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Art Work Page 5


The Friendly Beasts: an Old English Christmas Carol (Illustrator - Tomie dePaola). The words in this selection are from the old Christmas carol, The Friendly Beasts. The illustrations are simple but marvelous.
Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York, 1981.
General Grade Level: Upper Primary .
Other Category: Vocabulary and Comprehension.




Home Place-Crescent Dragonwagon (Illustrator - Jerry Pinkney). This selection is about a stone foundation, blue glass marble, nail, horseshoe, a piece of a broken plate, a small yellow bottle, and a china doll's arm that a family finds while hiking in the woods. It is also about the family that used to live in the house that the old remnants make the hikers think of. The illustrations are exquisitely-detailed and life-like.
Publisher: Macmillan Publishing Company, NY, 1990.
General Grade Level: Intermediate.




Homeplace-Anne Shelby (Illustrator - Wendy Anderson Halperin). This selection is about an old country home that is passed down from generation to generation. It shows the various family members and how they all built onto the house. The illustrations are wonderful to look at because they are so full of detail.
Publisher: Orchard Books, New York, 1995.
General Grade Level: Intermediate.
Other Category: Joy.




The Enchanted Book: a Tale from Krakow-Janina Porazinska, translated by Bozena Smith (Illustrator - Jan Brett). This selection is a Polish fairy tale about three miller's daughter who each have a different kind of beauty and very different personalities. The oldest daughter just wants to be beautiful, the middle daughter always wants to dance and play, and the youngest daughter loves to do every kind of work. The youngest daughter is the only one that takes advantage of an old beggar woman's knowledge and learns how to read, so of course, she is the one can saves her sisters and other girls who have been lured away and trapped by an evil enchanter. The illustrations are enchantingly masterful--perfect for a classic fairy tale.
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Publishers; San Diego; 1987.
General Grade Level: Intermediate.
Other Category: Joy.




The Friendly Beasts-Sharon McGinley. The words to this selection are from the old English Christmas carol. The real draw to this book is the illustrations. They are absolutely fabulous--so colorfully enticing and captivating to look at.
Publisher: Greenwillow Books, New York, 2000.
General Grade Level: Upper Primary.




Big World, Small World-Jeanne Titherington. In this selection, a young girl named Anna gets ready with her mom, eats breakfast with her mom, and goes to the grocery store with her mom. Anna tries to do the things her mother does, but on a different level. The illustrations are delicate and very life-like.
Publisher: Greenwillow Books, New York, 1985.
General Grade Level: Primary.




A Place for Ben-Jeanne Titherington. This selection is about a boy named Ben who feels like he doesn't have a place of his own anymore because his little brother's crib was moved into his room. So Ben makes a space of his own in the garage, but he gets lonely. He tries to get his cat, his mom, and his dad to come visit but his cat doesn't want to come, his mom is busy, and his dad is asleep. Ben sits down on the front steps hoping that someone will come visit him, and someone does--his little brother, Ezra. The illustrations are wonderfully life-like.
Publisher: Greenwillow Books, New York, 1987.
General Grade Level: Primary.




Trick or Treat, Little Critter-Gina and Mercer Mayer. This selection is about Little Critter and his family getting ready for Halloween and going Trick-or-Treating.
Publisher: Western Publishing Company, Inc; Racine, Wi; 1993.
General Grade Level: Primary.




