Friday, February 22, 2013
Retold by David Calcutt, illustrated by Grahame Baker-Smith
Barefoot Books, 2012. 112 pgs. Nonfiction (Folktale)
The Robin Hood legend is well known--and not well known. The original ballads and stories have been told, retold, printed in books, made into movies and songs. David Calcutt's version is based on well-established sources and includes the story of Little John and Robin fighting with staves, Maid Marion's advent, Robin's capture at the archery contest, and the adventures of Friar Tuck. In addition, Calcutt prefaces his stories with a consideration of whether there really was a Robin Hood in England in the 13th century and concludes the story with several possibilities of what happened to Robin Hood after his last encounter with the Sheriff of Nottingham, only one of them a happy ending. He also includes an appendix describing 13th century life in England. Grahame Baker-Smith's pictures are lovely and atmospheric. This book is a fine first choice for middle-graders on up who are interested in the outlaw of Sherwood Forest.