Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra finds refuge from his difficult childhood by imagining the adventures of a brave but clumsy knight.
This fictionalized first-person biography in verse of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra follows the early years of the child who grows up to pen Don Quixote, the first modern novel. The son of a gambling, vagabond barber-surgeon, Miguel looks to his own imagination for an escape from his family’s troubles and finds comfort in his colorful daydreams. At a time when access to books is limited and imaginative books are considered evil, Miguel is inspired by storytellers and wandering actors who perform during festivals. He longs to tell stories of his own. When Miguel is nineteen, four of his poems are published, launching the career of one of the greatest writers in the Spanish language.
Award-winning author Margarita Engle’s distinctive picture book depiction of the childhood of the father of the modern novel, told in a series of free verse poems, is enhanced by Raúl Colón’s stunning illustrations. Backmatter includes a note from both the author and illustrator as well as additional information on Cervantes and his novel Don Quixote.
★ “With the assistance of Mlawer and Lázaro, National Young People’s Poet Laureate Engle brings to children the childhood of the great storyteller Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra in his native tongue….the Spanish translation by Mlawer and Lázaro beautifully captures the rhythm and language of the original…. Colón’s remarkable pen-and-ink-and-watercolor illustrations have an old-masters quality that perfectly complements the narrative… This is a worthy translation of a beautiful and engaging book.” ―Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
“Young readers will relate to Miguel’s constant daydreaming and to his wild imaginings of a hero who can right wrongs…. Teresa Mlawer and Georgina Lázaro’s Spanish translation of Miguel’s Brave Knight (2017) ring true to Engle’s poetic voice.” ―Booklist
Best Children’s Picture Books of the Year in Spanish ―Bank Street College of Education, 2019
Tejas Star Reading List―Texas Library Association, 2019-2020
Resources Resources: Other, Teacher's Guide
Themes: Don Quixote, History, Imagination, Miguel de Cervantes, Poetry
BISAC 1: JUV004010 JUVENILE FICTION / Biographical / Europe
BISAC 2: JUV057000 JUVENILE FICTION / Stories in Verse
BISAC 3: JUV016040 JUVENILE FICTION / Historical / Europe