Title: Tales of Robin Hood
Author: Tony Allan
Major Themes: Legends
Synopsis: The ancient story of Robin Hood is retold in a fresh way, with beautiful illustrations.
I wonder if all children are as enamoured of Robin Hood as mine are. I don’t think I ever read any Robin Hood stories as a child, but I have read Tales of Robin Hood to my children several times now as part of Sonlight Curriculum. Every time, they love it.
The story of Robin Hood has been around a long time. Obviously, it appeals to people’s sense of justice, with the good guys stealing from the rich bad guys to give to the poor. In this edition of the old stories, the first chapter opens with a scene that leaves no doubt as to who the bad guys are. The Sheriff of Nottingham and his men are trying to extort taxes out of a miller, and when he lets them know that his allegiance is to the true king, Richard, he is killed. Next, Robert of Locksley is nearly captured at his wedding, and escapes into Sherwood Forest to become Robin Hood, leader of a band of outlaws working against the wicked Sheriff and for good King Richard who is away on a Crusade. Will evil triumph in the end—or will good? You’ll have to wait until the last chapter to find out!
The edition of Tales of Robin Hood that we have, by Tony Allen and illustrated by Ron Tiner, is lovely. The type is easy to read and the pictures are gorgeous. If you are looking for a nice book of Robin Hood stories, this one is a winner.
I find myself somewhat torn about Robin Hood. On one level, I like the stories, as they show good triumphing over evil. On another level, however, I do not appreciate the violence that is shown. There are two violent deaths described, and torture is threatened—besides a number of woundings. The main reason I keep reading the book to my children is that Robin Hood is so much a part of English literature and a lot of other books and stories are more understandable if you know the Robin Hood stories.
WARNING: See the last paragraph.
Listening Level—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12
Reading Independently—Ages 7 – 9, 8 – 12, 10 – 12, 12 – 15