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$13.26 $11.99 list($18.95)
141. Jumanji
$18.95 $12.44
142. The Plot Thickens... Harry Potter
$6.26 $4.51 list($6.95)
143. The Empty Pot (An Owlet Book)
$12.21 $7.98 list($17.95)
144. Life Doesn't Frighten Me
$4.50 $1.95
145. Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective
$10.47 $9.00 list($14.95)
146. The End of the Beginning : Being
$4.95 $0.10
147. On the Court with... Venus and
$10.19 $6.99 list($14.99)
148. Falling for Rapunzel
$12.23 $5.76 list($17.99)
149. Squids Will Be Squids: Fresh Morals,
$12.23 $10.50 list($17.99)
150. The Librarian Who Measured the
$8.97 list($14.95)
151. The Butter Battle Book : (New
$11.86 $6.95 list($16.95)
152. Giraffes Can't Dance
$5.99 $3.68
153. Whale Talk (Laurel Leaf Books)
$6.29 $2.19 list($6.99)
154. Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's
$14.41 $11.35 list($16.95)
155. Domitila: A Cinderella Tale from
$9.74 $8.20 list($12.99)
156. Complete Brothers Grimm Fairy
$6.29 $4.52 list($6.99)
157. The Rough-Face Girl
$8.96 $6.48 list($9.95)
158. The Real Mother Goose
$14.95 $7.98 list($21.99)
159. The Very Clumsy Click Beetle
$9.00 $6.99 list($12.00)
160. Classic Myths To Read Aloud :

141. Jumanji
by Chris Van Allsburg
list price: $18.95
our price: $13.26
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0395304482
Catlog: Book (1981-04-27)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Sales Rank: 1517
Average Customer Review: 4.24 out of 5 stars
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When Judy and Peter find a board game in the park, they take it home, hoping to alleviate their boredom. One live lion, an erupting volcano, and a dozen destructive monkeys later, the children are no longer bored. Their jungle adventure game has come to life! Chris Van Allsburg is a master at walking the line between fantasy and reality. His unusually sculptured drawings (familiar to the many devoted fans of the Caldecott-winning The Polar Express and The Garden of Abdul Gasazi) convey the magical transition of a normal house to an exotic jungle. Readers will tremble along with Judy and Peter, urging them to roll the dice that will plunge them from one perilous predicament into another. Jumanji, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book and winner of the 1982 Caldecott Medal, is sure to amaze and thrill even the most jaded young reader. (Ages 9 to 12) ... Read more

Reviews (21)

4-0 out of 5 stars Jumanji
Have there ever been monkeys jumping around in your kitchen, or a lion destroying your bedroom, with a huge volcano irrupting in your house? Was there ever a large stampede of rhinos running crazy in your living room? Well that is what happens to Judy and Peter in the sensational book, Jamanji. When they were both left home alone, Judy and Peter got really bored. They decide to take a stroll in the park. On their way to the park, they discover a game named "Jamanji" sitting under a tree. They take it home and immediately start to play. All of the sudden, the creatures from the game came to life, in their very own house! How will Peter and Judy get this jungle cleaned up before their parents come home? Will they clean up in time? This book is a great mystery for kids' ages 4 to12. It has a great plot and brings wonderful excitement to the reader. Each topic makes you eager to read more and find out the result of the mystery.

4-0 out of 5 stars LIONS, MONKEYS, AND, RHINOS, OH MY!
In Jumangi, Chris Van Allsburg details the story of Peter and Judy's afternoon. Through his words and pictures, he describes their eventful afternoon. On a boring afternoon, these two siblings are left alone. Before their parents leave, the two children are warned not to disorganize the house. However, once the children find an interesting board game, their once boring and uneventful afternoon becomes full of action and a bit of chaos. In this picture book, the author, who is also the illustrator uses black and white illustrations that are full of depth. Through his descriptive words and pictures, one can clearly witness the children's afternoon. The simple, yet detailed illustrations add to the characters, sets the setting, and mood. Jumanji's award winning illustrations are unique and add to the concept of fantasy in the book. Many children will enjoy this story or anyone who has experienced a boring afternoon or played an imaginative board game. The book may be slightly scary for younger children, but will encompass the attention of older readers. This book takes the reader along with the children on a wonderful adventure. JUMANJI!

5-0 out of 5 stars Jungle fever
Chris Van Allsburg used to be my favorite picture book artist, and in many ways he remains so to this day. And it's books like, "Jumanji" that remind me why I love his work as strongly as I do. For some reason, Van Allsburg's picture books are so popular and so evocative that they are continually adapted into full screen motion pictures. "Polar Express" has just been turned into a computer animated extravaganza, and "Jumanji" was a Robin Williams vehicle once. Just the same, nothing compares to the original tale. Using his uber-realistic illustrations to highlight how incredibly bizarre the storyline is, this book is fully worthy of the 1982 Caldecott Medal it was awarded.

Peter and Judy have been left home alone by their opera going parents and boy are they boredy bored bored. After playing with their toys and making a mess they decide to take a run to the park. Once there, they discover an abandoned board game called Jumanji sitting beneath a tree. On a note taped to the bottom of the box read the words, "Free game, fun for some but not for all. P.S. Read instructions carefully". The kids don't know what to expect but they take the game with them anyway. After reading the instructions they find that once a person begins Jumanji they cannot stop until someone has won the game. The first roll of the die leads to a space that reads, "Lion attacks, move back two spaces". Suddenly there's a real live lion in the room, and it's regarding Peter hungrily. The kids realize, to their horror, that whatever happens on the board happens in real life. If they want to finish the game (and remain alive) they're going to have to continue.

The book really plays on the old idea of "when the parents are out the kids will get up to all kinds of unwitting mischief". There's a lot in this story that's similar to "The Cat in the Hat". Two bored kids. The magical entity that destroys their home but (undeniably) occupies their time. Getting everything cleaned up before mom and dad walk in the door. You get the idea. The story is surreal and skirts the edges of the disturbing. With illustrations created with Conte dust and Conte pencils, Van Allsburg makes the pictures especially realistic. You can make out every strand on Peter's head or observe the rubber bands holding together Judy's braids. As a child, I was always fascinated with realistic images of fantastical situations. Van Allsburg fits this bill perfectly.

"Jumanji" was later given a sequel of sorts entitled, "Zathura". I haven't read it myself, but I think my loyalties will always lie with the original. There's something about Van Allsburg's clean lines and startled expressions that really chill the reader to the bone. If you have a child that likes to be ever so slightly freaked out from time to time, I can't think of any picture book artist that does a better job of this than the master of the pencil drawing: Chris Van Allsburg. And "Jumanji" is his masterpiece.

4-0 out of 5 stars Scary
I am a Van Allsburg fan but this book, though very good, is not one of my favorites. Some young children may be frightened by the illustrations. It is a good was to expose children to the fantasy genre if you feel they will not be upset by the illustrations or plot. (...)

5-0 out of 5 stars Jumanji
I am a student of West Virginia State College, currently taking a class on Children's Literature. Mr. Samples (A Wonderful Teacher) has instructed us to review a Caldecott winner and write our thoughts on it. I read this book after seeing the movie and, of course, it is quite different. I thoroughly enjoyed this book because of the differences and its speedy nature. I believe that children of various ages would enjoy this book because of the quick adventure and excellent illustrations. I would recommend this book to anyone for a classic family reading time, classroom reading, or bedtime story! ... Read more

142. The Plot Thickens... Harry Potter Investigated by Fans for Fans
by Galadriel Waters
list price: $18.95
our price: $18.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0972393633
Catlog: Book (2004-11-10)
Publisher: Wizarding World Press
Sales Rank: 1972
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Book Description

Have you got your wits about you?

JK Rowling challenged her fans to use their wits, and now her fans have responded. She's dribbled clues through her interviews, website, and of course the books. Where are the hints and how should we interpret them?

If you're tired of chewing on your quill alone, pondering the possibilities, then join 53 fans from 10 countries, as they investigate cauldronfuls of sly clues, shedding new light on the mysteries hiding within JK Rowling’s pages. Her bubbling brew of characters is becoming thick with suspects:

* What's up with Aunt Petunia?
* Is Gilderoy permanently disabled?
* Is Percy really a git?
* Where is Gran Longbottom’s allegiance?
* How does time travel work?
* Is there still something odd with Mad-Eye?
* Whose side is Snape on?

Through the magic of the Internet community, our authors have been brought together from the Mighty MuggleNet "Chamber of Secrets" and "New Clues" forums to discuss the clues and hints in the Harry Potter septology. Transfigured from Internet posters to new authors, they have written The Plot Thickens...Harry Potter Investigated by Fans for Fans brimming with new thoughts and theories on what may be one of the best-loved literary epics of all time. Just like Wizarding World Press's Ultimate Unofficial Guide to the Mysteries of Harry Potter this new book can be a great starting point for those fans who wish to examine the series in depth.

As the plot begins to truly thicken, these author-sleuths have conjured a collection of discussions, character analyses, and theories that will hook up your fireplace flue to the busiest Brain Room outside of the Department of Mysteries. Read fascinating scrolls that delve below the surface of over 60 topics, and peer ahead to what is yet to come. Share in the bouts of speculation. Investigate with your fellow fans as they weave together the threads of this mystery...worry with them over what tragedies still await our beloved Harry.

Wizarding World Press invites you to come, join our discussion, as from one fan to another we respond to JK Rowling's challenge by using our wits to decipher this great mystery. Here is a unique, fun book, and a unique opportunity to experience the magic.

Note: Major spoilers included! Do not read this unless you have read all five Harry Potter books. The Plot Thickens...Harry Potter Investigated by Fans for Fans is a collection of articles by international authors--it is not the Ultimate Unofficial Guide to Book 5. ... Read more

143. The Empty Pot (An Owlet Book)
by Demi
list price: $6.95
our price: $6.26
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0805049002
Catlog: Book (1996-09-15)
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Sales Rank: 16663
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

An IRA-CBC Children's Choice.

