When the dollmaker creates Zigzag from clothing scraps, she promises him, some child will love you. Her promise gives the strange-looking doll hope. But the other dolls and stuffed animals in the shop don't want such an ugly toy hanging around so they force Zigzag to leave. Clinging to the promise that a child will someday love him, little Zigzag sets out on a journey in search of happiness and a new home. Young readers will be intrigued by this heart-warming story of perseverance and compassion. Children love to explore the simple bold illustrations that make the story look like it was quilted from scrapes.
Sandpiper finds her daily stroll on the beach interrupted by Whale, who boasts that he is ruler of the sea. Sandpiper responds with equal bravado, asserting her rights to the sand and seawater. Soon the rivals are calling in their cousins, and the beach and sea are filled with shorebirds and sea mammals of every stripe. The standoff grows ominous as Whale leads his cousins in an assault on the beach, eating the sand from under the birds. Sandpiper retaliates by ordering her cousins to drink up the ocean. Soon the landscape is filled with fish, crabs, and sea creatures gasping for survival. How will this end? The outcome of this timely yet timeless nature tale suggests that we are all connected in the ecological chain.
A wise rabbi uses a pillow full of feathers to teach a gossipy villager a lesson on what happens when a person's reputation and trust are harmed by someone's negative, mean-sprited remarks.
Maybe it's the king who spills honey, and then says it is not his problem - until it causes a war. Or maybe it's some sandpipers and whales who get into a foolish fight that almost destroys their homes. Perhaps it's the man who thinks that a gun makes him strong or the monkeys who follow their leader into water that's too deep. Peace Tales contains more than three dozen folktales and proverbs that illustrate these choices. Always fun to read these stories also prompt us to think about the seemingly minor events that lead to war and the little events that can also lead to peace. Stories from across the globe are accompanied by generous story notes, source information, and suggestions for further reading on the topic of peace.
Mary Clayborne, the teenage daughter of a country doctor and a piano teacher, dreams of going to a conservatory and becoming a concert pianist. When her mother falls ill, she temporarily puts aside her ambition in order to care for her younger brothers and sisters. A timeless coming of age story.
Andrew Jackson Fielder wants to pitch in the major leagues. It should seem a distant dream to a kid in Smackover, Arkansas, in 1939. But for Jackson, it comes true, partly due to the afternoons he and his brother spend practicing pitches in a pipe yard down in the south Arkansas oilpatch.
Maybe it's because his mother was a teacher. Or maybe it's because he has spent most of his life in classrooms - as a wide-eyed first grader, a naive college student, a seminarian, and now as a visiting writer in residencies across the country. There's something about school that infuses the work of Donald Davis and he has collected his all-time favorite school stories in the book. Whether we're traveling around the world with Miss Daisy, the fourth grade teacher who was integrating arithmetic, geography and English before the term whole language ever surfaced; or watching in awe as a classmate conjugates malaprops in Miss Vergilius Darwin's Latin class; or driving a school bus and learning about segregation - we experience flashes of recognition in moments that transcend Donald Davis's childhood stories.
The fourteen personal stories in this delightful coming of age book apply universal elements with characters and situations that everyone will recognize so that only the names, places and times change from our own childhood stories.
Jim May writes the stories of his youth, growing up in the rural Midwest between the Truman and the JFK eras, where trading stories was as common as trading horses, and frequently required the same skills. Neighboring, as his mother called it, was part of the social fabric. These 18 poignant and humorous stories of life's joys and trials told with the freshness of youth, yet tempered with the wisdom of age evoke a simpler time in our nation's history without romanticizing the inherent hardships.
This collection of African-American folktales highlights the unbroken chain of a rich oral tradition. The stories share the richness and variety of a cultural heritage that has crossed the Atlantic, survived slavery, and triumphed over the ignorance of racism and bigotry.
High John the Conqueror sometimes called simply High John or John was a slave trickster who always outwits Old Master. Much like Greek slave Aesop's animal characters, High John was the subject of a series of subversive narratives, whose mission was to outsmart his oppressors. Tall tales of High John's exploits flourished during slavery, but after emancipation they fell out of circulation and his antics were all but forgotten.