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A perfectly beautiful small volume by the wizardly team of Hodges and Hyman. What is magical about this retelling of three stories in the Arthurian legend is that the language is simple and lucid enough for young children without diluting the power of the telling. Hodges bases her text on the Winchester manuscript of Sir Thomas Malory, and Hyman credits both the Luttrell Psalter and the Farnese Hours with her inspiration. No matter: what young readers will see is each page bordered in illuminations of flowers, strawberries, holly, and each picture reflecting the tale as it is told in images as rich and limpid as the text. The first tells of Arthur’s parentage and birth, and his pulling of Excalibur from the stone, and his coronation. The second of his marriage to Guinevere, the treachery of Morgan le Fay, and the power of Excalibur. The third recounts Arthur’s last battle and his journey to Avalon. A wonderful addition to the inexhaustible riches of Camelot. (Folklore. 6-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-8234-1647-X

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2004

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At ``Step 2'' in the useful ``Step into Reading'' series: an admirably clear, well-balanced presentation that centers on wolves' habits and pack structure. Milton also addresses their endangered status, as well as their place in fantasy, folklore, and the popular imagination. Attractive realistic watercolors on almost every page. Top-notch: concise, but remarkably extensive in its coverage. A real bargain. (Nonfiction/Easy reader. 6-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-679-91052-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1992

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Trickling, bubbling, swirling, rushing, a river flows down from its mountain beginnings, past peaceful country and bustling city on its way to the sea. Hooper (The Drop in My Drink, 1998, etc.) artfully evokes the water’s changing character as it transforms from “milky-cold / rattling-bold” to a wide, slow “sliding past mudflats / looping through marshes” to the end of its journey. Willey, best known for illustrating Geraldine McCaughrean’s spectacular folk-tale collections, contributes finely detailed scenes crafted in shimmering, intricate blues and greens, capturing mountain’s chill, the bucolic serenity of passing pastures, and a sense of mystery in the water’s shadowy depths. Though Hooper refers to “the cans and cartons / and bits of old wood” being swept along, there’s no direct conservation agenda here (for that, see Debby Atwell’s River, 1999), just appreciation for the river’s beauty and being. (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: June 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-7636-0792-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2000

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