An American Bookseller "Pick of the Lists."
... Read more

Reviews (17)

5-0 out of 5 stars A exemplary book that teaches some important lessons.
The Empty Pot is set in China, with an aging Emperor who is faced with the problem of wisely selecting an appropriate successor. At first blush, what seems to be an absurdly foolish test to the reader, (whoever grows the best flower in a years time from one seed that the Emperor hands out, will succeed as heir) results in a test that was clearly judicious and enlightening. As the reader follows the hardship of one little boy named Ping, who persists in trying to make his seed sprout; the reader can't help but empathize with his struggle, embarrasment and ridicule. Ping possesses qualities that many of us need to refine, develop or even attain: perseverance, humility, courage and honesty. I like this book because reading it helps to teach these qualities and clearly illustrates the adage "Honesty is the best policy." A truism that has been ignored in these times. The reader discovers that Ping's weakness is really his strength, his failure is really his success and his problem is really the Emperor's solution.

5-0 out of 5 stars Just had to add one more 5 star review!
For years, this book has always been in my mind. Finally I'm writing a review after holding it for over 3 years. In The Empty Pot, Demi tells a stunning story of a chinese boy whose gardening skills reveals the truth of the emperor's deceptive call for his successor. With a profound disappointment, the boy found courage to show his failure - the truth - to the emperor. At the end, the boy gets rewarded for his honesty. Demi's captivating story about honesty and courage punches you right in the heart. Her illustrations, with immense charasteristic portraits of chinese art, are fascinating. I pledge to keep this book in my collectibles. I wish every child, and adult alike, has a chance to read it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great moral about being honest
Its a little over my 3.5 year old's head, I have to explain it alot but I will keep reading it. Its a good story with a great moral about honesty and it exposes him to other cultures. I'll keep pulling it out and reading it, because he will get it eventually, but right now he asks lots of questions which is fine.

5-0 out of 5 stars A child can grasp this tale
My 4 year old asked many questions about the tale and I was very happy to explain. Even at a young age I think a child can handle the deep message. Maybe each of us are born with this capacity to choose. Although the setting is a world away, the story is similar in spirit to the one of young George Washington and the cherry tree. There George had to face his father after accidentally chopping down a prized cherry tree. Here, a child as to face an emperor after failing to grow a flower from a seed given by the emperor... when everyone else had succeeded.

5-0 out of 5 stars Honesty is the best policy!
My 4 year old daughter loves this book. She wanted me to read it immediately again after hearing it the first time. It is a great story about honesty and integrity. ... Read more

144. Life Doesn't Frighten Me
by Maya Angelou
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1556702884
Catlog: Book (1996-02-06)
Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang
Sales Rank: 14552
Average Customer Review: 4.36 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Life Doesn't Frighten Me
This is a wonderful book, both beautifully written and powerfully illustrated. I am a 3rd grade teacher, but I love this book mainly as a unique graduation gift for previous students of mine who are graduating from high school and remember me with graduation announcements. I love the combination of a gift that is both a primary book from their teacher, coupled with the larger message of the poem for the recipient who is soon embarking upon confronting life on his or her own! A very special and meaningful gift!

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
I thought this book was excellent. It's a great poem for inspiration, as it is a reminder that we all have courage. Maya repeats the line, "Life doesn't frighten me at all", getting her message across. This is a wonderful story for children, as well as adults.

4-0 out of 5 stars Nourish your child's intellect... cautiously
As an adult and a student, I was truly enchanted by this unique concatenation of Maya Angelou's spirited, optimistic poetry and Jean-Michel Basquiat's bold, explosive paintings. "Life" is less a story than an affirmation - the child narrator (whose gender is left to the imagination) lists a dozen or so items that could be causes for concern in young child's mind, but then conquers these fears with "They don't frighten me at all." Equally impressive are the brief, but detailed biographical sketches of both artists that closes the book.

My only reservation lies in the question "Who is this book really for?" While Basquiat's dynamic use of line and color and space make for fascinating pictures, and his style is consciously influenced by the artwork of Native Americans and small children, his habitual use of skeletal imagery and jagged, leering facial expressions might prove too intense for little ones. On the other hand, the beautiful simplicity of Angelou's poetry will probably fail to appeal to kids who are experienced enough to expect a certain level of plot in their reading.

My advice to parents is this: don't give this book to your kids - buy it for yourselves, and keep it someplace where it won't get all trashed up by dirty little hands. When you think they're ready, let your youngsters look at this book with you, so if the pictures should strike them the wrong way, you'll be there for them. Better not do this at bedtime until you're sure how they'll react - this could be the stuff nightmares are made of. But even if they love it, hang on to the book yourself, so that in a couple of years when your child loses interest (they may begin to see it as a "baby book"), you'll still have a beautiful coffee-table book of post-modernist art to share with your friends. And eventually, your kids might grow up into little intellectuals who can see what a delightful creation this book really is. It may not be perfect for anyone, but it certainly has something for everyone.

5-0 out of 5 stars even 1st graders LOVE this book
I'm a first year, first grade teacher. And before I started teaching I had owned this book for about 6 years. I recently read it to my students and they loved it. One of my students wanted to read it on her own & even read Maya's bio in the back and took notes in her journal so she could read more of Maya's work. This is a great book for adults and children! Basquiat's artwork is very interesting [and childlike] and did not scare the children. Children are exposed to a very violent world on virtually a daily basis and this book helps them cope. p.s. I read this book when the Iraq war started.

1-0 out of 5 stars But The Pictures In This Book Did
While life may not scare me, the pictures in this book did. Perhaps had I been familiar with Basquiat's work I would not have ordered the book in the first place. But I also thought the poem was a bit oversold by some of the other reviews I read. The poem itself is only a few lines long, while the book is more like 20 pages or so. Several more pages are taken up with bios of Angelou and Basquiat. Mainly, the pictures are ugly and seem to me to be completely unaccessible to a child. ... Read more

145. Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective (Encyclopedia Brown (Paperback))
list price: $4.50
our price: $4.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553157248
Catlog: Book (1985-04-01)
Publisher: Skylark
Sales Rank: 1822
Average Customer Review: 4.27 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (22)

5-0 out of 5 stars Mysteries and Puzzles
Encyclopedia Brown is a 5th grade boy who solves puzzles, crimes and mysteries as easily and as unconsciously as breathing.

Each book is a series of short mysteries (5-10 pages each) ending with a question - usually "how did Encyclopedia know that X was responsible for the crime". The answer to each mystery is at the back of the book. Solving the mystery takes no special knowledge, but it does require paying attention to detail. Don't turn to the answer too fast.

This book is the first in the series, but the books do not have to be read in order. I loved the Encyclopedia Brown books when I was growing up. I am reading them again before I give them to my nephew who I hope will enjoy them as I did.

Adults who like this series may also enjoy the Lateral Thinking Puzzles books.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Boy Sherlock Holmes
"Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective" is a wonderful book for kids from about six years to about 12 or so. Published in 1963, it has a sweet tone reminiscent of 1950's TV shows. The fun, though, lies in tracing and anticipating young Brown's using logic, a little science, and keen observation to solve minor crimes and mysteries. Sometimes, he's helping his police chief father; other times kids bring the mysteries directly to him.

Your child may successfully solve the mystery on his or her own (each of the 10 cases ends with a question, e.g., "HOW DID ENCYCLOPEDIA BROWN KNOW THIS?," or, after trying to find the culprit, they can turn to the back for the brief answers. There's no tricks, though at least one story assumes a little more knowledge than might be expected from the average grade schooler. For example, one hint is that "Bull Run" was the Northern name for the Civil War battle, not the Southern name (although this solution has an easier clue as well).

A wonderful, captivating series of vignettes (ten cases covering 78 pages, not including solutions), I recommend this very highly. It's also a great book for readers from about grades two through about six.

3-0 out of 5 stars Average
It's an okay book. It's more puzzle book than story book. Each chapter is a short mystery with the who done it left to the reader to figure out. Any reader familiar with logic puzzles shouldn't be baffled by them at all.

4-0 out of 5 stars Extremely Challenging Puzzles!
My Mom gave me Encyclopedia Brown as a reading assignment.

Leroy Brown lives in the town of Idaville. He helps his dad solve police mysteries. No one in Idaville ever gets away with a crime when Encyclopedia is around!

I admire how Leroy stands up to the bully, Bugs Meany.
I really enjoyed trying to solve the mysteries. I think Leroy (Encyclopedia) Brown is the smartest person in the state!

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys solving a challenge. I have read a few others in the series and enjoyed those as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars Encyclopedia Brown Does It Again
I remember listening to a camp counselor read me Encyclopedia Brown mysteries years ago and being captivated by the short, though tricky cases. This summer, I became the counselor, and though my campers were reluctant to have me read to them at first, these books had an incredible impact on them. They quieted down and listened intently for as long as I would read and after each mystery would excitedly participate in a discussion about the solution. It also inspired several of them to start reading their own books or to ask me to borrow some of mine. These are very fun stories, well written, and have tremendous appeal for kids. I would recommend them to anyone who wants to read good books to kids or any kids who would like to provide themselves with hours of entertainment. ... Read more

146. The End of the Beginning : Being the Adventures of a Small Snail (and an Even Smaller Ant)
by Avi
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0152049681
Catlog: Book (2004-10-01)
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Sales Rank: 9478
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Book Description

Avon the snail has never had an adventure. And adventure, he has heard, is the key to a happy life. So with his new friend Edward the ant, Avon sets out on a journey to find the excitement his life has been missing.

The travelers meet all manner of wise, weird, and intriguing creatures--including a dragon!--and it's not long before their adventures begin.

In the tradition of such classics as The Little Prince, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and Winnie-the-Pooh, this completely original story--a modern fable for our time--brims with wit, wisdom, and profound insights about the meaning of things . . . great and small.
... Read more

147. On the Court with... Venus and Serena Williams
by Matt Christopher, Glenn Stout
list price: $4.95
our price: $4.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316138142
Catlog: Book (2002-06)
Publisher: Little, Brown
Sales Rank: 135483
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Book Description

The Williams sisters have captured the attention of the tennis crowd like no one has in recent years. Taken alone, each is a force to be reckoned with on the court. Each has the skills, the determination, and the strength to make it to the very top of her sport. Yet through all the competition-even times when they face each other on opposite sides of the net-they remain true to each other.

