Books by Gail E. Haley

TWO BAD BOYS by Gail E. Haley
adapted by Gail E. Haley, illustrated by Gail E. Haley
Released: Aug. 1, 1996

From Haley (Mountain Jack Tales, 1992, etc.), an engrossing story, subtitled ``A Very Old Cherokee Tale,'' complete with author's note, that mirrors the Christian creation myth and explains how labor came into the world. The first family—Kanati the First Hunter, Selu the Corn Mother, and Boy—live an idyllic life until Boy gets lonely. His reflection in a pool of water becomes Wild Boy, his untamed alter ego and trouble-making playmate. They spy on their father's hunting secrets, but when they try to hunt, all the animals escape from the cave, leading the boys into a life-long search for them. When they find out where their mother gets corn and beans, she destroys the source, and they are forced to grow their own food. The transgression of moral authority and the dual nature of existence are themes which have echoes throughout western literature; this Cherokee legend confirms the universality of human nature. (Picture book/folklore. 5-8) Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1992

Haley invites readers up to Old Poppyseed's cabin on Story Mountain (``Park your car and hike up the path...the pale eyes of things forgotten in the outside world will see your every move'') for eight familiar tales plus a version of ``Molly Whuppie.'' The spirited retellings are salted with backwoods language (glossary appended) and illustrated with wood engravings that, like Haley's picture-book illustrations for ``Jack and the Bean Tree'' and ``Jack and the Fire Dragon,'' are full of energy, comedy, and magical creatures. Evidently feeling that modern readers need some things explained, Haley opens and closes with simply stated observations on folk tales' symbols and truth and on qualities that make traditional Appalachian culture worth preserving, and with a thumbnail sketch of the history and technique of wood-engraving—all enriching the stories. A thoughtful introduction to Jack's adventures, briefer but more inviting than Richard Chase's. (Folklore. 10+) Read full book review >
PUSS IN BOOTS by Gail E. Haley
adapted by Gail E. Haley, illustrated by Gail E. Haley
Released: Sept. 1, 1991

Still another ``Puss,'' this one by a Caldecott winner whose free retelling is full of energy and humor and whose vibrant illustrations, appropriately set in 17th-century France, are— like the original story—a witty blend of satire and romance. Livelier but less formal and less elegant than Marcellino's 1991 Caldecott Honor book; here's a chance for the kids to make constructive comparisons. (Folklore/Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >
Released: April 22, 1971

Four short stories, each illustrated by a different artist and each containing an unobtrusive but centrally important moral. In "Inviting Jason" Stanley, a typically conformist ten-year-old, fears that his birthday party will be ruined when his mother makes him invite the dud whose salient trait appears to be his well-known dyslexia. When Dick, the popular boy Stanley wants to impress, takes up with Jason largely because of the novelty of his spelling and drawing, Stanley is chagrined anew. In "The Night of the Leonids" Lewis and his grandmother go to Central Park for a star shower, only to find that a cloudy sky has spoiled the show. When he complains that he won't have another such chance for thirty-three years, Lewis is reminded of what that much time means to his sixty-three-year-old grandmother. Clara in "Camp Fat" is encouraged by a sympathetic "night counsellor," but discovers upon leaving that Miss Natasha has been dead for years. "Momma at the Pearly Gates" is told by a black girl about her mother's fourth-grade encounter with racial prejudice in the person of one Roseann Dolores Sansevino, whom Momma wins over after an amusing series of instills and challenges. Neither as lively nor as imaginative as Mrs. Konigsburg's full-length fiction, the stories share her offhand humor and her perceptive empathy with a child's point of view. The theme or lesson of each story emerges naturally from the characters and events and adds in its turn an ironic note to the plot's conclusion. Read full book review >