about and quotes from historical figures, events, and writings. In an attempt to sound like a voice from the 14th Century, the armor speaks with scrambled syntaxes: ``Expensive it was to become a knight.'' However, it is not always obvious that the armor is speaking, and the information is not told exclusively from an ``armor's eye view.'' Color-coded footnotes are used to explain some of the unfamiliar words (palfrey, quintain) and to give archaic meanings for some familiar words (tilt, chimney). In spite of its large format and many illustrations, this is not a first introduction to medieval knights such as that offered by John Lewellen's The True Book of Knights (Childrens, 1956; o.p.). The depth of information, the length of the text, and the complexity of the language and the ideas presented are appropriate for older readers. --Susan L. Rogers, Chestnut Hill Academy, Pa.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525444244
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/6/1988
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.08 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.38 (d)

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