Serena has just won the Wimbledon 2002 singles title by defeating her sister and is currently ranked #1 in the world.Playing as partners, Venus and Serena won the Wimbledon 2002 doubles championship as well. ... Read more

148. Falling for Rapunzel
by Leah Wilcox, Lydia Monks
list price: $14.99
our price: $10.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0399237941
Catlog: Book (2003-12-01)
Publisher: Putnam Publishing Group
Sales Rank: 34023
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The prince is hoping to fall for Rapunzel, but since she can't quite hear what he asks for, everything but her hair gets tossed out her window. Instead of her curly locks, she throws her dirty socks. Instead of silky tresses, out go lacey dresses. And you can predict the guaranteed-to-crack-kids-up clothing she sends down when the prince simply says hair. . . .

Finally Rapunzel heaves out something that makes all the prince's dreams come true, showing how misunderstandings can lead to happily-ever-after.

Hilarious text, clever page-turns, and vibrant, eclectic art make this a non-traditional Rapunzel kids will want to read about again and again.
... Read more

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Hooray!
The story is a cute variation of the one we all know.

The rhymes and meter are good--this is so refreshing!!

And while it ends in happily ever after, Rapunzel doesn't have to get married.

This is a lovely book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Throw down your underwear!
This is a hilarious adaptation of the story of Rapunzel. I read this to students in an elementary special education class and they also loved it. The rhyming makes it fun for the kids to guess what Rapunzel throws down. The prince will say, "Throw down your curly locks!" The next lines would say, "So Rapunzel threw out...." and the kids would have fun guessing what Rapunzel threw down. Another teacher in the room stopped what they were doing and listened to the story as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars WE LOVE IT!
One of the best new picture books we have read in a long time. The illustrations are adorable and the poetic story is hilarious! This is a must have for every child's library!

5-0 out of 5 stars CLEVER, WHITTY, FUNNY
This book is a clever display of Leah's talents. The illustrations are hillarious and the text and rhyms are great. I really enjoyed this book and knowing Leah personally I think this is a great display of her talent and that everyone should own a copy. This book is great for all ages and I recomend it for anyone in need of a good laugh.

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent book! For all ages
This is an excellent display of color and clever, witty writing. I have known the author since I was 4 and have grown to love her poetry and writing. I recomend this book for fun for all ages. ... Read more

149. Squids Will Be Squids: Fresh Morals, Beastly Fables
by Jon Scieszka, Lane Smith, Molly Leach
list price: $17.99
our price: $12.23
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 067088135X
Catlog: Book (1998-09-01)
Publisher: Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers
Sales Rank: 19445
Average Customer Review: 4.24 out of 5 stars
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Every once in a while a book crosses our desks that makes us sit quietly delighted--except for a few squeaks of unmitigated joy--and this oversized, energized, stylized, highly prized book of fables is one of them. Jon Scieszka has a simple philosophy of the fable: "If you can't say something nice about someone, change the guy's name to Donkey or Squid." After all, the alleged Aesop did it. Squids Will Be Squids offers lessons such as "Everyone knows frogs can't skateboard, but it's kind of sad that they believe everything they see on TV." Sure, it's goofy, but it's also saying to kids, "Don't believe everything you see on TV." In "Duckbilled Platypus vs. Beefsnakstick," the bragging platypus and his beefy buddy teach us "Just because you have a lot of stuff, don't think you're so special." Of course, there is nothing heavy-handed here--morals such as "He who smelt it, dealt it" and "Elephants never forget, except sometimes" satirically prance amid the more heartfelt snippets of sagacity.

Scieszka and illustrator Lane Smith are unparalleled in their eccentricity and unrelenting in their boyish, twisted-yet-innocent zeal. In co-creations from The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales to The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs to Math Curse, Scieszka's wacko sense of humor and Smith's quirky,always gorgeous artwork thrillingly congeal in Molly Leach's creative, exuberant design. We see many picture books that are better suited for adults than kids, but this fine specimen is truly meant for goofballs of all ages. (Click to seea samplespread. Illustration © 1998 Lane Smith, reproduced with permission of Viking, a division of Penguin Putnam.) (All ages) --Karin Snelson ... Read more

Reviews (25)

5-0 out of 5 stars Kids love this book....
I'm writing this on behalf of my granddaughters ages 6, 8, 10, and 12. I'm no expert on children's books, but rather read what parents, grandparents, and teachers report about the various books, and try to make purchases based on this information. I especially like the feedback from readers and wanted to pay back all the kind advice I've read.

My grandaughters report they love this book. When the box containing "Squids Will Be Squids..." arrived, I am told the girls squabbled over whose book it would be (I like to let them choose from oldest to youngest). My 10-year old grand-daughter Amelia has a wry sense of humor, and she especially appreciated the 'Fresh Morals' and recommends them.

5-0 out of 5 stars Crosses all age bounderies
We have had this book for over a year and purchased it afterbeing lucky enough to hear a reading of it by the author before it wasreleased. I have six children ranging in age from 4 to 16 and each one of us loves this book for different reasons. I love it becuase it is one of a very few childrens' books which is really funny in a smart way. My four year old loves it for the stories and the great and intriguing illustrations, and my nine year old boy loves it for the nine year old boy appeal it obviously has. Everyone else loves it for their own reasons but it is read over and over again and our four year old can ALWAYS capture a family member to read it to her which is not always the case with other books.

5-0 out of 5 stars Can't say something nice about someone? Make them a squid
Those of us who remember Jon Sciezka and Lane Smith as the author and illustrator of "The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!" will know exactly what they are getting into when they pick up "Squids Will Be Squids: Fresh Morals, Beastly Fables." The thesis here is that even before Aesop a legion of storytellers have told stories about annoying, weird, pain-in-the-neck people, turned them into animals, added a moral, and thereby changed rude gossip and bad jokes into fables. The idea here is present a collection of fables that Aesop might be telling if he was alive today. The moral, according to Sciezka and Smith, is that "If you can't say something nice about someone, change the guy's name to Donkey or Squid."

What young readers will find in these inventive fables are not lessons about necessity being the mother of invention or look before you leap, but more practical concerns for the modern world such as do not believe everything you see on TV, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and just because you have a lot of stuff do not think you are so special. Some of the fables you need to think about to get to the real point, such as the moral "Don't play with matches," which is really about something even worse than matches (i.e., people you are warned to stay away from). Throughout the book you will find a constant onslaught of wicked humor (the grasshopper's history assignment is priceless) and even if it over the heads of many young readers, they will understand the jokes down the road when they return to this book. After all, the morals of fables are supposed to be timeless, even if they were just made up for this 1998 book.

Most of the stories are told about animals, from frogs and squids to elephants and slugs, but there are also stories involving things like a tongue and a BeefSnakStik (complete with registered trademark). Smith's illustrations are creative and his wife, Molly Leach, provides the exotic design for the book, which will provide appropriate visual stimuli to go with all the morals. The end result is that "Squids Will Be Squids" tells contemporary fables in a contemporary way, and if you have a complaint about the use "squids" as the plural for "squid," then remember to read the fine print of this tongue-in-cheek volume (okay, in the fable about the hand, foot and tongue the tongue is obvious out of the cheek, but that is a different point entirely). Young readers will no doubt be inspired to come up with their own fables, and this book even includes solid advice on how to do that as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars Silly, wacky fun!
Jon Scieszka has shifted from parodying Mother Goose to poking fun at Aesop and his fables. After an introduction to Aesop, Scieszka explains that this book contains fables that Aesop might have written "if he were alive today and sitting in the back of class daydreaming and goofing around instead of paying attention and correcting his homework like he was supposed to."

Lane Smith's illustrations add to the absurdity of the fables with wonderfully distorted facial expressions that turn animals and inanimate objects into oddly shaped humans. The characters in these fables are not the familiar hare, fox, lion, and mouse. Instead we meet new characters like elephant, ant, skunk, grasshopper, frog and of course, squid. The morals range from the obvious (Don't ever listen to a talking bug; Don't play with matches) to the familiar (He who smelt it dealt it; It takes one to know one) to the hilarious (You should always tell the truth, but if your mom is out having the hair taken off her lip, you might want to forget a few of the details). Not all of the fables work as well as they could, but there is enough humor in the rest of the fables to delight both children and adults.

I found this book hilariously funny. It's one of my personal favorites.

3-0 out of 5 stars It Is What It Is
In children's literature, the main character usually is the cover subject and title such as "Charlotte's Web," "Froggy Plays Soccer," and even "Harry Potter," because the targeted audience is assumed not to be sophisticated enough to interpret indirect meanings.

Then there is the trio of Jon, Lane and Molly, who, like Maurice Sendak, love to thumb their noses at convention. "Squids Will Be Squids," (a play on "it is what it is," perhaps?) is not about the ocean life of squids - it is a collection of wacky stories with morals. Apparently young readers were sophisticated enough to figure that out using the cover art and cheeky tone as their guide.

The five and nine-year old I read this book with laughed with abandon even if they didn't always get the inside jokes behind the stories or the morals. Bathroom humor like "He who smelt it dealt it," was a big hit as was "It takes one to know one." I wasn't crazy about this work but I did love the title, and its exhuberant, devil-may-care attitude and the numerous double entendres. The layout and design are extraordinary. There's plenty in here to entertain little and big readers.

This is not a read alone book, though. The power in this work comes in sharing the experience. Otherwise I think it will fall flat. The moral to this review of "Squids will be Squids: Fresh Morals Beastly Fables" is "Never judge a book by its cover." ... Read more

150. The Librarian Who Measured the Earth
by Kathryn Lasky
list price: $17.99
our price: $12.23
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316515264
Catlog: Book (1994-09-01)
Publisher: Little, Brown
Sales Rank: 41450
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great job combining math, history, science & geography!
This is a picture book format biography of Eratosthenes, who lived in Ancient Greece, focusing on how he calculated the size of the Earth using a mathematical formula and measurements taken by measuring shadows and length of footsteps from one location to another. Eratostehenes had many roles and talents, one being that he was a mathematician and author of books on several topics. He wrote the first geography book, which included the first map of the world and the first documentation of the size of the Earth.

The publisher says this is for ages 4-8 however the math concept of the formula he used to determine the size of the Earth was too complex for my 6 year old to grasp. The text is long-ish compared to a typical picture book as well, so I think this can extend a little beyond 8 yrs. if it is acting as a brief biography. I am not sure how many chapter book format biographies are out there for kids 9 and up on Eratosthenes, so this may be better than nothing for older kids!

