Saint George and the Dragon (from Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene)

by Margaret Hodges (Adapter)

Other authorsEdmund Spenser (Author), Trina Schart Hyman (Illustrator)
Paperback, 1984



Call number




Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (1984), Edition: 1st ed, 32 pages


Retells the segment from Spenser's The Faerie Queene, in which George, the Red Cross Knight, slays the dreadful dragon that has been terrorizing the countryside for years and brings peace and joy to the land.

User reviews

LibraryThing member akg118
AMAZING illustrations! This book won the Caldecott medal in 1987, and truly lives up to the expectations. The story tells of a young man that is fighting off a dragon in order to protect himself and his people. This would be a great book for children in upper elementary school to read, and for
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younger children to listen too. Full of action and fun to read!
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LibraryThing member MrBean
Suggested Age: Grade 4+. Genre: Traditional Literature.
George, on a quest from the Queen of the Fairies, sets to slay a dragon and thereby free a kingdom from its tyranny. In his quest, he is nearly slain twice, but revived by perhaps divine powers of the land where he falls. Eventually, he
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succeeds in his quest, but cannot rest, because he still owes some years of service to the Fairy Queen. This book could be useful for discussing language of traditional literature, and how language changes over time. It could also be used to discuss symbolism for a more sophisticated or older class.
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LibraryThing member momma2
This was a wonderfully illustrated retelling of Saint George. It was more wordy than I expected for a picture book but it was lovely.
LibraryThing member pocketmermaid
I just read this to pass the time while working. I'd always wanted to know this story anyway, as I'd seen it referenced many times. Well, it wasn't too impressive.

I love Trina Schart Hyman's art. Her gorgeous, detailed work here did not disappoint.
LibraryThing member rwetherell
A princess from a small kingdom who is terrorized by a dragon goes out and finds George to come and conquer the dragon and save the kingdom. She brings him back and takes him to the dragon and he goes to battle with it, almost dying several times but every morning he would get up and start the
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fight again. Slowly and surely he made steps towards defeating the dragon and eventually did. The kingdom celebrated and the king offered him riches as reward, which he toward the king to give to the poor people. The king offered him his daughter for marriage and he accepted.
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LibraryThing member nlevanen09
Critique: This is a good example of a legend because it tells the tale of the Red Cross Knight and how he became known as Saint George of Merry England. It also has some elements of a myth because it include a dragon which the Knight slays and also the presence of the Fairy Queen.

Setting: This is a
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good example of integral setting because with the elements of England, castles and knights on horse back you would not have the Legend but a completely different story. When you think about the events that take place you cannot remove the setting from the picture.

Level: Intermediate
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LibraryThing member caltstatt
This is a cute story about a Knight of the ages of dragons and fairies. He is sent on a quest by the Queen of the Fairies to rescue the princess' land from a dragon. The dragon deals some heavy blows to the knight, but the knight fights back bravely. He is wounded twice and is thought to be dead,
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but happens to receive healing from a special spring and apple tree. The knight is finally able to slay the dragon and lives happily ever after with the princess.

This would be a good story to discuss fairy tales and how they are different from real life. I would also suggest the older age children write a different ending to the tale.
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LibraryThing member kkcrossley
Retells the story of George killing the dragon and bringing peace to the land. Part of the Faerie Queen story
LibraryThing member justkaye
This Caldecott winner is a childrens book based on Edmund Spenser's "The Faerie Queene". It could be used in a preschool classroom all the way through 6th grade. Depending on the lesson and grade level, the teacher could adapt the story many different ways from simple to very complex. This is a
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very universal book, much like the famous story it is adapted from. The story is a simplified version of a small part of the famous piece by Spencer. It takes the reader on an adventure that follows a knight who is determined to slay a dragon that has been tormenting his entire town for a long time. The story is layered and the vocabulary at times is complex, yet great for introducing new words to early readers. The pictures explain why the book is a Caldecott winner. They enhance the story as a whole and allow the children to understand the story even if the don't necessarily understand all of the words. This book would be great in a classroom for:
-a read aloud done by the teacher (since the words are difficult for early readers)
-an early introduction to American Literature and all its glory
-an opportunity to explore the illustrations and see new things each time
-expand the vocabulary of children by introducing them to new words and words we don't hear too much anymore
-an introduction to folk-lore and tales
-to use individual pictures in activities
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LibraryThing member kkcrossley
Retells the story of George killing the dragon and bringing peace to the land. Part of the Faerie Queen story
LibraryThing member ChelseaRose
Although the Red Knight had never fought a battle before, he has a shield that has been passed down for generations with dents from previous battles. I like this use of history influencing the future. The female character, Una, is smart, kind, and beautiful, and it's great that the Red Knight must
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follow her. Although this ends with the Red Knight and Una marrying to live happily ever after, the Red Knight still makes trips to fight battles, which is nice rather than just leaving him domesticated. Within the illustrations there are little pictures of boats and other metaphores that add an element to the story.
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LibraryThing member sroeck
This is about Saint George and his battle and win over a fierce dragon. It is also about love for Princess Una. The Red Cross Knight (St. George) is very brave. His 1st and 2nd battle with the dragons were almost fatal for him but he kept coming back. Then the 3rd battle he defeated the dragon. And
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even though he loved Una and they got married, he stayed true to his oath of service to the Fairy Queen. The illustrations are just gorgeous. And very intricate. It calls to mind old England. One page is a full page of picture blocked off almost like a stained glass picture. The other side of the page has the words again encased by beautiful drawings. This has a lot of words and is a harder read than lots of other picture books but it is worth it to read.
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LibraryThing member jgabica
This book is an excellent example of historical fiction, with the knight fighting for the people against the big, scary dragon. It's clearly historical fiction because the author takes a regular fiction story with the townspeople and royalty and places it back in time. The main character is the
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knight, Saint George, and he is a static, flat character. We know this by the author, narrator, and his interactions with others. Media:Watercolor and pen and ink
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LibraryThing member amanda_c
This beautifully and intricately illustrated picture book retells Spenser’s story of the Red Cross Knight in language that children ages nine and older will understand.

