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THE SUNFLOWER SWORD by Mark Sperring

THE SUNFLOWER SWORD

By Mark Sperring (Author) , Miriam Latimer (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: March 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7613-7486-2
Publisher: Andersen Press USA

A little knight, creatively costumed with household items such as a colander helmet, rubber gloves and cowboy boots, wants to be “big like the other knights and fight like the other knights and have a sword like the other knights.” His mother, with charming wide-set eyes that match her son’s, disapproves. She gives him a large sunflower as consolation, which the boy “whooshe[s] and swooshe[s]” through the air. The pint-sized knight knows a flower won’t slay a dragon, but he plays the day away on Dragon Hill, happy in his pretend world. The bright and cheery artwork seamlessly combines the current-day characters with this land of imagination. With flames of fire and sharp white teeth, a real dragon appears, but it doesn’t quite strike fear into the heart. The cuddly-looking, bright-orange behemoth takes the flower in his tiny arms and makes a new friend. The boy and his dragon “play much better games than fighting” from then on, which prompts the adult knights to start offering up sunflowers as well. A feel-good story for peace-loving families, it acknowledges the truism that boys tend to turn anything into weapons. Yet the symbolic dove on every page provides hope that one day, swords will be turned into plowshares. Or at least into a gift for a new friend. (Picture book. 4-8)