Project Description

Miguel y su valiente caballero
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Miguel y su valiente caballero

El joven Cervantes sueña a don Quijote

English Edition: Miguel’s Brave Knight

by Margarita Engle
illustrated by Raúl Colón

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. Back matter includes a note from both the author and illustrator as well as additional information on Cervantes and his novel Don Quixote.

Format: Hardcover
Price: $18.95
ISBN: 978-1-68263-019-8
Publication Date: 3/1/2018
Page Count: 32
Size: 9-5/8″ x 12″
Age Range: 8 – 12
Language: Spanish
Format: Paperback
Price: $8.95
ISBN: 978-1-68263-020-4
Publication Date: 3/1/2018
Page Count: 32
Size: 9-5/8″ x 12″
Age Range: 8 – 12
Language: Spanish
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


“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

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Meet the Author

Margarita Engle

Margarita Engle is the Cuban-American author of many verse books, including a Newbery Honor winner, The Surrender Tree; a PEN USA Award winner, The Lightning Dreamer; and a verse memoir, Enchanted Air, winner of many awards, including an inaugural Walter Dean Myers Award Honor and the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award. Margarita’s books have also received three Pura Belpré Awards and four Américas Awards, as well as a Jane Addams Award, International Reading Association Award, Claudia Lewis Poetry Award, and the Charlotte Zolotow Award. In 2017, the Poetry Foundation named her the Young People’s Poet Laureate. Margarita grew up in Los Angeles, but developed a deep attachment to her mother’s homeland during summers with her extended family in Cuba. She was trained as a botanist and agronomist before becoming a full-time poet and novelist.

Meet the Illustrator

Raul Colon

Raúl Colón was born in New York City in December of 1952 and moved with his parents in the 1960s to Caguas, Puerto Rico, where he studied commercial art. In 1978 Colón made Florida his home, working at an educational television center designing everything from puppets to short animated films. In 1988 the artist settled with his family in New City, New York, and began a freelance career. Today, Colón continues to be a versatile and acclaimed illustrator whose work has appeared in important national publications. An award-winning illustrator of over thirty books for children, Colón has received a Golden Kite Award, a Pura Belpré Award, and both a gold and silver medal in The Original Art show.