The Stone Lion-Alan Schroeder (Illustrator - Todd L. W. Doney). This is a marvelous story about a boy named Drashi who lives in the hills of Tibet with his mother and older brother, Jarlo. Jarlo is a cold and greedy merchant who cheats his customers and lies about the quality of his jewelry, while Drashi is extremely good-hearted. Drashi's mother sends him to be an apprentice to his older brother, but Jarlo sends Drashi and their mother away because Drashi told the truth to one of his customers--that the jewelry was not made completely of gold. Drashi and his mother travel far; they end up at the foot of the mountains. Drashi's mom tells him to gather firewood, but to never cut the branches of any living tree because the Guardian of the Mountain will be angry. They find an abandoned hut to live in. Each day, Drashi climbs higher and higher in search of firewood. One day, he ends up on top of the mountain and encounters the Guardian of the Mountain--a stone lion who comes to life. The lion asks Drashi why he is there and Drashi tells him. The lion tells Drashi to out his bucket up to his mouth and to rub his mane. He says that anything that comes from his mouth is for Drashi to keep, but that he must not try to trick and must let him know when the bucket is full. Drashi does what he is told and ends up with a bucket full of gold. Drashi and his mom become the largest landowners in Tibet and Jarlo hears about this. Jarlo travels with his wife to see his mother and brother. He asks his mother how they obtained so much money, but she won't tell him. Jarlo asks Drashi because he knows he won't lie. Drashi tells him and so the next day, Jarlo and his wife set out to see the stone lion. The lion asks Jarlo why he's there. Jarlo says it is because of firewood--that he had cut down all the other trees and had to come higher. The lion tells Jarlo the same thing he told Drashi, but Jarlo is greedy and does not tell the lion when his bucket is full. When a few coins spill out and hit the ground, the coins stop flowing from the Guardian's mouth. Jarlo asks the lion why it stopped and the lion says that the largest coin got stuck in his throat. He tells Jarlo to pull it out so the flow can start again. Jarlo reaches his hand into the lion's mouth, and at once, the lion turns back to stone. No matter how hard Jarlo tries, he can't get free. He tells his wife not to tell his family what happened because he is ashamed. The wife eventually has to sell everything they owned just to survive. When his wife comes to tell Drashi they have nothing left, he declares that his brother deserved the fortune he received and that he has been a fool. He says he is sorry and that he never should have tried to trick the Guardian. At that moment,. the lion's jaws open and Jarlo is freed. Jarlo ran straight to his brother's house and begs forgiveness for his selfishness. Drashi forgave his brother and gave him the last coin he had--to buy a small cottage. Jarlo never again went near the Guardian of the Mountain, but when Drashi is much older, he goes back to say thank you to the lion.
This is a great cautionary tale about selfishness. It can also be used in connection with lessons about the environment and conservation.
Publisher: Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1994.
General Grade Level: Intermediate.
Genre: folktale.




The Junior Thunder Lord-by Laurence Yep (Illustrator - Robert Van Nutt). This story is about a young man named Yue--a boy who had trouble learning his lessons. The teacher would get so mad that he used to beat Yue. The smartest student, Xia, felt sorry for Yue, though, and helped him with his lessons. He said, "Those at the top should help those at the bottom." Yue never forgot those words, and as he grew older, he was always helping his neighbors. Yue became a merchant and had a family. After some time, there was a drought and so no one near had anything to trade with Yue. You had to travel far south to find customers. He came to a town that was in the middle of a celebration for the Thunder Lords. They believed that the thunder lords make thunder with thier big axes and help the dragons bring rain. As Yue is sitting in the inn, another man (a huge man) comes in. The innkeeper told Yue not to pay any attention to him and that he'll go away. But Yue remembered what Xia said and buys much food for the man called Bear Face. Bear Face is rather awkward and sloppy. When he finishes eating, he tell Yue that he is the only person that has ever been kind to him and declares that he will go with him on his journey. Yue is reluctant to have Bear Face along at first, but he turns out to be quite helpful. He saves Yue and everyone else on the ship from drowning. He even saved Yue's goods so he could sell them all. Bear Face follows Yue home and sees how dried up the land is. Bear Face then turns back into a Thunder Lord. He had been banished from the sky for telling off a king for three years. The three years just ended and so the Thunder Lord brought rain back to Yue's town.
This is a retelling of a story originally written down in the 17th century.
Publisher: BridgeWater Books, 1994.
General Grade Level: Primary.
Genre: folktale.




