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Product Type: Books
Age: Early Elementary School Years
Categories: Folk Tales

 


2010 Award
Firebird
(as told by Saviour Pirotta/ illus Catherine Hyde, , Candlewick/Templar $18.99 Score:)

The tale of the Firebird is told in many different cultures. Perhaps, the one we are most familiar with is the one portrayed in the Russian ballet with music by Igor Stravinsky. The excellent retelling in this oversized picture book follows an age old folktale tradition. Ivan, the youngest son is considered the one who is least likely to capture the Firebird that is eating his father's golden apples. Yet it is Ivan who persists where his older brothers fail. He does so despite his own greediness and inability to follow rules set forth. So, he faces failures as well, along the way. The paintings in the advanced copy we reviewed are rather dark and lack what we assume will be a golden glow in the final bound books with gold and copper leaf images. 5-8.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
Ol' Bloo’s Boogie Woogie Band and Blues Ensemble
(by Jan Huling/ illus. by Henri Sorensen, Peachtree $16.95 Score:)

Inspired by the classic folktale, The Bremen Town Musicians, this version is told with a twang of the Southland as the animals make their way toward the bright lights of New Orleans. This will be a long but fun read-aloud with opportunities to ham it up. Henri Sorensen's paintings are juxtaposed with black and white silhouettes that are full of action. 

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2010.

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2010 Award
Dingo Dog and the Billabong Storm
(by Andrew Fusek-Peters/ illus. by Anna Wadham, Child's Play $7.99 Score:)

Dingo Dog is a bully and all the other animals are fed up with his nasty ways. Together they come up with a plan to trick the nasty Dingo and manage to teach him a lesson in this lively retelling of a traditional Australian folktale. A fun way to introduce young listeners to trickster tales that are found in almost all cultures. 4-7.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
Princess Pigtoria and the Pea
(by Pamela Duncan Edwards/illus. by Henry Cole, Orchard $16.99 Score:)

In a breezy play on The Princess and the Pea, a young princess goes searching for a prince who will perhaps mend her palace that looks like a pigsty. She finds a prince who tests her royal sensibilities with the proverbial pea under a stack of mattresses. The Princess has a restless night, but rejects the prince for playing such a nasty trick. Instead she marries the pizza guy who knows how to fix up her peeling palace and make her happy. Both the story and art are cartoonish.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Yummy: Eight Favorite Fairytales
(retold and illustrated by Lucy Cousins, Candlewick $18.99 Score:)

If you are expecting the usual mild toddler style tales from Lucy Cousins – this is not it! These are not watered down versions of Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Pigs, or Henny Penny, among others. As in many Grimm tales the Hungry Wolves and foxes do their grim deeds and Cousins paints it all in her usual bright palette. So, look closely before you bring this home to the usual Cousins' audience. This is a better choice for kids from 7 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Snow White, A Three-Dimensional Fairy-Tale Theater
(by Jane Ray, Candlewick $19.99 Score:)

An abbreviated version of the classic, Snow White, is told on the fold out flaps of this stunning, 3-D book. Paper engineered to resemble a theater set, the delicate cut-outs are intricately layered and are worth a thousand words. This is not your Disney version of Snow White, nor is it exactly the classic version. Indeed, it is notably different as it ends with a bi-racial prince waking Snow White, an image that probably would not have been marketed five years ago.


   

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
A Treasury of Princess Stories
(retold by Amy Ehrlich/ illus. by Gary Blythe, Candlewick $19.99 Score:)

Six of the best known Princess stories are in this lovely collection. Each story opens with an enchanting pop-up and is illustrated with dreamy impressionistic paintings. This is one of those books that will be enjoyed first as a read aloud and again as a read alone. It includes:  The Princess and the Pea, The Wild Swans, Snow White, The Twelve Dancing Princesses, and the Frog Prince.  

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
The Mitten
(by Jan Brett, Putnam $17.99 Score:)

A 20th Anniversary edition of a classic Ukranian folktale. Nickie wants his grandmother to make him mittens that are white as snow. She fears they will get lost, but makes them anyway. Sure enough, Nickie loses a mitten and it becomes a cozy place for one creature after another...until a small mouse arrives and upsets the balance. Another version of this tale was released this season with charming illustrations by Barbara McClintock and a slightly different telling by Jim Aylesworth. It might be fun to share both tellings with young listeners, asking them to tell what is different and what is the same. Comparing the same story helps children understand how folktales have a way of evolving...and even gives them the idea that they too can retell famiiar stories in their own words and way.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2009.

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2009 Award
The Lion & The Mouse
(illus. by Jerry Pinkney, Little Brown $16.99 Score:)

A classic Aesop fable told without words by a master painter! You really do not need words, as Jerry Pinkney's paintings in this oversized book are just waiting for parents and children to "read" together. A wonderful way to encourage children to interpret and tell their own stories from the images on the pages. Pinkney's lush illustrations are full of details that will invite looking at again and again. A stunning picture book that takes you to the African Serengeti of Tanzania and Kenya while it says much about mutual respect between the biggest and smallest of us and how we need to depend on each other.
 

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
The Mitten
(retold by Jim Aylesworth, illus. by Barbara McClin, Scholastic $16.99 Score:)

An old Ukrainian folktale is retold in lively fashion that just begs to be read outloud! The charming wintery scenes and the ever expanding lost mitten with all the creatures who inhabit it make for an 'Oh, no!' moment. A classic tale refreshed for another generation. This version is somewhat different from the familiar Jan Brett telling. The creatures in this telling are more familiar. Also the lost mitten in the new telling is red, not white and when the little mouse arrives on the scene the mitten does more than expand. But not to worry. As in the Brett telling, grandmother is a kindly soul. It might really be fun to read both versions to children and talk about how they are the same and how they differ.

 

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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