GEORGE AND THE DRAGON by Richard Brassey


and Other Saintly Stories
by & illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 10
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“Were the saints bonkers?” asks Brassey in this irreverent foray into the lives of 17 of the oldest saints in the Christian canon. While he doesn’t list a bibliography, he does note that many of the saints’ stories were conflated with various local legends and myths and that this turns up in many of the sources like The Golden Legend. Children can ignore all that, though, as Brassey presents each saintly bio in one or two pages, with multiple images (like a graphic-novel page or an altarpiece, depending on your point of view), fast-paced narrative, and word-balloon dialogue over the figures. There’s St. Wilgefortis, who grew a beard overnight so she wouldn’t have to marry; St. Ives, who found a floating leaf that grew to boat dimensions so she could go to Cornwall to build a hermitage. Here’s St. Kevin, who knelt so still while praying that a blackbird built her nest in his outstretched hand and he didn’t move until the eggs had hatched and the fledglings were grown. It ends with St. Margaret, who was swallowed by a dragon, but she made the sign of the cross and the dragon exploded, freeing her. Quite delightful. (Picture book/biography. 7-10)

Pub Date: June 15th, 2004
ISBN: 1-84255-082-9
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Dolphin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2004