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Honorable Mention
Mixed Age Groups

The Lady of Shalott


Tennyson, Alfred (Lord). (1832) The Lady of Shalott. Reprinted (2009) Visions in Poetry Series.  Kids Can Press, Toronto ON Canada. With illustrations by Geneviéve Cotè.  ISBN 978-1-55453-457-9 . All ages.

Publishers Summary:

Tennyson's beautiful and enigmatic poem of unrequited love, set in Arthurian England, has enthralled artists for well over a century. With her luminous illustrations, Geneviève Côté weaves a refreshingly modern interpretation of this beloved poem — one that will enchant readers of all ages. (Kids Can Press)

Our Thoughts:

“She knows not what the curse may be...”

 Living as a recluse, denying the inevitable curse of mankind---our mortality--- the Lady of Shalott finally breaks free of her prison when faced with a vision of love she cannot resist: Sir Lancelot. The artist’s rendition of a final metamorphosis can be interpreted many ways, but at the least signifies how the beauty of our nature as Created beings is exposed when we follow the path for which we were created.  

Perhaps your kids have trouble relating to classic poetry? Or they just can’t envision a world hundreds of years ago so different from their own? Then try this Visions in Poetry series which reprints classic poetry with modern art interpretative illustrations. Geneviéve Cotè has interpreted this classic tale through beautiful mixed media illustrations, giving some sense of the modern to the historic. 

Consider reading it aloud in class, or together with your family as part of your Family Reading Hour or Family Book Club. Family members or students can take turns giving their best vocal interpretation to the tale.  

In a classroom or homeschool setting, have older students read a traditional version of Tennyson first, such as found in Poetical Works: Tennyson (Wordsworth Poetry Library) and then read this version. Compare and contrast...what difference did the illustrations make to their interpretation? To their enjoyment? 

In any setting, listen to the sung version by Loreena McKennitt.  Then muse on the poem's ending:


“But Lancelot mused a little space,

He said, ‘She has a lovely face;

God in his mercy lend her grace,

The Lady of Shalott.”


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