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Lugalbanda: The Boy Who Was Caught Up in a War Hardcover – 1 Apr 2006
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About the Author
Kathy Henderson is an illustrator, printmaker and the author of The Little Boat, illustrated by Patrick Benson, which won the Kurt Maschler Award. She lives in London. Jane Ray won the Smarties Book Prize for her illustrations for The Story of Creation and has been nominated four times for the Kate Greenaway Medal. She lives in London.
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The author notes that "just before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, I came across the story of Lugalbanda, and it hit me like a thump in the chest. This was much too important to be left to the world of adults. And so the project began."
Both timely and timeless, Lugalbanda is the oldest-known written story, predating even the epic of Gilgamesh. This is the story of Gilgamesh's father, Lugalbanda! The cuneiform tablets on which this Sumerian legend was inscribed were discovered in the 19th century, but not deciphered until the 1970's.
In this retelling of the ancient Sumerian tale, young prince Lugalbanda is determined to join his brother in battle, but he collapses during the arduous journey. From generous gods and goddesses, he acquires the strength and magical powers that allow him to help bring a peaceful resolution to war. In fascinating notes, Henderson introduces the tale as one of the oldest stories known to humankind, and she describes how she pieced together her retelling from translations of clay tablets recovered from present-day Iraq.
The adventure story and the luminous, beautifully detailed watercolors of young men and gods will easily capture today's children. The background facts about the Sumerians, who are credited with the invention of written language, also make this title a valuable nonfiction resource.
The book will partner very well with Ludmilla Zeman's 3-book set, Gilgamesh (1992).
Teachers/Librarians: 3rd grade to adult - social studies / humanities