Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Mightiest Heart

Author: Lynn Cullen
Illustrator:   Laurel Long
Publisher:  Dial
Publication Year: 1998  
Location: Knox County Public Library- Lawson McGhee

Awards:   Society of Illustrators gold medal, Marion Vannett Ridgway Award

Summary:  The Welch legend of a faithful dog who would give his life for his master. Prince Llywelyn and his dog Gelert grew up always together and Gelert protected his master from danger. But as Llywelyn grows, he doesn't have time to spend with Gelert. When the prince marries, his new wife doesn't much care for the dog (as shown by an amazing two page spread where Gelert has been banished to the outdoors). When Gelert's son is attacked by a wolf, the dog tries to defend the infant. However, he is first thought to be the attacker and runs away. The prince searches for Gelert for years, but his final encounters with the dog are mysterious. At the end, he allows his son to have a dog with the admonition to remember that "the mightiest heart can come in the humblest vessel." The rich oil paintings bring to mind medieval tapestries with deep colors and incredible details.   

Classroom Ideas: This book has a strong theme and is an example of a traditional folk tale.

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