Tales of King Arthur: The Sword in the Stone (Books of Wonder)

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9780688094034: Tales of King Arthur: The Sword in the Stone (Books of Wonder)

Except for the dragon-shaped constellation that appeared at his birth, there was nothing that suggested Arthur was destined for greatness.

Raised by the gentle Sir Ector, Arthur spends his boyhood exploring the Welsh woodlands, until one day a messenger arrives announcing a grand tournament to be held in London. Arthur's older brother, Sir Kay, insists they must attend with Arthur as his squire. After traveling the long road to London on horseback, Kay performs brilliantly in the contest, but it's young Arthur himself who ultimately wins the day.

The first volume of the Tales of King Arthur series introduces younger readers to the classic story known for over one hundred years as "The Sword in the Stone." Hudson Talbott has faithfully retold this heroic tale with humor and warmth, showing a human side to Arthur rarely glimpsed before. His vivid, richly colored paintings capture a crowded London at Christmastime and magnificent knights jousting on the field of battle, as well as the legendary sorcerer Merlin and the magical sword that reveals Arthur's destiny.

Alive with the drama of medieval England, this book will awaken young readers' interest in the legendary king who set new ideals for knightly valor.

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About the Author:

In His Own Words...

"Children's book authors have to be among the luckiest people in the world. Not only am I paid to do what I love most, but I get to do it without having to grow up. More accurately, the seven-year-old I Hudson is no longer relegated to an ever-receding file in the memory bank hut is once again out-front, fully engaged, sometimes even calling the shots in an active collaboration with Lis adult counterpart.

"I'll always be grateful for the solid, all-American upbringing I was given in the suburbs of Louisville, Kentucky, but going to school in Rome was a revelation for me. After graduating from Tyler School of Art in Rome, I extended my education by wandering through Europe, settling in Amsterdam for a few years, and then moving to Hong Kong, where I dabbled in the fashion industry. My travels eventually continued through Southeast Asia and culminated with four magical months in Bali. I finally reached New York, fulfilling a childhood ambition, in 1974. Although my original intent was to become a painter, the free-lance illustration work I picked tip to support myself soon predominated as my primary art form. Pursuing my vision in this direction eventually led to writing and illustrating children's books. I had always told stories with pictures. I began to paint with words.

"My series of picture books on the Arthurian legends represents the most ambitious and challenging opportunity that I've ever accepted. Called the central myth of Western civilization by philosopher Joseph Campbell, the Arthurian legends have been evolving over a 1,500 year period, along the way gathering tip and expressing our concepts of love, honor, and courage. Only within the last century have they taken the form of adventure novels for younger readers, and I know of no other attempt to compile the entire cycle into a series of picture books until now. The sheer scale of the material-the vast array of characters and the complexity of their relationships-is beyond Dickens or even "Days of Our Lives."

"The curious occurrence that I've experienced as I've delved deeper through the layers of allegory in my research is that as the underlying truth is revealed to me, I'm not only learning something new about the fine art of storytelling but usually something about myself as well. The first three books, for example, are about Arthur coming into his greatness. In the first book it is thrust upon him by accident of his birth, and in the second he achieves it through his own actions. Finally, in the third, he comes to realize the greatness inherent within himself, as it is within all of us. It is the kind of greatness that finds expression when we finally accept ourselves and embrace the roles open to us in lifewhether it is that of king, gardener, parent, or children's book author.

"My gratitude is boundless for all those who have Supported my creative progress and believed in me long before I believed in myself. By recognizing that writing and illustrating books for young readers is, in fact, my calling, I can serve a greater purpose than fulfilling my own needs. I am reminded of what I heard a blues singer once say: "Talent is God's gift to you. What you do with it is your gift to Him."

From School Library Journal:

Grade 3-5-- The highlight of this adaptation of the coming of Arthur is the illustrations--vivid watercolors ranging from small vignettes to richly detailed double-page spreads. Costumes, armaments, and crowd scenes are especially eye-catching. Unfortunately, the text is less impressive. For some reason, Talbott strays from Malory's original from time to time, as when Arthur goes in search of a sword for his brother Kay, and later when Kay tries to claim Excalibur for his own. Instead of Kay's having left his sword behind and sending Arthur grumbling back to locked lodgings to look for it, here it is Arthur's error. Later, Kay yields the magic sword because he fails to return it to the stone, not, as Malory tells us, because he refuses to lie to his father under oath. Kay's basic honesty is here reduced to petulance--a minor point, but puzzling all the same. Acceptable because of the high quality of the art and the dearth of other versions for this age level, but otherwise not a first purchase. --Barbara Hutcheson, Greater Victoria Public Library, B.C., Canada
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Hudson Talbott, Hudson Talbott (Illustrator)
Editorial: Books of Wonder (1991)
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Hudson Talbott
Editorial: Books of Wonder (1991)
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Descripción Books of Wonder, 1991. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Hudson Talbott Ilustrador. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M0688094031

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Editorial: Books of Wonder (1991)
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Descripción Books of Wonder, 1991. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería P110688094031

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