The colorful pictures are nice and really compliment the text, especially when showing how he thought about measuring the Earth and comparing it to a grapefruit. It also addresses the idea of asking questions, curiosity, and making guesses at answers about things in the world that they did not yet know about.

This is a combination of history, math, and geography with a little scientific thought thrown in. It laid out his first questions and theories and how he came up with different ideas to come up with a way to measure a part of the land. We learn about what worked and what failed, leading up to how he finally came to a method that he thought was accurate, and why he thought this formula would work. His computation was about 200 miles off of the distance we measured in this century!

Within the story we learn about what schools were like for boys in Ancient Greece, that books were in scroll format, what libraries were like (and that they were rare) and other tidbits.

There is a bibliography included that can be used for further reading resources as well. This book is also a great example of how one book can cross over several subject areas: math, history, science and geography.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fun book to read on Eratosthenes
I read this book in order to write up a reading/math lesson related to circumference. I thought that the book was very informative, had terrific pictures, and was a fairly easy read. I think that the children (6th graders) would enjoy reading it in class, if given the chance. I would have liked if the book went over, in more detail, how he determined the equation. (The children tend to ask how he got it!) It would have been useful to know the equation he used, but it does not matter because one's lesson can be modified to use the information provided in the book. I tied in the reading to a circumference lesson and had the children find the circumference of the earth.
Overall, this is a terrific book. I thought that it was a fun read, and is a great teaser when going into a circumference lesson.

5-0 out of 5 stars Everything you could want in a children's book
This wonderfully illustrated story of the Greek Mathematician/Astronomer/Scientist Eratosthenes is one of my children's favorites. The colorful pictures give them a glimpse into 'another world' (Ancient Greece) while the engaging text provides excellent historical and scientific information.
Highly recommended for kids and their parents too!

4-0 out of 5 stars Great for Middle School
As a sixth-grade Social Studies teacher I needed ways to integrate other subject areas into my curriculum. I came across this book while researching for a unit on Ancient Greece. The book has pictures that are vivid and exciting and follow young Eratosthenes throughout his life until the time in which he "measured the Earth" . My students will find its words complex enough to keep them interested but simplistic enough to follow along. This can be integrated well with math lessons dealing with angles and circumference. I found the book to be extremely enjoyable.

5-0 out of 5 stars An inspiring story of the efforts of an ancient scientist
Over two thousands years ago a man named Eratosthenes figured out the circumference of the earth using a method that involved camels and light shining straight down into a well at midday. This "crude" method was off by less than 200 miles when compared to the most accurate measurements of today. Kathryn Lasky reports that while Eratosthenes wrote numerous volumes on geography, the constellations, history and comedy, he left behind no personal records of any kind. As a result, Lasky engages in trying to "responsibly imagine based on what we already know." Working from what we know about the time and places in which he lived, Lasky creates a compelling portrait of Eratosthenes as a child constantly asking questions who turns into a man interested in understanding so many things about the universe in which he lives that he was nicknamed Pentathlos, a reference to the athletes who competed in five different events in recognition of the fact Eratosthenes knew a lot about so many different things. It was after he was appointed the head librarian at the great library in Alexandria that Eratosthenes became consumed with the idea of determining the size of the earth. Lasky recreates the process by which the librarian determined his calculation, using the example of a grapefruit as the basis metaphor. Step by step she explains how the librarian determined the distance from Alexandria to Syene, a city in southern Egypt, despite the problem presented by camels.

Now, I have not had to sit in a math class since I was a freshman in high school and I took Life Through the Microscope and Ecology rather than have to dissect frogs in Biology, so math and science are not exactly my strong suits. But if I can understand how Eratosthenes arrived at his calculation then most school children in this country should be able to follow the idea as well. The illustrations by Kevin Hawkes perfectly compliment the text (I thought they were pastels but there are acrylics done on two-play museum board). Young readers will be captivated by the way Eratosthenes solved his problem and will learn about the educational system for young Greek boys that existed at that time. It should be easy for teachers and students to extend the example of Eratosthenes to any other famous scientist being studied in class from Galileo to Einstein. Even if young readers do not want to be scientists, or even librarians, after reading this book, I would not be surprised if they practice being bematists for a while (surveyors trained to walk with equal steps). In her afterword, Lasky explains how Columbus would have had smoother sailing on his voyage of discovery if he had relied more on the calculations of Eratosthenes. "The Librarian Who Measured the Earth" is an excellent mix of history and science, served up with some reasonable biographical speculations. ... Read more

151. The Butter Battle Book : (New York Times Notable Book of the Year)
by Dr. Seuss, Theodor Seuss Geisel
list price: $14.95
our price: $8.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0394865804
Catlog: Book (1984-01-12)
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Sales Rank: 3403
Average Customer Review: 4.08 out of 5 stars
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A cautionary Cold War tale (first told by Dr. Seuss back in 1984), The Butter Battle Book still has a lot to teach about intolerance and how tit-for-tat violence can quickly get out of hand. Explaining the very serious differences between the Zooks and the Yooks, a Zook grandpa tells his grandchild the unspeakable truth: "It's high time that you knew of the terribly horrible thing that Zooks do. In every Zook house and every Zook town every Zook eats his bread with the butter side down!" He then recalls his days with the Zook-Watching Border Patrol, as he gave any Zook who dared come close "a twitch with my tough-tufted prickley Snick-Berry Switch." But when the Zooks fought back, the switches gave way to Triple-Sling Jiggers, then Jigger-Rock Snatchems--even a Kick-a-Poo Kid that was "loaded with powerful Poo-a-Doo Powder and ants' eggs and bees' legs and dried-fried clam chowder."

With lots of fun and more-than-fair digs at the runaway spending and one-upmanship of U.S.-Soviet days, The Butter Battle Book makes a chuckle-filled read whether you're old enough to get the historical references or not. (And with all the Bitsy Big-Boy Boomeroos still in service, this book's message is far from obsolete.) (Ages 4 to 8) --Paul Hughes ... Read more

Reviews (24)

4-0 out of 5 stars Butter Battle Book Review
The Butter Battle Book, written by Dr. Seuss is an exellent display of his own thoughts on the nuclear war. This book helps inform young audiences about our nation's history in a way that they can understand. Although this is a childen's book, it is great reading for all agaes, and really hits home for those who have memories of the Cold War. The disagreement between the Yooks and the Zooks expresses how they both think bread should be buttered. One "butter-side up" and the other "butter-side down." The controversey, turning into a battle shows Dr. Seuss' dislike for generic disputes. The Yooks and the Zooks hurry to develop more powerful weapons, until; both groups take it to an extreme. The underlying theme to the book is the absuridity of battle. Dr. Seuss tries to convey that people must overcome their pride to live in peace. Memories of the Cold War like the wall dividing the Yooks and Zooks add to the realistic element to The Butter Battle Book.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Real Slim Seuss
Dr. Seuss is a fantastic author; he has imagination, story-telling abilities, and a wonderful and clever sense of political activism. I was telling my history teacher about all the not-so-hidden political messages in all of his works and this work is the perfect example of Dr. Seuss's writing style. The Butter Battle Book has many different levels for what is so often called a children's book from an acclaimed so-called children's author. The battle between Yooks and Zooks over which way butter goes on bread gives children a good, simple, but true story about dealing with petty differences in a constructive way. Otherwise, bad things can happen, like war. That meaning is very good for children to learn and this is a great book to teach kids with. However, adults reading this book can see the obvious historical parallels and the deeper implications of the story line. The pettiness behind the conflict of the Cold War is Dr. Seuss's vehicle for conveying the astounding destructive potential behind a war where the enemies lose sight of their true goals and meaninglessly try to 'out do' each other. The war ends up getting fought for the wrong reasons and something that we will forever regret and can never take back may happen. This is a very real danger and the prejudice attached to battles like the one in this book eat away at our morals, our societies, and our motives. Dr. Seuss has done the world a wonderful lesson by showing this to children and adults alike.

5-0 out of 5 stars Something to think about
Before I get into my review, let me start by saying I missed the Cold War, except for in school history books. That being said, this is an excellent and thought-provoking book for 'kids' of all ages.

This book is about 2 groups, the Yooks and the Zooks, who live separated only by a wall, and are very similar except for the way they butter their bread. This leads to a battle involving constantly bigger weapons, until they come up with the 'big-boy boomeroo', capable of destroying each other's lands. Of course, the book ends before the story does, leaving you guessing on exactly what would happen.

I went through a few stages with this book, making it even better to think about. The first time I heard it, I was about 5, and upset that there was no 'ending'. After a few more times, I decided to use my imagination to create my own ending, which is what many children will do if encouraged by a parent reading with them. As I got older, I realized there was no ending because if it was real, you really wouldn't know how it ended until it happened. This book also made me think about how small differences in people can cause such big problems if you are not open minded. (That was after a few years - in the beginning I wondered why the Zooks didn't just turn their bread upside down and everyone would be the same).

The Butter Battle Book is a wonderful lesson, written in a way that even a child could understand the concept of war, see how differences in people can cause foolish problems, and use their imaginations. I would recommend it to anyone.

