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King Arthur and the Legends of Camelot


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Gr 4 Up-Perhaps our overwhelming need for heroes accounts for the countless Arthurian retellings in print, as well as picture-book editions of individual tales. This one does not match the depth and character development found in Rosemary Sutcliff's The Sword & The Circle (Dutton, 1981), among others. In Of Swords and Sorcerers (Scribners, 1993), Margaret Hodges and Margery Evernden provide a storyteller's perspective. However, those titles are for more dedicated readers and are sparsely illustrated, in black and white if at all. Most comparable to Robin Lister's The Legend of King Arthur (Doubleday, 1990), Perham and Heller's effort is more comprehensive, and contains more dramatic artwork. The readable plot moves along, keeping the multitude of characters clear in readers' minds. Honest, yet not offensive, it doesn't cover up or ignore their sins. Stunning, full-page mixed-media illustrations, many in full color, capture the dark and bloody tale and the larger-than-life people who struggled against destiny-the horror of Morgan's curse on Mordred; the poignancy of Elaine's naked rescue; the resolve of Lancelot; and the power of the knights. This will not be a shelf-sitter, even among myriad choices.-Helen Gregory, Grosse Pointe Public Library, MI

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