Oom Razoom or Go I Know Not Where , Bring Back What I Know Not What: A Russian Tale-retold by Diane Wolkstein (Illustrator - Dennis McDermott). This story is about Alexis, the king's archer. He goes hunting to kill birds for the king's dinner. He comes across a blue pigeon. The bird tells him not to harm her and that she will bring him good fortune. So Alexis spares the bird's life. The bird turns into a beautiful young woman named Olga. She tells Alexis that he has won her heart and that she will marry him if he chooses her, and he does. Olga worries about her husband tramping through the woods all the time, so she tells Alexis that if he brings her silk thread that she will make a beautiful carpet for him to sell. So he does and Olga makes a magnificent carpet that has the entire kingdom embroidered on it. It is so beautiful that no one can decide how much to pay for it. The king came along, saw it, and paid ten thousand rubles for it. The king is so enchanted with the carpet that he decides to meet the woman that made it. He disguises himself as a beggar and goes to see Olga. He decides that he wants Olga as his wife, even though she is married to Alexis. The king goes to see Baba Yaga, the witch, to ask for her help. Baba Yaga told the king to send Alexis to I Know Not Where to bring Back I Know Not What. When Alexis tells Olga what he has to do, she tells him that his journey will take nine years. She sends a handkerchief and a ball with him. When he bounced the ball, it showed him where to go. The handkerchief helps him when get gets to Olga's home because they realize who he is from her embroidery. Olga's mother sends Alexis on a frog to find what he is looking for. The frog tells him to go inside a mountain cave. He tells him to spy on the men inside and then to do whatever they do. He hears the men say "Oom Razom! Bring food! Bring Drink!" After they leave, he does the same. Oom Razoom appears with food and drink. Alexis offers Oom Razoom food and drink and asks him to come with him as his servant. Oom Razoom makes an island for Alexis. Three ships stopped at the island. Oom Razzom tells Alexis that he should sell him, but that he will return whenever Alexis wishes. The men on them were so impressed with Oom Razoom that they offer their treasures in exchange. The treasures include a box that contains an expanding garden in it, an ax that makes ships and sailors appear when struck, and a horn that makes armies of soldiers appear. Oom Razoom returns when Alexis wishes for him. Alexis and Oom Razoom return to the Olga and the kingdom. Alexis asked Oom Razoom to make a castle for him. Alexis opened the box and let the garden spread out. The next day, when the king saw the other castle and heard who owned it, he became furious. He set out with his soldiers to defeat Alexis, but instead, he and his army are defeated by Alexis' soldiers and sailors. The king is killed in battle, so the remaining soldiers ask Alexis to rule the kingdom. And Alexis does, wisely, with the help of Olga.
Note: A good saying from this book: "The morning is wiser than the evening." This saying is Russian proverb that appears in other Russian folktales, such as Vasilissa the Beautiful.
Publisher: Morrow Junior Books, New York, 1991.
General Grade Level: Intermediate.
Genre: folktale.




The Boy and the Devil-adapted from a Norwegian folktale and illustrated by Eric Magnus. This selection is about a young boy who meets a stranger on the road. He knows that the stranger is "the old trickster" because he spies his hoof. The boy asks the stranger if it's true that he can make himself as big as an elephant, so the strangers does so. The boy asks him if he can make himself as small as a flea, so he does so. The boy persuades the trickster to crawl into a nut and he closes up the hole with a twig. The boy goes to the blacksmith's shop and asks him to crack the nut. It takes several attempts and all of the blacksmith's strength, but he finally cracks the nut and the walls of his shop come crashing down. The blacksmith says that the devil himself must have been in the nut. (Which, of course, he was).
The illustrations offer interesting additions to the story.
Publisher: Carlrhoda Books, Inc., Minneaopolis, 1986.
General Grade Level: Primary.
Genre: folktale.




Anno's Alphabet: An Adventure in Imagination-Mitsumasa Anno. This book, by one of Japan's leading illustrators and book designers, is an extremely clever alphabet book. Each page is done completely by hand. Each letter looks like it is carved from wood, and many have interesting optical illusions. The pages opposite the letter pages have drawings of things that represent each letter. Another fun aspect of the book is that the border around each page incorporates flora and fauna that begin with each letter. There is a guide at the end for some of the lesser known objects. This is a book that young children will enjoy looking at by themselves, or with an adult.
Publisher: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, New York, 1975.
General Grade Level: Primary.
Other Category: Joy.

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