My 6 1/2 year old liked this from start to finish. The book is easy for a young kid to read, though there are some harder vocabulary words, such as "forfeit," "burnished," and "precipice." Her favorite part was the section where Grendel takes a victim:
"Grendel . . . lurched towards the nearest man, a brave Geat called Leofric, scooped him up and, with one ghastly claw, choked the scream in his throat. Then the monster ripped him apart, bit into his body, drank the blood from his veins, devoured huge pieces . . . swallowed the whole man, even his feet and hands." There is a nice Glossary at the end, telling the reader how to pronounce the English and Danish names (and names of swords!). If you are a parent, why teach your kid about King Arthur and Robin Hood, and stop there? There are other fine tales about knights, et al., i.e., Beowulf. The illustrations are stylized pen and ink, that is, they tend not to be literal representations of monsters and dragons. If you are teaching your kid about early English history, e.g., about William the Conqueror or about King Henry II, then this version of Beowulf makes a good accompaniment. Another excellent book, which narrates relationships more subtle than monster-hunting, is Canterbury Tales, retold by Geraldine McCaughrean (this is not a typo) with delightful illustrations by Victor G. Ambrus. None of Chaucer's baudy tales are in this kids' version. Instead, you'll find tales of faith, devotion, and trickery, all suitable for the age of five and up.