I Was Born about 10,000 Years Ago: A Tall Tale

Overview

Who told the best tall tales of all time? This exuberant book, based on a nineteenth-century American folk song, provides more than a clue.

After all, there aren't many yarn spinners who could lay claim to building the Pharaoh's pyramids, marrying Queen Elizabeth in Milwaukee, driving cattle from Texas to Seattle with the great Pecos Bill, or playing hopscotch on the moon. In fact, this tale is so irresistibly tall that when you're through, you...

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Overview

Who told the best tall tales of all time? This exuberant book, based on a nineteenth-century American folk song, provides more than a clue.

After all, there aren't many yarn spinners who could lay claim to building the Pharaoh's pyramids, marrying Queen Elizabeth in Milwaukee, driving cattle from Texas to Seattle with the great Pecos Bill, or playing hopscotch on the moon. In fact, this tale is so irresistibly tall that when you're through, you just may want to top it with a few whoppers of your own.

Steven Kellogg has combined the traditional stanzas with his own rib-tickling verse and sparkling illustrations. Complete with the easily played melody, this is a tale that will delight readers for about a million years ... or maybe two!

Born about 100 centuries ago, the narrator has seen many things happen since he watched Adam and Eve eat an apple.

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Editorial Reviews

L.A. Times
...Kellogg's energetic pictures almost leap off the page while sparking grins as big as the boasts they depict.
Childsplay
The best collection of historic whoppers, accompanied by great illustrations. . .
L.A. Times
. . . Kellogg's energetic pictures almost leap off the page while sparking grins as big as the boasts they depict.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Adding comical original verse and ebullient full-page art, Kellogg creatively embellishes the titular traditional tall-tale tune to wreak playful havoc with a number of historical happenings. The author first introduces a gleeful, coon-cap-wearing young narrator, who declares that he was born about 10,000 years ago "and there's nothing in the world that I don't know." The clever lyrics go on to place him and four additional kids smack-dab in the middle of a host of momentous events, including that fateful bite from an apple ("I saw Adam and Eve driven from the door.../ And I swear that I'm the one who ate the core"); the construction of the pyramids ("And for Pharaoh's little kiddies/ I built all the pyramiddies"); and the settlement of the American West ("Pecos Bill and I drove cattle/ Clear from Texas to Seattle"). Giving this whirlwind romp a futuristic spin, Kellogg ends with one of his young characters stocking a Saturn-bound rocket with enough plates of food to last until her returnwhen school gets out in June. Dominated by his trademark fluorescent tones, Kellogg's illustrations feature funny details and pleasingly silly anachronisms: the Sphinx sports a striped tie and a matching birthday hat, and Pecos Bill's cattle clamber up Seattle's Space Needle. A concluding invitation to kids to devise their own rhyming tale that "stretches" the truth makes this bouncy read-aloud doubly fitting for classroom use. Ages 5-up. (Sept.)
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this romp through time, a teller of tall tales situates himself in the middle of a host of history-making events. "Adding comical original verse and ebullient full-page art, Kellogg wreaks playful havoc," said PW. Ages 4-up. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - C. Darren Butler
Kellogg's narrators, all children, "elasticize" the truth in this charming, creatively illustrated picture book. Several children trade extremely short "stretchers" back and forth, inserting themselves into various historical, biblical, and folklore situations. The author's sly wit infuses both the text and the illustrations. Particularly amusing tall tales involve a boy eating the apple core tossed away by Adam and Eve, a girl in a rowboat leading Columbus to America and hopscotch on the Moon. Kellogg nods in the direction of political correctness by including a black girl as one of the five storytelling children, but on the whole the stories are told from a Christian, Anglo-centric viewpoint. The book is based in part on the nineteenth-century folk song by the same title; the score and lyrics of which are included as end pages.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2A tall tale based on a traditional folk song, related here as a story within a story. An assortment of endearing children spin their yarns, weaving outrageous tales of what they have witnessed. Everything from seeing Pharaoh's daughter fish Moses out of the water and Columbus's discovery of the New World, to driving cattle with Pecos Bill and playing hopscotch on the moon are a part of these kids' whoppers. As the main events are pictured in Kellogg's typical cartoon style, the young raconteurs appear below, entertaining one another with their miraculous feats. This title will be an unusual lead-in to induce interest in historical events and their time frames. Humor abounds in the vivid illustrations and the text; one such example is a sign displayed on one of Columbus's ships that "This voyage is made possible by our royal sponsors, Ferd and Iz." Legends such as Paul Bunyan and Babe, Johnny Appleseed, and Pecos Bill can also be introduced. The book ends on a good note with the catchy score for the book's title song. Sure to inspire a chuckle or two from young and old alike.Kathy Mitchell, Gadsden Co. Public Library, Quincy, FL
Kirkus Reviews
One rhyming whopper after another is served up in this talltale narrated by a lad in a coonskin cap. It is rather a grand tour of world history, both long and true, that starts with Moses being rescued from the rushes and ends with a return flight from Saturn. Along the way readers meet, among others, Adam and Eve, Columbus, Samson, Paul Bunyan, and Pecos Bill. The artwork is as outrageous as the jaunty text—"Queen Elizabeth she fell in love with me/We were married in Milwaukee secretly/But when sneezing overtook her/I went off with General Hooker"—and Kellogg has insinuated all manner of incidental humor into his illustrations. A musical score for the above ditty closes the proceedings.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688161569
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/1/1998
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 3 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.52 (w) x 11.02 (h) x 0.24 (d)

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