1-0 out of 5 stars Trivializes a serious matter
While I love Dr. Seuss, I cannot believe that he trivializes the Cold War in the way that he does with this book. The much hated "arms race" was a race to protect ourselves and was a race that we not only won, but a race that also brought down the Soviet Union. Ironically, we won it because we outspent the Soviets. We outspent the Soviets because capitalism creates wealth. The fight between capitalism, which allows freedom, and the crushing weight of communism, which ideology has systematically killed more humans than any other in the last century, is not boiled down to something as simple as butter on bread. Buy one of his other books-the non-political type.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dr. Suess: Political Visionary?
When I first read this book to my 3 year old nephew, I ended up staying on the couch, completely engrossed, while he went off in sheer boredom. This book, in at least one way, changed my perspective on the tragedy of a world we've singlehandedly created( or destroyed, whatever your opinion be). Geisel accurately portrays the futility of hostile exchanges(in this severe degree)in a symbolic war over buttered bread. This book is, in my opinion, a must-read for all ages. Younger children will enjoy his rhyming "lyrics," and older generations will take note of the significant importance of Yook's and Zook's struggle for supremacy. But don't be mistaken, Suess's use of a "butter battle" is not "dumbed-down" or superficial; on the contrary, it is the perfect example, and conveys an even stronger message, than that of, say, a textbook or straight explanation. The only reason I can think of not to read this yourself, or to your children, is that you prefer to live in the dark, your perceptions shrouded by the influence of the common right or left-wing conservative, and not live by your own opinions. I'm no communist, but I believe owning your own place in the world can be further obtained by reading and reflecting on this miraculous work of "art". ... Read more

152. Giraffes Can't Dance
by Giles Andreae, Guy Parker-Rees
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.86
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0439287197
Catlog: Book (2001-09-01)
Publisher: Scholastic
Sales Rank: 7771
Average Customer Review: 4.76 out of 5 stars
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Gerald the giraffe doesn't really have delusions of grandeur. He justwants to dance. But his knees are crooked and his legs are thin, and all theother animals mock him when he approaches the dance floor at the annual JungleDance. "Hey, look at clumsy Gerald," they sneer. "Oh, Gerald, you're so weird."Poor Gerald slinks away as the chimps cha-cha, rhinos rock 'n' roll, andwarthogs waltz. But an encouraging word from an unlikely source shows this glumgiraffe that those who are different "just need a different song," and soon heis prancing and sashaying and boogying to moon music (with a cricketaccompanist). In the vein of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Gerald'sfickle "friends" quickly decide he's worthy of their attention again.

With this rhyming, poignant (in a cartoonish way) tale, Giles Andreae, author ofRumble in the Jungle, andnumerous other picture books, shows insecure young readers that everyone can bewonderful, even those that march to the beat of a different cricket. The rhymesare somewhat awkward, but the bold, bright watercolors by Guy Parker-Rees willinvite readers to kick up their heels and find their own internal harmony. (Ages3 to 6) --Emilie Coulter ... Read more

Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars This is why we liked this book:
The kindergarten class at Eliza Kelly School liked this book very much. We liked when Gerald did the backwards sommersault in the air. We like to dance too! We also liked the part when Gerald closed his eyes and listened to the sounds of the jungle. The cricket was a good friend to Gerald.
The illustrations were colorful and beautiful.
Gerald is a great dancer!

Kindergarten at
Eliza Kelly School

5-0 out of 5 stars There is something special in all of us
This book is wonderful. It demonstrates, in its storyline and text, that there isn't always just one right way to do something. In other words, we may all have a unique approach. In this case Gerald thinks he's a bad dancer. His negative perception is reinforced by the other jungle animals whom Gerald thinks dances perfectly. The other animals tease Gerald. He doesn't seem to "fit in" with the crowd. Gerald's problem is, he is trying to dance their way. He needs to find his own style.

Good and bad examples abound in real life, and with our guidance they all provide rich learning experiences for our children. Given that, with your guidance, this book imparts to children a) There is often more than one way to do something, b) courage and perseverance pay off, and c) teasing hurts. Not bad for 29 pages of delightful rhyming text and colorful illustrations.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Lesson!
This is the most precious story about how being different is okay and how you can still be good at something even though you have to go about it a little "differently." I bought this for my 4 yr old son with cerebral palsy who can't walk and he absolutely adores it! "We can all dance if we find the right music." Gerald, who initially was ridiculed by the other animals for being a terrible dancer, gets a little help from a friend in finding the "right music." His dancing is admired by the other animals in the end. My husband demonstrates the different dances with my son as he reads the book to him which my son thoroughly enjoys! We have a very extensive book collection for my son, but this would have to be one of his (and my) all-time favorites. I have also bought several copies of this book for my son's school. The illustrations are the best that I've ever seen in a children's book. Can't recommend this highly enough!

5-0 out of 5 stars Boogie on, Gerald!
Gerald the Giraffe is one clumsy animal. He's good at standing still and munching shoots off trees but when he wants to join the other animals at the Jungle Dance, they only laugh at him. Not for long, though. His friend the cricket knows how to play the music that inspires Gerald to dance like John Travolta in his best days. Gerald is transformed because "we all can dance ... when we find music that we love."

"Giraffes Can't Dance" is my personal favorite among Max's books. The story is familiar to many kids who go to kindergarten and learn that their peers can be picky about who belongs to the pack and who does not. In the book, the exuberant illustrations of Guy Parker-Rees take the sting out of Gerald's initial rejection by the other animals. Watching the Rhinos rock'n'roll and the lions "dance a tango that was elegant and bold," balances Gerald's sadness. The emphasis of the story is on Gerald's joyful transformation, anyway. Just read Gerald's jubilant "I am dancing! Yes, I'm dancing! I AM DANCING!" with enough liveliness and watch the kids identify with a flying giraffe. After all, the lesson is that you can excel and enjoy who you are even if, at first, the world does not play your tune. With a little help from his friends, Gerald finds out that "sometimes when you're different you just need a different song."

Let me add one short paragraph on Gerald's helpful friends, the cricket and the three small bugs that are hiding on every page. These four little fellows are an ingenious device to soften the impact of the emotional story. Kids are in love with details; once they know what to look for, they will tirelessly search for the bugs and the cricket, and point them out to you. Hint: play dumb and they will have a party.

5-0 out of 5 stars I read this book to my disabled child (4 years old)
This is a wonderful book about a Gerald, a giraffe who attempts to dance at the yearly jungle dance, but shies away from the stage when other animals laugh at him. This book express beautifully how it feels to be different - 'Gerald had never felt so sad and so alone' - and ends on a very positive note: 'Sometimes when you're different, you just need a different song' and 'we all can dance, when we find music that we love.' It was a perfect book to help my child with his feelings towards his weakness. ... Read more

153. Whale Talk (Laurel Leaf Books)
list price: $5.99
our price: $5.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0440229383
Catlog: Book (2002-12-10)
Publisher: Laurel Leaf
Sales Rank: 49730
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

There’s bad news and good news about the Cutter High School swim team. The bad news is that they don’t have a pool. The good news is that only one of them can swim anyway. A group of misfits brought together by T. J. Jones (the J is redundant), the Cutter All Night Mermen struggle to find their places in a school that has no place for them. T.J. is convinced that a varsity letter jacket–exclusive, revered, the symbol (as far as T.J. is concerned) of all that is screwed up at Cutter High–will also be an effective tool. He’s right. He’s also wrong. Still, it’s always the quest that counts. And the bus on which the Mermen travel to swim meets soon becomes the space where they gradually allow themselves to talk, to fit, to grow. Together they’ll fight for dignity in a world where tragedy and comedy dance side by side, where a moment’s inattention can bring lifelong heartache, and where true acceptance is the only prescription for what ails us. ... Read more

Reviews (57)

4-0 out of 5 stars Whale Talk
Chris Crutcher builds a story about challenging the status quo and finding the common humanity that unites those who believe they are alone in the world. The Tao, or T.J., grows up in Washington where racism dominates the town. T.J. attends Cutter High School where they are known for their respectable athletic program. One of the prize symbols to wear is an athletic jacket earned in a sport. Mike Baubour, a known enemy of T.J., tries to prevent Chris, less fortunate than many, from wearing his dead brother's letter jacket. T.J. fights to organize a male swim team. After he finds his teammates, including Chris, he sets up the criteria for earning a letter. This stirs up controversy among the Athletic Council, and finally come to a conclusion: each swimmer must better there time every meet to earn a letter. T.J.'s determination throughout the novel sets him above the pride of Cutter's athletic program and sets him in each teammates pride. T.J. is determined to achieve success for each one of his teammates, which would equal success to him. This book shows great teamwork, pride, and success when not everything comes easy.

4-0 out of 5 stars Whale Talk
The book Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher is a wonderful book for all religions and races. That is because in the book T.J. is black, Japanese, and white, but in school he is mostly considered black. One day T.J. spots all-school jock Mike Barbour picking on Chris Coughlin, a retard whose dead brother is the best athlete in the school ever, for wearing his brother Brian's letter jacket. So, T.J. decides that he will get Chris a jacket of his own. He does that be creating a swim team. Meanwhile T.J. is visiting a woman who helps kids with family problems. T.J has become more of a teacher than a student. He gets involved with a father that really dislikes T.J. The daughter adores T.J. so the family, minus the father moves in with them. T.J.'s family continues to get a lot of hang up calls which they know is the father. In the swimming world, T.J. gets 6 unique guys to go out for the team. T.J. is by far the best swimmer. The team gets a practice facility and an interim coach, Icko who lives at the workout place, until the teacher Simet can get permission. Practices are hard, but usefull as the team improves greatly. The team does horrible in the season, except for T.J. who wins the 50 meter and the 100 meter at regoinals. The team keeps on getting questions on weather swimming is a sport which might deny their privilege to a Cutter jacket. The book ends with many controversial decisions made by both sides. I believe the author, Chris Crutcher wrote about the book to teach the world about racism. He wants to show how it is tearing the modern world apart. Whale Talk is a wonderful book for teens and adults. Children should not be allowed to read the book because of some profane language and sexual harasment. They also will not get the idea about racism and prejudice. Teens, on the other hand, will understand the book and it will teach them about modern conflicts. Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher is a wonderful for teens and adults.

5-0 out of 5 stars Got a whale of a tale to tell you friends...
A good book rises above its own premise. Reading a short synopsis of this story without knowing anything about it beyond its plot could easily suggest to the average viewer that it's going to be awful. Think about it. A multi-racial protagonist and his motley crew of rag tag misfits puts together an unlikely swim team and everybody learns a little bit about what it's like to walk in another person's shoes. Bleaugh! That's the kind of After School Special plotting that can get a book seriously ignored by its intended audience. Now I had never read a Chris Crutcher book coming into this. Frankly, I know the man has a reputation for producing darned good books. Then I read "Whale Talk" and found, to my incredible relief, that this was not really a book about a swim team. It's about the circle of abuse and the amount of control an individual has over his or her own actions. It's about hurting other people and what the cost of that can be. In short, the book takes amazingly gigantic themes, renders them bite size, and gives them humanity and humor. It's the humor part that really impressed me.

