Far-Fetched Story

Far-Fetched Story

by Karin Cates, Nancy Carpenter
     
 

Grandmother wanted firewood. But one by one, the family members who went to the woods to gather sticks came back with unlikely tales. A wolf tried to eat the boy's shirt. Deer nibbled his sister's dress. Swans attacked their mother. And the baby? Even the baby had an adventure. In the end, no wood was gathered, but the family had a fine collection of far-fetched…  See more details below

Overview

Grandmother wanted firewood. But one by one, the family members who went to the woods to gather sticks came back with unlikely tales. A wolf tried to eat the boy's shirt. Deer nibbled his sister's dress. Swans attacked their mother. And the baby? Even the baby had an adventure. In the end, no wood was gathered, but the family had a fine collection of far-fetched stories. And thanks to Grandma's ingenuity, these stories kept them warm and cozy during the long, hard winter.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Poor Grandmother keeps dispatching family members into the woods to gather enough firewood before the "long, hard winter" arrives, but instead of collecting wood, each person comes back with his or her clothes in tatters and a tale of a tussle with wild animals. Newcomer Cates follows a successful folktale formula to a T with a no-nonsense grandma and her catchy refrain. To each relative's cockamamy excuse the woman replies, "Well, that's a far-fetched story!. It's a pity but it can't be helped, and I'm afraid we'll have to burn your [garment] for firewood." Carpenter's (Fannie in the Kitchen) sprightly vintage-style watercolor-and-ink drawings conjure a faraway and long-ago setting where children freely roam the woods alone and toddlers can play safely in the yard unattended. Grandmother's facial expressions belie her patient responses. In an ingenious touch, Carpenter presents each family member's rendition of his or her animal encounter as a color transfer on white linen, embellished with machine stitching; it's a nice link to the story's conclusion, which features Grandmother working magic with a needle to keep her family warm through the winter. Ages 5-up. (Feb.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Poor Grandmother keeps dispatching family members into the woods to gather enough firewood before the "long, hard winter" arrives, but instead of collecting wood, each person comes back with his or her clothes in tatters and a tale of a tussle with wild animals. Newcomer Cates follows a successful folktale formula to a T with a no-nonsense grandma and her catchy refrain. To each relative's cockamamy excuse the woman replies, "Well, that's a far-fetched story!. It's a pity but it can't be helped, and I'm afraid we'll have to burn your [garment] for firewood." Carpenter's (Fannie in the Kitchen) sprightly vintage-style watercolor-and-ink drawings conjure a faraway and long-ago setting where children freely roam the woods alone and toddlers can play safely in the yard unattended. Grandmother's facial expressions belie her patient responses. In an ingenious touch, Carpenter presents each family member's rendition of his or her animal encounter as a color transfer on white linen, embellished with machine stitching; it's a nice link to the story's conclusion, which features Grandmother working magic with a needle to keep her family warm through the winter. Ages 5-up. (Feb.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
With a long, hard winter drawing near, Grandmother sends the various members of her family (boy, girl, mother, father and baby) out to fetch firewood. Each one returns instead with a "far-fetched" story (involving encounters with wolves, deer, swans, bears and rabbits) and ruined clothing. Grandmother tosses each torn garment into the rag box to burn, but then decides to stitch them into a quilt "as long and wide as a bed and as thick and warm as a coat," making "a different kind of warmth from firewood--the kind of warmth that lasts forever, instead of disappearing as burning firewood will do." And doubtless, the far-fetched stories themselves will be retold over and over again, as the family snuggles close together under the quilt. Cates's well-structured text has unerring picture-book rhythms and repetitions, and Carpenter provides for each far-fetched story a delightful watercolor illustration ironed onto linen fabric, frayed edges and all, for a perfect matching of story and art. 2002, Greenwillow, $15.95. Ages 5 to 8. Reviewer: Claudia Mills
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-In this folktale-like story, Grandmother wants just one more armful of firewood for the winter woodpile, but the boy, girl, mother, father, and baby all come back empty-handed and with their clothing in tatters. As the five sit shivering on the bed, the old woman has a great idea. Burn the ragged clothes for heat? No, make a quilt that "kept the whole family as warm as toast and as safe as fairy tales all through the long, hard winter-." Never mind the logic of what they'll wear when they finally get out of bed-this story has just the right amount of humor to convince readers that these five sillies are in good hands with Grandmother. While most of the illustrations are done in ink line and watercolor, the family members' "far-fetched" accounts of how their clothes have been ruined have been photocopied to transfer paper and ironed onto frayed white linen, thus setting these "stories" off from the main narrative. Carpenter adds detail with machine embroidery to form a unique illustrative technique. The resulting subdued colors lend old-time heft to the pictures and expressive black lines give the skeptical Grandmother, the endearing girl offering an apple to the deer offstage, the nonplussed baby surrounded by rabbits, and others a humorous look. Whether displayed with other quilt books or with foolish folktale people, this title will circulate, and families who read it together may expect some "far-fetched" explanations in the future.-Susan Hepler, Burgundy Farm Country Day School, Alexandria, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Grandmother knows a long, hard winter is coming and she wants one more armful of firewood. One at a time, she sends the family-son, daughter, mother, father, and baby-out, but they each come back without any wood and their clothing shredded, unraveled, or clawed. Each one claims to have been attached by a creature: "I barely escaped with my life!" To which Grandmother retorts, "That's a far-fetched story," and tosses the ragged item into the empty wood box. A rush of cold air prompts her to start a fire with the rags, but the cloth colors and the softness of the fabrics are so comforting that instead she reaches for needles and scissors, creating the solution for the cold winter: a "far-fetched" story quilt. Like a real quilt, this book is layered, with a satisfying story on top, good padding of pacing, rhythm, and humor in the middle, and a backing that ties the whole together, which is the actual stitching of wonderfully creative fabric and thread illustrations. A note from Carpenter (Fannie in the Kitchen, p. 410, etc.) explains that she transferred drawings and ironed them onto white linen and used colored thread to define and add details. An original tale just waiting to be told, the coloration and patterns in paisleys and plaids piece together this cozy and fetching story, one that is a delightful fabrication. (Picture book. 4-8)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780688159399
Publisher:
Greenwillow Books
Publication date:
01/22/2002
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.20(w) x 12.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

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