BRAVE MARTHA AND THE DRAGON by Susan L. Roth

BRAVE MARTHA AND THE DRAGON

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Reading more like a mini-mystery than a myth of early Christianity, this book retells the legend of Saint Martha, who, after witnessing her brother Lazarus rise from the dead, went to Tarascon, France, and tamed a dragon that terrorized the village. In this version, the village has endured many nights of lost livestock when Martha arrives on the scene--as a young girl, willowy and barefoot. She confronts the dragon that very night, tying him up with a sash and imprisoning him. Roth (The Biggest Frog in Australia, p. 750, etc.) presents Martha as a brave female role model (stripped of personality or motive, other than to do good) rather than a religious icon. The colorful collages give the book a ``puppet show'' feel that sacrifices both the dragon's horror and Martha's spirituality for a touch of spice and dash. That trade-off makes the story accessible to young readers. Combined with the secularity of the retelling, the book needn't scare away those who object to more overtly religious parables. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: June 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-8037-1852-7
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Dial
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1996




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