MIGUEL'S BRAVE KNIGHT: YOUNG CERVANTES AND HIS DREAM OF DON QUIXOTE -- a stunning picture book depiction of the childhood of the father of the modern novel
Miguel's Brave Knight: Young Cervantes and His Dream of Don Quixote by Margarita Engle (text) and Raul Colon (illustrations) (2017, Peachtree Publishers; 32 pages)
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra is widely considered to be the creator of the first modern novel. The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha is one of the most influential books in Spanish and Latin American culture, and the fictional knight has exerted an enormous influence on Western culture. Margarita Engle, author of Miguel’s Brave Knight, grew up -- like many other Latino and Spanish children -- surrounded by images of Don Quixote with her Cuban mother telling her stories about his adventures and her American dad painting pictures of the knight in various moods. She also grew up in the sixties, a time of political and social turmoil, when her family often participated in peace demonstrations and protests. It was in 1965, when she was thirteen, that she traveled to Spain to visit the windmills that inspired Cervantes in the remote hills of La Mancha. There she was inspired by the figure of Don Quixote, a figure that shows “how the power of imagination can be a great source of comfort and hope in times of struggle and suffering.”
Margarita’s book is delightful in every way, helped by the beautiful illustrations of Raul Colon, who has chosen pen, ink, and watercolor as a perfect medium to bring to life the drawings that accompany each chapter on the book describing a time in the life of Miguel Cervantes. The poems of Margarita Engle tell us about the difficult childhood of Cervantes, a child who found refuge from his family’s troubles by daydreaming of dragons and imagining a brave knight who would right the wrongs of the world. They also narrate many other episodes of the life of this Spanish author, “the man who dreamed Don Quixote into existence.”
Beautiful illustrations and poems and a great life story, this book is a must for all readers, especially those who believe in the power of idealism and hope through imagination, which the author attributes to the great figure of Dox Quixote of La Mancha. It is also a great book to introduce to young readers the life and main creation of Don Miguel de Cervantes.
Find this title in our catalog: Miguel's Brave Knight
Recommended by: Maite