Robbing the rich and punishing the privileged, Robin Hood and his band return in a series of nine episodes gracefully retold and beautifully designed to appeal to modern readers.
From the archery contest that sent Robin into life as an outlaw in Sherwood Forest to his probable deathbed, each chapter begins with a portion of a traditional ballad rendered in modern English. British poet and playwright Calcutt’s thoughtful selections from early accounts will introduce young readers to key events and familiar characters. His lively dialogue and fast-paced action will keep them engaged. For those curious to know more about Robin’s 13th-century world, helpful backmatter includes explanations of outlaws and their longbows, the role of women, sheriffs, and medieval jails, among other topics. The whole is impressively presented on pale-yellow or blue-green pages with a variety of underlying designs and gilt decoration; illustrations range from double-page spreads of battle to portraits and images of small animals cavorting below the text. This atmospheric artwork was painted and drawn in acrylic, watercolors and ink, then “combined, blended and composed in Photoshop with photography and scanned natural textures.” The flat effect, suggestive of anime and the work of Dave McKean, heightens the sense that readers are looking into a different, long-ago world.
Sure to attract new followers for a perennially popular hero. (research and bibliography) (Folklore. 9-13)