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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Will leave readers as happy as a pig in mud.

IT'S NOT THE THREE LITTLE PIGS

From the It's Not a Fairy Tale series , Vol. 4

It’s good to embrace change.

Although an unseen narrator attempts to tell an accustomed version of “The Three Little Pigs”—here named Alan, Alfred, and Alvin Albert—their younger sister, Alison, wants to get in on the action because she’s a natural storyteller. The narrator grudgingly allows Alison to tag along, but her added bits of flavor and the unexpected personalities of her brothers soon send the story off its traditional tracks and into hilarious hijinks. For example, Alan’s love of building allows him to design a functional house made of plastic drinking straws, Alfred’s stick house is actually constructed by Alan because Alfred’s clearly a star and not stage crew, and Alvin’s shacking up in a pumpkin behind Cinderella’s castle because he’s…not the crispiest piece of bacon on the plate. Alison’s quick thinking leads the brothers to be one step ahead of the wandering wolf. When the narrator hits their limit, a conversation with Alison proves that collaboration can lead to unexpected but wonderful results. The story flows well, accompanied by energetic cartoon art, and the choice to color-code the speech bubbles of each character (and the text of the narrator vs. Alison) ensures readers will be able to follow the snappy dialogue. Those who love to make up their own stories will be inspired, and readers who march to the beats of their own drums will be delighted. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Will leave readers as happy as a pig in mud. (Picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5420-3243-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022

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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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