Thursday, February 18, 2010
This week we read Saint George and the Dragon by Geraldine McCaughrean. I have had this version for years. My oldest had it when he was little. He wanted it, because he liked the illustration of the dragon. Margaret Hodges version seems to be the popular one these days. The illustrations in the McCaughrean version are less cutesy/ pretty than the illustrations in the Hodges book. By this I mean that, although the illustrations in the McCaughrean version are still stylized, they are more graphic art than cartoon-like. As a visual for this particular story, I prefer the graphic art look.
As for the story, it is not an ambitious attempt at simplifying Spenser like Hodges. It is just a simple version of the story of St. George. Omitting religious detail, it basically reads like a standard knight saves the princess story.
I admit this isn't a stellar review, but the dragon illustrated by Nicki Palin in the McCaughrean story is unique and IMHO more visually interesting in the context of the story of St. George than the dragon illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman in the Hodges version. I really do enjoy Hyman's work, but in this one instance I just prefer the other dragon.
Well, this is a rambling post, so I'll stop now.