T.J. Jones (actual name The Tao Jones... pronounce it, I dare you) is probably one of three people of color in his small Washington town. Adopted by his parents when he was a seriously abused toddler, T.J.'s a pretty well put together kid. That's probably in no small part due to his amazing mom and dad and his fantastic (some might say godlike) child therapist, Georgia. Which isn't to say that T.J.'s life is bereft of odd problems. His favorite teacher, Simet, is trying to lure T.J. into helping him start a school swim team. There are a couple problems with this plan. For one thing, T.J. refuses to join any organized sports. Cutter High School is run by and for its jocks. These jocks have been trying for years (unsuccessfully) to get T.J. onto one of their teams. Also, the school has no swimming pool. So T.J. isn't exactly thrilled about the idea of getting roped into this situation until he sees some of the local heavies beating up a mentally handicapped kid because he refuses to stop wearing his dead jock brother's letter jacket. Suddenly our hero has a mission, and the mission is clear. To create a swim team comprised of the kind of guys who otherwise could never be able to get involved in an organized sport. Even better, he's going to get each and every one of them a letter jacket.

This is just the barest of outlines describing this book. T.J. has a lot going on in his life and this includes his father's guilt about accidentally killing a toddler some thirty years before, a girl who tries continually to wash her skin clean of pigment, her psychotic father who is both a wife abuser and T.J.'s enemy, and a team that becomes closer as their problems become clearer. This is truly a book written about a man for men. Which isn't to say that girls won't love this tale, or that it's bereft of strong female characters. In fact, Crutcher is especially good at balancing women who've been abused in the past with their far stronger counterparts. No, when I say that this is a boy book, I'm referring to the fact that the central focus of this story rests squarely on the male swimming team. Sure, T.J. has a girlfriend but her presence in this story is probably just to prove to the viewer that he's a well adjusted guy with a well adjusted gal. Honestly, his relationship is not the focus of this tale. And that's kinda refreshing.

I think what I liked best about this book was that it recognized that behind every crazed idiot, there's a reason they act the way they do. Crutcher isn't the best young adult writer that knows about abuse (that honor belongs squarely to Alex Flinn) but he comes close. A person could learn more from reading this book about the cyclical nature of violence than they would from almost any other source. I'm praising the book beautifully, but it's not without the occasional flaw. Consider, for example, the character of Tay-Roy. This is a bodybuilder that joins the team and has, basically, no real personality. As far as I could determine, everything Tay-Roy does could have been accomplished by T.J. They're similar in every respect, except that Tay-Roy's slightly better looking. It's odd that Crutcher would have kept himself from omitting extraneous characters like this one, but as flaws go, this one's pretty minimal. The worst I can say is that it slightly derails the flow of the text. Big whoop.

What Crutcher has as a writer that puts him heads and tails above and beyond his peers (some, at any rate) is his sense of humor. You cannot dislike a book where the main character is named The Tao Jones. You just can't. I mentioned that I think that Alex Flinn is the all-powerful guru of abused teens, but what Crutcher doesn't have in superior knowledge he makes up for in funnies. I'm sick and tired of all the deadly depressing books out there. If every writer could fill their texts with half as much pleasurable writing as Mr. C, I'd have a heckuva harder time figuring out which book to read next. In the end, "Whale Talk" accomplishes that mighty difficult task of being a good book about a near impossible subject. Abuse. Whether or not you agree that Crutcher wrote about this topic with the correct amount of respect, you have to admit he wrote about it well. I tip my hat to the man who's books I will now have to devour one by one to satiate my now uncontrollable young adult literature craving. Such is life.

5-0 out of 5 stars english project
Picture your high school's outcasts, the kids no one talks to and no one really knows. Now imagine if you heard that this motley crew was about to become your high school's new varsity swim team. The same kids who are picked last for every team in gym, who has never been seen near the weight room or the track, who are the last people you would imagine wearing your high school letter jackets. Despite his natural athletic ability, the main character T. J. has always shunned Cutter High School's sports teams because, as he says, "something inside me recoils at being told what to do, and that doesn't sit well with most coaches, who are paid to do exactly that." However, when a favorite teacher asks him to help start a swim team at Cutter, T. J. sees an opportunity to turn the school's narrow idea of what an athlete is, privileged, good-looking, white, and male on its head.
Chris Crutcher is an excellent writer that keeps you reading. I could not put the book down. The reason why I liked the book so much is that it is dramatic, had a good conflict and kept me reading. Whale Talk is an awesome book that I would recommend to anyone.

5-0 out of 5 stars GRIPPING!!!
I recently read Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher. It's about a boy, T.J. Jones, who gets together a group of misfits and outcasts to join a swimming team. As usual in Chris Crutcher's books, there's another story behind the sport.
When I started reading this book I couldn't put it down. Crutcher grabs you in this story with ways that sometimes you wouldn't think possible or interesting. He puts together real problems, not just he said-she said stuff, but things much more realistic. This book is definitly worth reading!!! ... Read more

154. Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears: A West African Tale
by Verna Aardema
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140549056
Catlog: Book (1978-10-01)
Publisher: Puffin Books
Sales Rank: 22621
Average Customer Review: 4.36 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears
Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears by Verna Aardema, Pictures by Leo and Diane Dillion. New York: Scholastic, Inc., 1975.

Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears is an African folktale which offers a great lesson to be learned by children. The story is about a mosquito who tells a lie to an iguana and annoys the iguana. This sets off a series of events that affects everyone who lives in the forest and the initiation of daylight.

It is an excellent story for a young reader to learn the consquence of telling lies and the detrimental affect it can have on individuals and/or communities. After reading this story to a child parents should ascertain whether the child understood the lesson of this folktale and emphasize how important it is to always tell the truth.

The illustrations in this book are spectacular. Each page is filled with brigthly-colored pictures that will capture the interest of a young child and keep them reading until the very end. The illustrations also correspond directly to the storyline which will give the young reader the ability to glance at the pictures and help them read the printed words.

This is not only a good story for children, but for adults too. The end offers a humorous reason for why mosquitoes buzz in people's ears, and why people shoo them away. This is definitely a good book to keep in every home and school library.

Nancy Paretti

5-0 out of 5 stars Them pesky skeeters get a tale of their own
I don't recommend this book to the mosquito lovers of the world. If you've a soft place in your heart for those buzzing swarming little blood-sucking fiends, you probably shouldn't peruse this particular book. HOWEVER. If you happen to enjoy a good "why" story from Africa, you could hardly do better than the lushly illustrated "Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears".

In a kind of Chicken Little series of events, a lying mosquito sets off a chain reaction ending, ultimately, in the sun no longer rising. When the animals of the forest slowly track down the reasons behind the sun's disappearance, they eventually reach the conclusion that mosquito is the one to blame. Ever since, mosquitoes will sometimes ask people whether or not "everyone" is still angry at them. The answer is a satisfying (I love this descriptive sound) KPAO!

The illustrations are splendid. During the day they are set against a white background. By the time the sun disappears, they pop out of a black setting. Kids will like finding the small smiling pink bird that cleverly pops up in every scene. It's a fine fine text that bears more than a passing resemblance at times to the classic nursery rhyme "The House the Jack Built". And who knew that the sound lions make when they laugh is "Nge nge nge"? Not I, said the fly. A lovely read.

2-0 out of 5 stars Too dark for young children
I'm surprised by all the rave reviews this book has received here. True, the illustrations are beautiful. However, the story is about a series of events that culminates with a monkey killing a baby owl (with an illustration of the poor little owl getting clunked on the head), and then progresses with the mother owl's mourning period. My 3 year old and I both find it disturbing -- not exactly a good bedtime read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great ethnic tale . . . nice beditime story
This story is one that is sure to achieve the "droopy eyes" effect on your youngster as a bedtime story. It takes you on a trip through the jungle meeting all the animals and it ends with an interesting moral lesson about gossiping! Anyone who has played that game "telephone" will agree that a story can change immensely as it is passed from ear to ear. We learn the fate of the mosquito and why he is the way he is in this masterfully weaved folk tale replete with colorful pictures. I recommend this one for the child's shelf!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars This one is sure to please.
I'll be 30 this year and I remember my father reading this to me when I was a kid. I loved all the different voices he did for the series of animals in it. In fact, I loved it so much that it was one of 3 stories I had my father record himself reading so I could play it for my son whenever he wanted to hear it. If you're looking for a book you can have fun reading, this is a great choice! ... Read more

155. Domitila: A Cinderella Tale from the Mexican Tradition
by Jewell Reinhart Coburn, Connie McLennan
list price: $16.95
our price: $14.41
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1885008139
Catlog: Book (2000-02-01)
Publisher: Shen's Books
Sales Rank: 224053
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Domitila is not only "sweeter than a cactus bloom in early spring," she is also a talented cook and an amazing leather artist. most of the classical elements of a Cinderella story can be found in Domitila. A gentle weaving of her mother's nurturing with strong family traditions is the secret ingredient for Domitila to rise above hardship to eventually become the Governor's bride. Moreover, with a firm belief in simplicity and realism, Domitila makes a lasting impression as a triumphant Cinderella in her humility, service, and unassuming modesty.

Unlike most ivory tower Cinderellas, the only transformation in this story is Timoteo's—Domitila's suitor—as we watch him mature from an arrogant politician's son to a compassionate family man. There is no glass slipper to fight over, and no fairy godmother to save the day. All Domitila has are her innate qualities and her family legacy. Finally, the readers are invited to get to know Cinderella for who she is, unlike the typical fantasy character!

With love and care in every stroke, McLennan captured on canvas the warmth of relationships, the fondness for color and texture, and the versatile patterns characteristic of the Mexican people. Readers will soon fall in love with the shimmering light of the desert landscape and this well-told story of Cinderella-with-a-twist. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Book
This story is one of the Cinderella tales however this one is from Mexico. A young girl goes and cooks for the governor, and the governor is amazed by the taste of the meals that this girl can cook. However Domitila's mother dies and she must return home. The prince wanting to taste the wonderful food again goes out and searches for the woman who can cook a feast out of weeds. Although the governor faces some hardships and dishonest people in the end finds Domitila and marries her. This is a wonderful take off of the classic Cinderella story. I like it because it has Mexican traditions in it and the illustrations are wonderful. This book would be great to use as an introduction to different cultures. If I were to use this in my classroom I would try to get other countries versions of Cinderella so that they children could see even more differences and similarities in the stories.

