The Misadventures of Don Quixote

The Misadventures of Don Quixote

by Tom Lathrop, Jack Davis

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 1–4—In this abbreviated version of the cautionary tale, readers are introduced to Don Quixote's imagination and adventures. An avid reader, he convinces himself that the characters in his books are real. He imagines himself as a knight, a girl in a nearby village as his lady, his old horse as a steed, and his uneducated neighbor as his knight-errant. In a series of slapstick incidents, he fights a windmill, a flock of sheep, some wineskins, and a tired lion. When Don Quixote's relatives worry about his long absence, they send a student out in disguise to challenge him to a duel that he is certain to lose, and the terms are that upon his loss, he must return to his village. The illustrations are caricatures, with Sancho Panza and Don Quixote's horse portrayed as constantly dumbfounded. The illustrator initials each page, and the result is distracting. The layout is such that several pages seem cramped with too much text. Although much of the vocabulary and many of the situations will have to be explained, young readers who enjoy knights and humor might enjoy this first foray into this classic tale.—Stacy Dillon, LREI, New York City
Kirkus Reviews
An abbreviated version of the best-ever cautionary tale about the hazards of reading too much (among other things), played for laughs and matched to comical caricatures for illustrations. Lathrop covers a select few of the original's high spots in his plainly told paraphrase. Looking hilariously lanky and cross-eyed in Davis' loosely drawn and colored cartoons, the bookish Don sets out in too-small armor to seek knightly glory. He chooses an oblivious peasant girl as his Dulcinea ("because dulce means ‘sweet' in Spanish," the reteller helpfully notes) and mounts Rocinante ("rocín means ‘old nag,' and ante means ‘before,' signifying that his horse used to be an old nag but wasn't one anymore"). With his wise fool neighbor, Sancho Panza, as witness, he charges off to battle a windmill, a herd of sheep, a hapless wineskin and a cage of sleepy lions. Though buck-toothed and dopey of aspect, Sancho Panza gets his own chance to shine as he earns a bag of gold escudos judging several legal cases before Quixote is at last unhorsed by a concerned friend and agrees to take a year off from questing. Cramped page design aside, an appealing first exposure for younger readers that highlights the story's comedy over its satire and sentiment. (Picture book. 6-8)

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LinguaText, Limited
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