Saint George and the Dragon would make an excellent read-alone book, an it would work well for curriculum
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support to introduce children to classic English literature.

Though the denser text of Saint George and the Dragon will likely put off younger readers, the intricate and intriguing illustrations that accompany this story will engage children ages nine and up.
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LibraryThing member curiousbutterpants
I love the story throughout history of George and his dragon. It's a very captivating thought for me – conquering modern dragons, that is – and this book always brings that idea back to me.

Unfortunately with this book, I am absolutely in love with the illustrations – but the text has never
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been able to hold me well. I just seem to resist it, perhaps because of its length or verbosity.
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LibraryThing member missmichelle
Genre: This book is a great example of a Legend becuase it is a retelling of the classic legend by Edmond Spenser, Faerie Queen, whichis about a knight, George, that is sent by the Queen of Fairies to fight in a three day battle against a dragon. The story takes place in the historical setting of
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England and the British Isles. There are also elements of magic and the supernatural, which the reader sees in the fight with the dragon and the mention of the High City.
Age Appropriateness: Primary to Intermediate
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LibraryThing member glanecia
I really enjoyed this book. The story was told nicely and the pictures are absolutely stunning. The only drawback to this book is that I can't allow it in the classroom. The pictures are a bit too bloody for a public school classroom; it's a shame, really, because the story should be told. Though,
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there are other places for this book -- home sweet home. :)
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LibraryThing member dchaves
very nice. people and magic help out. The hero gets the girl in the end and rides off into the sunset.
LibraryThing member bp0128bd
caldecott winner, 1985
illustrations set through a lens of a window.
knight has to fight dragon to win girl
a lot of text- fairty tale/legend/myth
LibraryThing member anacryan
Beautifully illustrated (Caldecott award), retelling of the classic tale. Ages 6 and up.
LibraryThing member Kesterbird
the borders were by far the strongest part of this book.
LibraryThing member BookConcierge
Illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman

This is a retelling from Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queene, which recounts the legend of Saint George who slew the dragon which was terrorizing the country. It’s a wonderful tale of courage, dedication, and perseverance. George is pure of heart, generous of spirit,
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and brave beyond measure. A lovely fable.

Trina Schart Hyman was awarded the Caldecott Medal for excellence in illustration. Her paintings are rich and vibrant, and full of small details that support the storytelling. After I finished reading the story, I started again at the beginning just to pore over the pictures.
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LibraryThing member danielleshorr
Grade: 4-5
Traditional Literature
I enjoyed reading Saint George and the Dragon, but it was a very typical fairytale. This story had a young knight fight and slay an evil dragon to save a village. In the end of the story he was able to marry the princess of the town that he saved. Although this story
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is predictable it is very beautifully written. For example, when describing the dragon the author used descriptive sentences such as, "The dragon's wings stretched out like two sails when the wind fills them. The clouds fled before him. His huge, long tail, speckled red and black, wound in a hundred folds over his scaly back and swept the land behind him for almost a mile". Using sensory details such as this is what made the book enjoyable to read. The only thing, in my opinion that made the story of this fairytale different from others, is the beginning. In the beginning of the story a knight is needed to slay the dragon, but instead of a man looking for the hero, the princess leaves the safety of her castle to find one. I liked this original aspect of the story.
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LibraryThing member Phil9
This was another great fairy tale story retold by Margaret Hodges and illustrated by Caledcott winner Trina Schart Hyman. This was a tale from long ago set in the English hillside, and takes you along with a young knight, a beautiful princess named Una, a sheep, and a tiny dwarf. They are in search
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of a horrible dragon holding the land of the princess hostage.

The author does an outstanding job of describing in vivid detail the monstrous dragon the knight has to fight. A fierce battle went on and days passed. The knight was valiant and determined as he rose one day. The dragon was so surprised the knight could still fight, but between the healing waters and the fruit tree the brave knight fought on and defeated the beast.

Princess Una's father, the King, and all the people rejoiced with happiness, and they praised the Red Crossed Knight.
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LibraryThing member DWMSLibrarian
This picture book is about a nameless knight who journeyed to slay the dragon that was plaguing the castle. It was an excellent fight. The dragon breathed a lot of fire and the unnamed knight came back from the dead three times. Finally, he slew the dragon and was named George.

While the text is not
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very interesting, the illustrations are exquisite! I didn't understand why some of the text was included, to be honest. The illustrations are finely detailed and tell the story better than the words did. There was a lot of text. The theme of this story is to never give up. The supernatural opponent was the dragon, who could fly and breathe fire. This didn't help him in the end. Ages 7 - 9.
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Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

10.38 x 9.63 inches


0316367893 / 9780316367899
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