For the storyteller with a particular mission.

ANCIENT STORIES FOR MODERN TIMES

50 SHORT WISDOM TALES FOR ALL AGES

Purposeful stories meant to enlighten older children and adults in both religious and secular settings.

Developed for retelling by a Unitarian Universalist educator, these international tales are short, subtle, and intended for oral presentation. Most are serious and deal with specific themes including acceptance, resistance to oppression, compassion, dignity, and reconciliation. Mogensen also introduces the seven Unitarian Universalist Principles (ideals such as “Justice, Equity, and Compassion in Human Relations” and “A Free and Responsible Search for Truth and Meaning,” among others) and creates indices for themes and these ideals. She arranges the stories in eight behavioral sections, including “Living with the Natural World,” “Living with One Another,” and “Practicing Generosity.” Although a few stories are from religious texts, such as the Talmud or the Buddhist Jataka tales, most of the selections are folk tales, presented here for both their entertaining qualities and their morality lessons. This is an instruction manual for a certain type of storyteller. The introductions provide information about variants or adaptations. The five-minute tales are made easy to learn with story maps or bulleted outlines that follow each tale. There are questions for reflection, and the themes and principles are provided. The source list, given at the end, provides a starting place to learn about folklore. While the manual assumes a largely adult audience, the stories will work with early elementary children.

For the storyteller with a particular mission. (Folklore. 6-10)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-55896-779-3

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Skinner House

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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An uncomplicated opener, with some funny bits and a clear but not heavy agenda.

BOOKMARKS ARE PEOPLE TOO!

From the Here's Hank series , Vol. 1

Hank Zipzer, poster boy for dyslexic middle graders everywhere, stars in a new prequel series highlighting second-grade trials and triumphs.

Hank’s hopes of playing Aqua Fly, a comic-book character, in the upcoming class play founder when, despite plenty of coaching and preparation, he freezes up during tryouts. He is not particularly comforted when his sympathetic teacher adds a nonspeaking role as a bookmark to the play just for him. Following the pattern laid down in his previous appearances as an older child, he gets plenty of help and support from understanding friends (including Ashley Wong, a new apartment-house neighbor). He even manages to turn lemons into lemonade with a quick bit of improv when Nick “the Tick” McKelty, the sneering classmate who took his preferred role, blanks on his lines during the performance. As the aforementioned bully not only chokes in the clutch and gets a demeaning nickname, but is fat, boastful and eats like a pig, the authors’ sensitivity is rather one-sided. Still, Hank has a winning way of bouncing back from adversity, and like the frequent black-and-white line-and-wash drawings, the typeface is designed with easy legibility in mind.

An uncomplicated opener, with some funny bits and a clear but not heavy agenda. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-448-48239-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: Dec. 11, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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Fans both young and formerly young will be pleased—100 percent.

HORTON AND THE KWUGGERBUG AND MORE LOST STORIES

Published in magazines, never seen since / Now resurrected for pleasure intense / Versified episodes numbering four / Featuring Marco, and Horton and more!

All of the entries in this follow-up to The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories (2011) involve a certain amount of sharp dealing. Horton carries a Kwuggerbug through crocodile-infested waters and up a steep mountain because “a deal is a deal”—and then is cheated out of his promised share of delicious Beezlenuts. Officer Pat heads off escalating, imagined disasters on Mulberry Street by clubbing a pesky gnat. Marco (originally met on that same Mulberry Street) concocts a baroque excuse for being late to school. In the closer, a smooth-talking Grinch (not the green sort) sells a gullible Hoobub a piece of string. In a lively introduction, uber-fan Charles D. Cohen (The Seuss, The Whole Seuss, and Nothing but the Seuss, 2002) provides publishing histories, places characters and settings in Seussian context, and offers insights into, for instance, the origin of “Grinch.” Along with predictably engaging wordplay—“He climbed. He grew dizzy. His ankles grew numb. / But he climbed and he climbed and he clum and he clum”—each tale features bright, crisply reproduced renditions of its original illustrations. Except for “The Hoobub and the Grinch,” which has been jammed into a single spread, the verses and pictures are laid out in spacious, visually appealing ways.

Fans both young and formerly young will be pleased—100 percent. (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 9, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-385-38298-4

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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