4-0 out of 5 stars Now including culture, morals, and interest for boys
The story of a Mexican Cinderella character, this book is beautifully done with warmly coloured oil on canvas paintings that poignantly draw to mind the dry Mexican landscape. Most importantly, the illustrator has resisted the urge to create perfect characters, and instead presents a pleasant looking "Cinderella" with bland features and a square jaw, perhaps because the story is based on the family legend of the Rivero family of Hidalgo, Mexico. The author's text is mostly traditional for a fairy tale, but includes Spanish words with translations on the back page. The plot holds more interest than the traditional Cinderella tale, as the Prince is a Governor's son who begins the story haughty and spoiled, but while on a quest for the girl who makes delicious nopales (edible cactus, made by the common people), changes into a person of worth who can truly love a girl of the common people. This focus and character development of the often forgotten prince may make this tale more interesting to boys, as the male character is the hero on a quest, rather than the reward at the end of a girl's suffering. Furthermore, the tale is woven of realistic elements, rather than the fairy godmother, singing mice, and glass slipper of tradition, as it is explained why the father remarries, and includes a period of grief after the mother's death. However, beyond the plot and setting, the author waxes moralistic, presenting the likeable, yet lifeless Domitila as a goody-goody with a loving heart who follows her mother's instructions to "do every task with care, and always add a generous dash of love." Additionally, the text is framed in proverbs, presented both in English and Spanish, on the subjects of love and work, which add "atmosphere," but may get too sermonic to hold the attention of a child. Includes appealing history of the tale, as well as a recipe for Domitila's nopales on the last page.

5-0 out of 5 stars A beautiful, superbly illustrated picturebook tale.
Jewell Reinhart Coburn's Domitila provides a Mexican Cinderella story as it tells of a talented cook and artist who becomes the Governor's bride. A beautiful account. ... Read more

156. Complete Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales
list price: $12.99
our price: $9.74
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 051709293X
Catlog: Book (1993-05-09)
Publisher: Gramercy
Sales Rank: 4151
Average Customer Review: 3.29 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

L. Owens, ed. Presents all 215 stories recorded by the Brothers Grimm, many not available elsewhere, illustrated by renowned artists.Includes such timeless favorites as Cinderella, Rapunzel, and The Frog Prince.A delight for young and old alike.100 b&w illustrations.704 pages. ... Read more

Reviews (14)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good for what it is
My experience was this book was bad, but that was my fault for not reading the other reviews before buying it. If you know what you're buying, it's a good book (which is why I'm giving it four stars).

I bought this to read with my children. Don't do that unless your kids are teenagers at least. The original stories aren't meant for small children. At a minimum the kids get bored; at the worst, they'll be terrified.

I didn't care for the quality of the book myself; it looks like it was layed out by somebody that normally designs dictionaries or phone books. But you might like dense copy and inconsistent illustrations.

3-0 out of 5 stars OKAY STORIES, OKAY COPY
Not all the stories in this book are winners, and you can take a LONG time reading all of them. For the longest time I'd been hearing that Disney's version of these Grimm classics are much cleaner. No kidding. But being a hardcore fantasy reader, I like all the violence and dark senses of humor that the Grimm brothers have. Generally, for every 10 stories you read, you might find two that you like and one that you REALLY like. As for the actual book, the pages are apparently NOT acid-free, which means that it was cheaply made. It is still hardback, though. I'm not a HUGE Grimm fan, but there were enough illustrations for my taste. Along the same lines, I don't care if the works are out of order--what matters is that they're translated decently. I still hold that there is--somewhere--a better Grimm's book to be found--hence the 3 stars. Apart from all that, this is a good bargain bin book--which is where I found it. My favorite stories--so far--are The Frog Prince, Cinderella, The Three White Snakes, and The Youth Who Could Not Shiver and Shake.

5-0 out of 5 stars complete brothers grimm fairy tales [hardcover]
when i received this book, i was amazed by how great it was. the condition was very good. i was so plesed by it. it was so clean, and looked untouched. i am very happy with it. thank you for doing a great job. this is the first time i have ever bought anything on the net. i was kind of scared about it. i know i can buy from you guys and not worry about it. ej

2-0 out of 5 stars Bad for these reasons...
1. Very thin paper used. (recycled?) If this is for environmental purposes, I support it. If it is just to save on production costs, I don't.

2. Ugly, crowed typesetting that would be more at home in a newspaper.

3. Jumbled illustrations by different artists with different styles, none of which are credited, and many are placed out of synch with the corresponding stories. Very few of the illustrations are worth a second glance.

4. Weakly bound. Will fall apart with regular reading.

5. The prose is dreadful. Or is that the stories sound better in their native German???

6. My copy arrived covered in inexplicable dark smudges.

7. Not for collectors, or those who like quality books.

8. Note: If you are buying for your children, they will probably be bored by the stories, or not understand them. As one reviewer pointed out, they were never complied for children in the first place.

5-0 out of 5 stars Grimm Reality
I received this book as a gift from my sister. Upon reading the reviews she was skeptical to buy it, thankfully she bought the book regardless.(Thank you, Thank you!!!)

I don't see the poor quality that many have discussed.The pages are thin of paper but thick with words and quality to captivate a Fairy Tale lover. Oral story telling has been a tradition for centuries, and this book keeps that alive. These stories are definately memorable and after you've read them you can tell them over and over.

I remember many of these stories from my childhood. They're rich with imagery. Maybe many of them were never intended for small children... but if you can look past the grim images of some stories you will find a deep lesson. I even see some religious symbolism in some of the tales which border on same idea lines as Biblical stories.

I disagree with the negativity and poor ratings this book has gotten. I think it is a must have for the Literature and Fairy Tale collectors (if not for the quality of the book, then definately the quality of the stories therein). Considering that early versions of the book were written in 1812 and its still sold widely today, there must be something about it that causes people to wonder about those brothers Grimm.

Give this book a second glance!! ... Read more

157. The Rough-Face Girl
by Rafe Martin, David Shannon
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0698116267
Catlog: Book (1998-04-01)
Publisher: Putnam Publishing Group
Sales Rank: 26418
Average Customer Review: 4.93 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars Book Review
This is a beautifully told Algonquin Indian version of the Cinderella story. From reading this story we learn that not all things are seen with the eyes, but with the heart, as with the Rough-Face Girl who earns the love of and the right to marry the Invisible Being. We should all be like the Rough-Face Girl by seeing the beauty of the earth around us and not taking any thing for granted.

I highly recommend this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Impossible things are happening every day
I first read a version of the Algonquin Cinderella story in the collected folktale book, "World Tales", compilated by Idries Shah. The version repeated in that book and then retold in "The Rough-Face Girl" is almost perfectly identical. In a way, this proves the entrancing nature of this tale, and its capacity for retellings. With Rafe Martin's book, one of the best Cinderella stories from around the globe (if not THE best) is accompanied by David Shannon's fabulous illustrations. The combination is incredible.

In this tale, once an Algonquin girl lived with her father and cruel older sisters. These girls forced their younger sibling to feed their fires, causing her arms and face to become burnt and scarred. Her hair became charred and lifeless as well. Also in this village was an invisible man who was rumored to be rich and powerful. One day the sisters decide to wed the Invisible Being (I guess they both figured on sharing him). When confronted by his sister, the girls are asked to describe his bow and the runner of his sled. Unable to do so, they are sent away. The next day the rough faced girl goes to do the same and she too meets with the sister of the Invisible Being. You can probably guess the rest.

As Cinderella tales go, this one gives its heroine more of an active role than the European Cinderella ever had. Where Cinderella relies on a magical fairy godmother and a prince to track her down, the rough faced girl fashions her own clothing and sets out to meet the Invisible Being despite the taunts of the villagers that doubt her. True, this is a fairy tale and therefore subject to the idea that for women, fulfillment comes with a good marriage. But honestly, most tales rely on this conceit. This tale has elements of the Cupid/Psyche stories, Beauty and the Beast, and many others, while at the same time remaining a true and accomplished original.

Shannon's accompanying illustrations are very interesting. Most artists that depict Native Americans in storybook form (like, say, "A Boy Called Slow") don't draw characters that display much in the way of emotion. Call it a different kind of racism, if you will. Shannon, however, seems to have taken heart from the fact that this is a fantasy and not a piece of non-fiction. His evil sisters sneer and flounce. As they parade through the village in their new clothes their noses are held quite high. His rough faced girl is never viewed directly, so long as she remains scarred and unhappy. The closest moment we get is when she is crouched beside the fire, the shadows playing on her face and bandaged arms. When at last she bathes in a lake and is revealed to be beautiful the moment, while nice, is accompanied by an odd illustration that conjures up the word "pin-up" more than anything else. In my favorite illustration, we see the Invisible Being towering over his new betrothed, obviously a really good looking dude. Shannon has a way of playing with light and shadow in this book that conceals as much as it reveals. I was particularly taken with the clever picture that displayed the Invisible Being astride the milky way, his waist made up the three stars that represent Orion's Belt.

Truthfully, I am not well acquainted with the Algonquin way of life. I therefore cannot vouch that this book is perfectly faithful to the mode of dress and lives of its people. What I can ascertain is that the book is respectful to its subjects as well as its subject matter. It's a fabulous looking and sounding creation that every child, teen, and adult should be well-acquainted with. Worth a gander.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is a beautiful story :)
The Rough-Face Girl is a delightful story. It is a modern story of Cinderella. I love the impact that the story gives. It shows that beauty comes form within. The girl in the story goes though many changes and with everything she goes though she keeps a beautiful body image. The illustrations were detailed wonderfully. This is a story book that everyone should own.

5-0 out of 5 stars Rough-Face Girl
The language is beautiful; the illustrations are exquisite. A universal theme that beauty comes from within.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Rough Face Gril
The Rough Face Girl By Ar-Day Wilson

The rough face girl was about a girl that had two

sisters and a father. The two sisters would boss her

around. They made her stand by the fire; so her face got

burned. She later married an invisible man and they lived

happily ever after.

The rough face girl was the youngest, friendly, and nicest

person. She is a very beautiful girl, but on the outside she

doesn't really know that.

Nobody thinks she should marry the invisible being.

When she came to his teepee his

sister was waiting for her and asked her three questions.

She got them all right.

