by James Daugherty
Published by Beautiful Feet Books
It was Ben Franklin who coined the phrase, "Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God," and if any historical drama fulfills that maxim, it is surely the saga of King John and the drafting of the Magna Charta. Out of the rich turbulence of English history, June 15, 1215 stands apart as a significant milestone in the progress of human liberty. On that day, a brave band of barons, led by the noble Stephen Langton, and calling themselves the Army of God, stood up to the wicked King John and demanded that he restore the ancient laws of England that he had so unabashedly trampled underfoot. The era is a rollicking one filled with colorful characters like Robin Hood and his Merry Men, Richard the Lionheart, Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, and many more. Newbery and Caldecott medal-winner James Daugherty brings his own passion for freedom's story to this wonderful saga of the thirteenth century. Daugherty devotes the last part of the book to a history of the "documents" of freedomwhat he calls the "Children of the Magna Charta"- demonstrating how the concept of liberty has grown as well as how it has been distorted through the ages. The book is enhanced by two-color illustrations by the author.
Reading Level: Grades 6-12
Carolyn's Comments: To better understand The Magna Charta, we recommend you read Queen Eleanor by Polly Brooks first. Eleanor of Aquitaine was the mother of King John and a most fascinating and remarkable woman. Her story sets the stage for The Magna Charta and makes it far more enjoyable.
About the Author: Before James Daugherty (1889-1974) became a noted author, he was a well-established artist having illustrated more than forty books by other authors. In Mr. Daugherty's own books, the art and text combine gusto, exuberance, rich detail and a masculine style singing a song of America. When receiving the Newbery Award in 1940 for Daniel Boone, Daugherty summed up the spirit of his major lifework: "Wit and taste, beauty and joy are as much a necessary part of the democratic heritage as economics and the utilities...Children's books are a part of that art of joy and joy in art that is the certain inalienable right of a free people." Mr. Daugherty is primarily remembered for his inspired expression of the American spirit in both visual and literary form, a spirit characterized by appreciation for the heroes of democracy. In publishing three of his titles we have painstakingly preserved his two and three color drawings so that you may enjoy his books in their original context.
Retail Price: $13.95
Our Price: $11.15