Thursday, February 25, 2010

Tales of King Arthur: The Sword in the Stone

Hudson Talbott, with beautiful illustrations and an easy to understand dialogue, tells the story of King Arthur in this first volume of the series "Tales of King Arthur". As a child I met Talbott at my elementary school and was able to take into my possession the series (plus all of his other books, see I've been a book nerd for years) and while I had my reasons for enjoying each book the Arthur series was my favorite because of the illustrations.

They're beautiful, detailed, and incredibly filled with color. I always, and still do, strive to make such beautiful paintings as he did for this series. As a child, and even now as an adult, I can sit with the book opened on my lap only to gaze at the pictures.

The story was also an easy to understand take on the famous tale. Some of the words my be a little advanced for a child if they are at the reading level that they need to be read to but it's not as if any of the words are so hard that it would be a struggle for the person reading it to describe the meaning of these words.

This book is only the first step in King Arthur's journey. It describes the initial back story of how Arthur was born and his families history then proceeds to find a young Arthur who is oblivious to his true destiny. The attempts to pull the well known sword from the stone are performed until Arthur, much to his surprise, pulls the sword from the stone with no effort.

All of the excitement is described through word and imagery. I feel that this story is just as important as the beautiful illustrations.

Hudson Talbott has a home near my old one in NY. One of his books were even produced into a movie which I grew up watching and loved. But that discussion is for another entry at another time.


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