Fire: An Ethiopian Folk Tale

Overview


A slave, who has worked tirelessly for many years, asks his master to free him. The master replies that he will do so once the slave has spent the night all alone and naked on top of a high mountain in the freezing cold. Then he laughs. The slave in despair asks the help of a wise old man who, by an act of friendship, helps the slave to fulfill the task and obtain his freedom.
While this is an Ethiopian story, it carried universal significance. Told at an IBBY Congress by noted...
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Overview


A slave, who has worked tirelessly for many years, asks his master to free him. The master replies that he will do so once the slave has spent the night all alone and naked on top of a high mountain in the freezing cold. Then he laughs. The slave in despair asks the help of a wise old man who, by an act of friendship, helps the slave to fulfill the task and obtain his freedom.
While this is an Ethiopian story, it carried universal significance. Told at an IBBY Congress by noted Austrian writer Heinz Janisch, it inspired the highly regarded Mexican illustrator, Fabricio VandenBroeck, also attending the congress as a Mexican IBBY Honour Book nominee and finalist in the Utopia contest. Together they wished to make a book that could speak to all children about friendship and also raise funds for IBBY. A percentage of royalties will be donated to this important organization by both the creators and the publisher. Founded in 1953, the International Board on Books for Young People is a network of children’s book professionals dedicated to creating cultural bridges through quality children's literature.
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-When a slave begs for freedom, his master scornfully replies that he may have that freedom only if can stand naked and alone on a snow-covered mountain all night long. The man agrees, but enlists the help of a friend, who climbs a second nearby mountain and builds a fire there. The slave watches the flames, survives the night, and is freed. Janisch's telling is spare in the extreme and provides only the bare bones of a story. A more fully fleshed out version appears in Harold Courlander's The Fire on the Mountain (Holt, 1995). VandenBroeck's illustrations, done in acrylics on paper prepared with a textured ground, are reasonably effective, but there is no real change of atmosphere to contrast the protagonist's condition before he climbs the mountain and while on it. The cover art is particularly dark and forbidding and not likely to attract readers.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780888994509
  • Publisher: Groundwood Books
  • Publication date: 8/28/2002
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.80 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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