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Kevin Crossley-Holland was born in 1941 in Mursley, North Buckinghamshire, and grew up in Whiteleaf, a village in the Chiltern hills of western England. He attended Oxford University, where after failing his first exams, he developed his passion for Anglo-Saxon literature. After graduating, he was the Gregory Fellow in Poetry at the University of Leeds, and from 1972–1977, he lectured in Anglo-Saxon for the Tufts University of London program. He worked as a children's book editor while beginning to write his own poems and reinterpretations of medieval legends. He has also taught for extended periods in America. He now lives in Norfolk, England.
Kevin Crossley-Holland has published six volumes of adult poetry and several libretti for opera. In the world of children's books, he is best known for his numerous retellings and anthologies, and in particular his version of Beowulf. "Storm," his novella, won the Carnegie Medal in 1985.
The tales collected by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in the early 1800’s constitute the greatest amassed from oral tradition in the western world and no classroom study of traditional tales would be considered without them. Many are set in the animal kingdom, like the ones translated here by Carnegie medal winning author and poet Kevin Crossley Holland. Some like The Bremen Town Musicians are extremely well known but others are much less so. The authors reveal in the afterword that they have particularly tried to keep the flavour of the different voices telling the tales and they have succeeded brilliantly. They are short, pithy, often funny and perfect for reading aloud. The animals exhibit human traits such as arrogance, greed, cunning, and less often kindness and will provide plenty of food for thought and discussion. I was particularly taken with a tale new to me, The Fox and the Cat, where an arrogant fox boasts that he has 100 tricks. The cat modestly replies that he has but one: ‘When the hounds are after me, I can leap into a tree and save myself,’ which he then does. The fox is killed by the dogs! This beautiful hardback edition, with lively pen and ink drawings from the award-winning Susan Varley, will survive many years of classroom use.
UKLA Longlist Book Awards - 2019 | Francesca Simon, Guest Editor February 2021: "I adore Norse mythology and this superb book with its eerie illustrations by Jeffrey Alan Love bring these myths to life in all their enthralling wildness and humour and power. A fantastic introduction to these brilliant stories." ........................................... Ancient magic abounds, great gods and goddesses grimace, and timeless truths teem in this enthralling reimagining of Norse mythology. In his foreword, Carnegie Medal-winning author Kevin Crossley-Holland explains that “Norse myths are brilliant, fast-moving, ice-bright stories”, and the tales contained herein certainly live up to that description. Beginning with an excellent illustrated overview of the gods and goddesses, dwarfs and giants, and a diagram of the Norse world itself, each dramatic retelling is prefaced by a pithy line summarising the wisdom it bears, with such gems as “Fair words often conceal weaselly thinking”, and “Be generous, be spirited, and you’ll lead a happy life” among them. The stories themselves will enchant the mind and quicken the pulse. One-eyed Odin, trickster Loki, and many more are brought to life with shard-sharp verve. The writing is crisp and lively, and the illustrations sublime: foreboding, cleverly scaled and incisively expressive. As well as providing exhilarating entertainment when curled up in a favourite armchair, this is also ideal for reading aloud. These tales, after all, were created to be told, and this collection is destined to become a classic.
Interest Age 5-8 Award winning Kevin Crossley-Holland tells a traditional story with an entertaining crispness and a witty twist. A girl gets to marry the king and live handsomely for eleven months on condition that she can spin five sacks of wool in a day during the twelfth. Of course, she’s sure he will forget. But, when he doesn’t, how is she to fulfil her side of the bargain? Luckily, there’s help at hand but will she be able to pay the price? About the Little Gems series: Little Gems are in a gorgeous new chunky format, with high-spec production including coloured endpapers and jacketed flaps with activities. Additional features include high quality cream paper, Barrington Stoke font and illustrations on every page. They are perfect for 5-8's. These quality stories promote good reading practice for all newly independent readers.
A tense, fast-paced detective story set in the 1950s in the haunting north Norfolk salt marshes where a dark secret has lain hidden, but suddenly there’s more than just Annie and Sandy trying to solve the case of the missing angels and they’ll stop at nothing to get there first. Carnegie Medal winning Kevin Crossley-Holland is brilliant at bringing historical episodes to life and together with a quality of writing almost unsurpassed in historical fiction he is sure to grab the reader’s attention on every page.
Shortlisted for the prestigious 2008 Carnegie. A gripping historical adventure that is dramatic, touching and compelling. Servant girl Gatty has an unusually beautiful voice which leads her to being swept up in a Crusade to the Holy Land. Her courage and determination enable her to survive incredible danger and so to find an unexpected reward.
Winner of the Carnegie Award in 1985. | A wonderful story of drama and adventure that is beautifully unraveled by award-winning author Kevin Crossley-Holland. The characters are superbly drawn and the narrative is simply but lyrically told. And there’s a surprise at the end. (7+) To find out more about this book CLICK HERE to visit the Carnegie Greenaway site
In a nutshell: Immerse yourself in brilliantly described medieval adventure | In 100 short, beautifully written chapters Kevin Crossley-Holland tells the story of young page Arthur de Caldicott, interspersing descriptions of Arthur’s life in his father’s manor house, its domestic and family dramas, with stories from the saga of the legendary King Arthur. There are parallels between the lives of these two Arthurs, each has a friend in the mysterious Merlin, both are truly chivalrous, keen to do the right thing for those around them. The story-telling is superb, characters, landscape, history brought equally vividly to life, and this is spellbinding fiction. The first in a trilogy this is highly recommended for readers of all ages. King Arthur provides the inspiration for Philip Reeve’s book Here Lies Arthur, also full of action, adventure but much more than a ripping yarn, while Philip Womack’s Darkening Path series is likewise inspired by T H White’s classic The Sword in the Stone. ~ Andrea Reece **** Charlie Hunnam stars in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, directed by Guy Ritchie - in cinemas May 12, 2017.
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