Trying to find a book for my 7 year old son on the subject Beowulf that was age appropriate was difficult.
Some books were much to young and there were others where the 'content' was a little too old for him. My son is a fairly accomplished reader and had no problem reading this book and we have since read it together on may occasions.
What makes this book standout is not only the quality of the writing aimed at children but above all the high quality of the illustrations.
So you work hard teaching your 4 year old to read and fill his book case with the usual suspects. On a high shelf you put some more advanced books for when he is older. You long for the day he actually starts picking up books without being asked and reads on his own. Finally, aged almost 5 years old he starts reading books on his own. Time and time again he goes to his book case looking for books - well actually one book, up on a high shelf. Yes it is Beowulf! "Look at the monsters daddy, her head has been chopped off, that's funny!" Still if it makes him want to read books and it doesn't seem to give him nightmares. I must say it is a beautifully presented book but my wife is not very happy.
I bought enough books for the small class groups at the 'Short Stay School' I teach at, for the students to have a book each and follow the story as I read aloud. The students' ages range between 9 and 13 years and all enjoyed the story. I also bought a DVD Beowulf animation and several other written versions of the ancient Beowulf story. The initial shared story has stimulated some good quality written work and Art work and added further interest to the Anglo-Saxon History project. Therefore these Usborne books provided an excellent starting point for futher learning opportunities and the resulting work.
I actually came across this one when searching for a gift for my son's friend, a girl who loves dragons. I love Beowulf, and was excited to find an Usborne version of the story. I thought they did a good job with making the story accessible to kids, while remaining true to the Beowulf story.
Usborne Young Reading is an outstanding series of condensed versions of classic works of children's and adult literature, along with a few non-fiction titles. We have about a dozen of these now as my daughter is getting through about one a week. They are intended for children who are beginning to read alone but they are equally suited to an earlier stage with a child reading aloud to an adult. As well as being exciting stories with lovely illustrations, there is a high level of consistency in reading standard within each of the three levels - not just text size and word count but most importantly difficulty of individual words (which is where most "reading books" fall down). There are also speech bubbles in some of the illustrations, often amusing ones, which go down very well. Different titles also introduce a good variety of non-English names, acronyms, abbreviations, dates etc. I cannot recommend this series highly enough.
another great version of this story. I collect different versions for my primary school children. The illustrations are rich and engaging and the text of a high quality; good language choice yet accessible. Good price, good quality hardback book from Usborne. Highly recommended.