Sep 5, 2009


We have been reading the Michael Morpurgo version of Beowulf. (May I just say that I am loving all of Michael Morpurgo’s books? We have been checking lots of them out since I saw his Joan of Arc book at my friend Jane’s home this summer. I especially love his books that are illustrated by Michael Foreman. You can remember this author/illustrator team by thinking that you need to hire a “foreman” to put in “more pergo” in your home. ) It is fantastic. We have loved each night of reading and my children beg me to continue, shouting “NO! NO!, please, please, please go on!” It is hilarious to me to hear my little 4-year-old pleading for me to read “Vaywof” to him. Do other 4-year-olds love Beowulf?

This version of the story has probably been Christianized as the thanes and Lords repeatedly and immediately thank God for every success they have and ask for God’s help in battle. The illustrations are delightfully morbid and my children love to look at them at the end of each page and exclaim about how gruesome Grendel looks or how ferocious the sea-serpents are. We checked it out of the library or you can buy it here.

Some of the reviewers on say that the illustrations are too gory, but my family has loved them. Fisher is a pretty sensitive little boy and doesn’t like to watch anything scary in movies at all and he loves the illustrations. He talks about Grendel’s mother’s claws and their scales and teeth and isn’t phased a bit by it. I think it is because he can see the story in his mind and we are all listening and discussing it together – we are going through it in a safe environment and so he isn’t scared at all. Beowulf just may move close to the top of his list of heroes – but I don’t know if anyone can kick Larry-Boy out of the #1 spot just yet.

We still need it for a few more days, so don’t reserve it at the library just yet. We will have it back soon!

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