Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hurly Burly and the Knights

Hurly Burly and the Knights
adapted from the Italian by Milton Rugoff
illustrated by Emanuele Luzzati
Platt & Munk, 1963


Had no idea people loved this book so much until I started Googling for info. Wow. Not hard to see why though. In a relatively short time with only a small amount of text, the book is epic. Seriously. You could make a miniseries out of this bugger. (Those of you of a certain age -ahem- might remember the illustrator as the animator who created some brilliant Oscar-nominated short films set to famous operas scores back in the day.)

Our story, like all good stories,
is of long ago and far away,
of Golden Knights so brave
and Green Knights so wicked,
of a beautiful princess named Bianca,
and a good magician called Hurly Burly.


Bad knights battle good knights. Good magic battles black. There are siren princesses created for evil. And a bird that helps save the day. An epic of medieval proportions. What I love most about this book is the language, every page is flowered with these great pronouncements...

He was a magician, too,
but of black magic.
Oh, that wicked Gano!


...or...But someone good has seen it all --
the good magician Hurly Burly.
Oh, that wonderful Hurly Burly!


...or...

Oh sad Bianca! Unhappy Bianca,
sobbing and sighing,
surrounded by guards, all hope abandoned!


... or poetic moments like...

Here is the dwelling
of the dragon Groan.
Whoever approaches
will be turned to stone!


Of course there is a dragon and a wild battle and exclamation points are thrown around as the words scream of excitement and chivalry and bad dudes in jail!!! You'd be hard pressed to find a story more lively of tone. Eight million thumbs up!

Also by:
The Magic Flute

5 comments:

Antmusic said...

The only thing I've seen by him is "Punch and the Magic Fish." Thanks for sharing!

Esme Raji Codell said...

What a joy!!! Loved the YouTube video, hope I can get my hands on the book.

One Desperate Mom said...

This was my favorite childhood book. I would love to get my hands on it. My library doesn't have it and it's $60 on Amazon. Yikes!

Anonymous said...

I still have the copy my mom read to me when I was little, way back in the '60s when it was first published. The text is fun to speak and I remember looking endlessly at the pictures. I STILL love looking at it!

Anonymous said...

I still have the copy my mom read to me when I was little, way back in the '60s when it was first published. The text is fun to speak and I remember looking endlessly at the pictures. I STILL love looking at it!

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