The way she solves the problem is by going to marry the

invisible being. So that nobody will ever make fun of her

again. If they do they will deal with the invisible


I think this is a good book because it teaches you that

it doesn't matter how you look on the outside but you look on

the inside. I would recommend this book to others because it

teaches you how it is important not to judge people from the

outside. ... Read more

158. The Real Mother Goose
by Blanche Fisher Wright
list price: $9.95
our price: $8.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0590225170
Catlog: Book (1994-12-01)
Publisher: Scholastic
Sales Rank: 4665
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Never before have the classic Mother Goose rhymes been so irresistible! Young children will delight in exploring the book¹s touch-and-feel elements while they recite such favorite poems as Mary Had a Little Lamb, The Cat and the Fiddle, and Pat-a-Cake. ... Read more

Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fave from my childhood
I have nothing but fond memories from this book and when I was just browsing and came across this i was estatic! I plan on purchasing this for my son.

I believe that, to those who disliked the "quality" of book because of old times. I believe that you must sit down with your child then and talk about it. This gives you that opportunity to teach your child how "todays life" is different then "olden life," as well as what is expected today. Just because ~you~ do not agree with something does not mean you should 'shelter' your children from it. If you do, then what do they learn?

5-0 out of 5 stars This will stay with your child forever
This book has all the classic Mother Goose rhymes. I had this book as a child and it was well loved by both me and my sister. The pictures that go along with the rhymes are well done. This is a book that I buy for all of my friends when their babies are born. I still have mine to this day in my classroom, and my students would tell you it's 5 stars too!

3-0 out of 5 stars Get the full version
Board books are nice in that they are short and durable but in this case, so much of the artwork is missing in a board book version that is really no more than a "best of." Wait until your child is older and get the full version.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not the Values You Want to Teach Today
I thoroughly agree with the person who said that this was not for today's child. With all that is going on in today's society, with increasing violence among our children, this version of Mother Goose does little to teach children tolerance. When I bought this book, I was expecting cute and innocent children's rhymes. I do not remember reading as a child Mother Goose rhymes that were so gory. Now, in all fairness, not all the rhymes are like that, however, you have to flip through the pages to read those that are more tame. I think many of these rhymes and stories had it's place in centuries past, but not in the 21st century.

I am surprised that non of the other reviewers felt this way, too.

3-0 out of 5 stars Quality just isn't what it used to be
I bought this for my future child, I remember reading this as a child myself, and have some pretty fond memories. I couldn't find the copy I grew up with so when I saw that I could order this, I was ecstatic. The hard bound cover is nice, and good enough... but the paper quality is extremely cheap and thin, the reprints of the original illustrations have less quality then the sunday comics. Oh Well, what do you expect with merchandise sold and made today.

It would be nice to have the option to pay extra to get the quality that you remember from days of old. ... Read more

159. The Very Clumsy Click Beetle
by Eric Carle, Patricia Gauch
list price: $21.99
our price: $14.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 039923201X
Catlog: Book (1999-09-01)
Publisher: Philomel Books
Sales Rank: 34763
Average Customer Review: 3.75 out of 5 stars
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Eric Carle first published The Very Hungry Caterpillar in 1969, fully intending to create a series of interactive creature books for children. The beloved busy spider, quiet cricket, and lonely firefly books followed, but the artist's quest was not truly complete until The Very Clumsy Click Beetle was born. Carle, who says he'd rather watch a bug attempt to climb over a pebble than join an expedition to Mount Everest, appreciates the small things in life: the Eyed Elator (Alaus oculatus), to be exact--unremarkable except for that when this beetle falls on its back, it can't roll over to get up. Instead, it will stretch and release a snap mechanism that clicks and flips the beetle through the air, and ideally, back onto its feet.

The very clumsy click beetle has no trouble with the clicking and flipping part, but it does have trouble landing on its feet. The young beetle tries and tries again, encouraged by an ambling turtle, a slithering snail, and a scurrying mouse. Finally, when a curious boy approaches, the beetle takes coaching from a wise old click beetle ("QUICK, CLICK and FLIP!") and succeeds. Children will love the bright, bold, tissue-paper illustrations that tell this story of perseverance, as wellas--of course--the unusual clicking sound (emanating from an electronic chipwith built-in battery and light sensor) that accompanies this playful book. (Click to see a sample spread. Copyright 1999 by Eric Carle. Permission of Philomel Books.) (Preschool and older) --Karin Snelson ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Clumsy Click Beetle
I'm a Branch Manager of a Public Library and we have found that this book is very good for the children that comes over for school visits. It is so funny to be reading them the book and they start hearing the Beetle make it's sound they start looking around the room trying to find out where it is coming from then they cant believe that it came from the book. Every year when school starts back this is the book that i read to my Kindergarden classes. I suggest that everyone should get this book and watch the look on your childs face when you read this book to them.

2-0 out of 5 stars Library Users say thumbs down
I'm a children's librarian. I bought this book for my library. I've read it to two groups and showed it to some of the children who come to the library everyday. I thought they would like it since Carle's other book The Very Quiet Cricket is so enormously popular. Their reaction has been thumbs down. The children like the chirping sound from the cricket book, but the click sound from this beetle book doesn't impress them. The dull "click, click" really pales in comparison to the lilting cricket chirp. We've had our copy of the beetle book for almost three months, and it's only been checked out once.

I think a teacher or parent might be able to encourage a child to enjoy the click beetle book by incorporating it into a discussion about bugs. Also, a child who is fascinated with bugs might enjoy it. However, for the average child, I recommend buying The Very Quiet Cricket instead of the Beetle book. For a child who already has and loves the cricket book, I recommend buying Carle's The Very Lonely Firefly, which has fireflies that light up. My library kids like to crawl under desks to enjoy that book in the dark.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Book to Teach Kids to Keep Trying!
This book is well-liked by my class of four and five year olds. The story is clear and engaging. My students especially enjoy opening to the back page to hear the beetle's CLICK!

The little click beetle repeatedly strives in the story to CLICK and flip over onto his feet, a feat shown to him by an older, wiser click beetle. He tries to show this new trick to a variety of other critters with no success. The critters encourage him to keep trying.

We used this story in class to discuss the importance of persistence and practice to learn something new. This book also sparked a discussion about being kind and respectful, as we talked about how things might have been different if the critters in the story had ridiculed the click beetle for his failure instead of encouraging him. You could challenge children to tell how the ending would have been different if the little click beetle hadn't mastered his CLICK at the right time at the end.

Definitely a classroom staple, along with most of Eric Carle's other titles.

4-0 out of 5 stars My 4 year old loved this book!
My 4 year old came home from preschool and talked about this book for 2 weeks! He drew click beetles over and over again, and told me how the story goes. He was one impressed 4 year old and any mom knows when their child mentions a book over and over again, it must be good! ... Read more

160. Classic Myths To Read Aloud : The Great Stories of Greek and Roman Mythology, Specially Arranged for ChildrenFive and Up by an Educational Expert
list price: $12.00
our price: $9.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0517588374
Catlog: Book (1992-04-28)
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Sales Rank: 31399
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The most complete collection of Greek and Roman myths specially arranged to be read aloud to children aged five to twelve. "Every child deserves this book. Those who do the reading aloud will be enlightened and rewarded, too."--Edwin Newman Line drawings. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic Myths to Read Aloud
This is a book that explains things about Greek Mythology. The beginning of the book is about the creating of the gods and godess of Mt. Olympus and the beginning of man. In the middle of the book it tells different stories and different morals to the mortals down on earth. At the end of the it tells how the other countries and the cities take the Greek ideas and make them their own, like Rome.
The way I found out about this great book is by my mother , She saw me doing nothing so she told me to read this book. So I started to read it and I got so interested in this book. If I had to recommened this book to someone the person would probably like it because in every story they make it have so much adventure.
My favorite part in this book is when the Queen of Greece Helen gets captured by the people of troy. So the Greeks made a hollow horse and sent it to the people of troy,but in the horse was Greek soldiers. At night when everyone was asleep the Greeks attacked the people of troy. And at the end she retured to her home Greece. Thi is the of the book review.

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic Myths to Read Aloud
This book is about the ancient Greek Myths. The beginning of the book is the forming of the Greek Gods and Godess came to be like : Zeus and Hera. The middle of the book is mainly about how Hercules gets Pegasus the flying horse and how they become friends and kill the bad monsters. The last part of the book is about how the people of different places get these ideas like Rome.
I started to read this book by when I was bored and grounded so I picked up this book and started to read it. Also if I had to recommend this book to one of my friends they would probably like it because it shows the history of ancient people,also it is good because of the adventure of what would happen to them.
My favorite part of this book is when the queen of Greece got captured by the people of troy. So the Greecks went and made a horse that was hollow and the soliders had to go inside the horse and went into the gates of troy. Then at night all the soldiers came out of the horse and killed all the people that lived in troy. and that's the end of the book review.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great book to read to your child class
I started reading this book to my second grader and she was fascinated. I read the Iliad and Odyssey to her second grade class and they were completely mesmerized (it helped that I read the story of the Cyclops from Classics to Read Aloud). The information at both the beginning and ending of each story is invaluable for classroom discussion.

5-0 out of 5 stars my seventh grade students loved these stories
Though I teach ancient history, I have kearned to include all aspects of the culture, including relevant literature. During Dr.Suess's birthday week, I read a classical myth a day. The students loved them! The reading of these myths sparked enthusiasm like I have never seen before. We explored the relevancy of these myths to today's standards. What was suppossed to take 10-15 minutes, often continued to the next class period. I have found a new and effective teaching tool.

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding retellings that will hold your kids' attention!
Our daughters are 6 and 10, and we have read from Russell's book for five years. Both girls seek the book out, and they enjoy listening to the stories as much as I enjoy reading them.

Having studied Roman mythology when I took Latin, I was a little worried about some of the content--let's face it, the gods and goddesses were sometimes violent, more often randy--and I wasn't sure how the girls would react to some of the goings-on. But Russell does a terrific job minimizing some of the less pleasant events without glossing over them.

And, of course, the stories and messages are truly timeless. And there's no better way that I've found to introduce children to the Odyssey, the Iliad, and other epics like them.

Our family gives Classic Myths a ringing endorsement for anyone with kids. ... Read more

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