Tales Of Court And Castle

Tales Of Court And Castle

by Joan Bodger, Mark Lang
     
 
Selected by the Children’s Book Committee at Bank Street College of Education as one of the 2004 Best Children’s Books for the Year

The late Joan Bodger was known internationally as one of our foremost storytellers. At the heart of her repertoire were the great medieval tales of lords and ladies, treachery, and chivalry. Among these

Overview

Selected by the Children’s Book Committee at Bank Street College of Education as one of the 2004 Best Children’s Books for the Year

The late Joan Bodger was known internationally as one of our foremost storytellers. At the heart of her repertoire were the great medieval tales of lords and ladies, treachery, and chivalry. Among these beautiful courtly tales from Europe are the stories of Tristan – young and old – Childe Rowland, Burd Janet, and Iron John.

These are stories that were heard at the long tables of the great halls, stories repeated around modest peat fires in cozy cottages, stories that traveled with the tellers across the seas. Tales of Court and Castle is an irresistible invitation to young readers to discover stories of enduring power.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This book is a great purchase for storytellers and lovers of medieval tales alike.”
Montreal Review of Books

“The stories are all interesting and have many elements that would appeal to young readers…”
CM Magazine

“The illustrations are striking… Tales of Court and Castle is recommended for both public and school libraries…”
Resource Links

“The late Joan Bodger’s voice still mesmerizes…. Bodger recreates the flavour of the tales…. Excellent read-alouds.”
The Toronto Star

Children's Literature
This collection of stories comes out of the ancient oral tradition when stories enchanted listeners in the great halls of castles as well as by the fire in snug huts. In the style of the ancient bards, Ms. Bodger, a consummate storyteller, retells the Celtic tales of Tristan, Childe Rowland, Iron John, Burd Janet, the Brown Bull of Coolee, and the Roman emperor and the Welsh princess so that they are a joy to read or to tell. Mr. Setterington's introduction is as evocative as the stories themselves. He describes how Ms. Bodger told him the story of Tristan's youth at the site of an ancient castle in Cornwall and of Tristan's death by the fireside of a 14th century inn. The black and white woodcut illustrations add just the right atmosphere to the age-old stories. Ms. Bodger, who, studied story-telling at Columbia University, died in 2002. She was author of many books for adults as well as children (and books like this that are for all ages.). She once described her writings as "playing in a shaft of sunlight filled with cosmic dust, and that my playthings are bits and pieces of myth." She attributed her ability to survive the many difficulties she encountered in life to her sense of story. 2003, Tundra Books, Ages 8 to adult.
—Janet Crane Barley
Library Journal
Gr 4-8-Bodger's last children's book presents her wonderful retellings of seven English, Irish, and Welsh tales. Tristan, Iron John, Burd Janet, Tamlane, and others come to life with language that speaks to the stories' origins, but will engage modern readers. The selections appear very close to the originals Bodger cited (Joseph Jacobs, different translations of the Mabinogion, etc.). She has retained much of the language and verse that set these stories in their times, yet has unobtrusively altered or explained phrases where they might cause confusion. Lang's illustrations are detailed and wonderfully moody, adding to the otherworldly appeal of the book. Fans of Arthurian tales should enjoy these stories over and over, and storytellers will be glad to find these faithful versions that read so well aloud.-Nina Lindsay, Oakland Public Library, CA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
This slim, posthumously published volume of medieval folktales not only serves as a monument to a gifted storyteller, but may well entice young readers to check out the once-popular Andrew Lang and Howard Pyle collections currently gathering dust on library shelves. Bolger sandwiches five tales between rousing accounts of Tristan's early exploits and heroic death: Childe Rowland's journey to the Elf King's Dark Tower, "Iron John," Tam Lin in a version that highlights the courage of his lady love Burd Janet, and two more that feature strong-minded royal wives. A lavish use of commas gives the prose the cadence of an oral rendition; modern turns of phrase (says a huntsman, "Fair stranger, what's the problem?") enliven the language without vitiating its high formal tone. Lang's dark, woodcut-like ink drawings, many of which rest on wide borders of Celtic lacework, add a traditional feel that harks back to Pyle. Fair speeches, brave deeds, humorous twists, and wondrous magic fill center stage here, edging overt violence into the wings. Offer these rich stories to readers who look upon the Arthurian canon's gorier episodes with distaste. (Folktales. 10-14)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780887766145
Publisher:
Tundra
Publication date:
11/11/2003
Pages:
96
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.63(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Joan Bodger was the author of many books for both adults and children. In 1948 she studied storytelling at Columbia University, then co-founded the world-renowned Storytellers School of Toronto. Her books include Clever-Lazy, The Forest Family, and How the Heather Looks, a literary travelogue for adults. Joan Bodger was born in California, and lived for many years in Toronto. She died in July 2002.

Mark Lang is a painter, illustrator, and graphic designer. His work has appeared in the Boston Globe, the New York Times, the Village Voice, and other publications. He has illustrated several children’s books, most recently One for Day/One for Night by Irene N. Watts, and Capturing Joy: The Story of Maud Lewis by Jo Ellen Bogart. This is his third collaboration with Joan Bodger. Mark Lang lives with his family in Montreal.

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