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It's Not about the Crumbs!: Easy-to-Read Wonder Tales

Overview

Here are five first books for fledgling readers that offer the enjoyment of a good story along with the thrill of accomplishment that comes from independent reading. Written in short, easy phrases with carefully selected vocabulary and plentiful illustrations, each book helps youngsters achieve success as they have fun. The series follows three friends who love to share stories. In each book, one is reminded of a well-known story: Little Red Riding Hood in It's Not About the Hunter!, Beauty and the Beast in It's ...
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It's Not about the Crumbs!: Easy-to-Read Wonder Tales

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Overview

Here are five first books for fledgling readers that offer the enjoyment of a good story along with the thrill of accomplishment that comes from independent reading. Written in short, easy phrases with carefully selected vocabulary and plentiful illustrations, each book helps youngsters achieve success as they have fun. The series follows three friends who love to share stories. In each book, one is reminded of a well-known story: Little Red Riding Hood in It's Not About the Hunter!, Beauty and the Beast in It's Not About the Rose!, Snow White in It's Not About the Apple!, Cinderella in It's Not About the Pumpkin!, and Hansel and Gretel in It's Not About the Crumbs! As one friend starts, the others are reminded of versions they know so each volume has three stories within one framework. The stories come from around the world, and Veronika Martenova Charles provides a note at the end of each book to describe the origins.
 
Easy-To-Read Wonder Tales is a great first step in developing a lifelong love of reading, and it makes a fine companion to Veronika Martenova Charles's series, Easy-To-Read Spooky Tales.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Fairy tales that may be familiar to many children can be found in various forms around the world. The books in the "Easy-To Read Wonder Tales!" series all follow the same format. Three contemporary kids are going to help Jake's uncle unpack things at his new house but in the meantime they head for a park with a bag of popcorn and that triggers the recall of a story. In these tales, readers will be introduced to variations on the "Hansel and Gretel" story. The one from Europe is entitled "Hansel and Gretel" and may be the most familiar. Off the sister and brother go, after their father has left them in the woods. They find a cottage that belongs to a witch and barely escape but succeed and also kill the witch, and then they return home. "Zahra and Binti" is a Hansel and Gretel tale from Africa (Sudan). They run away from cruel family members while their father is away and end up in the home of a witch who wants to make a meal of them. They escape with the help of a crocodile who gets to eat the wicked witch. The children are reunited with their father. "The Ogre" is a variation from Japan where three boys are left in the woods by their mother who can no longer feed them. They end up at the house of an ogre and escape when he goes on a wild goose chase in his hundred mile boots. The boys manage to find the ogre asleep, steal his boots and with their magic they are able to earn a living and enough food for all of them. Black and white illustrations, lightly composed (although some contain extensive detail) along with a whimsical look appear on nearly every page of the book. The stories offer an interesting way to introduce various countries/cultures and also to show the common themes found in tales from many different places in the world. The biggest quibble is that these shortened versions often do not emphasize the moral/lesson that was the important component of these cautionary tales. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—While Jake and his two friends are visiting Uncle Mike in an unfamiliar town, they decide to take a walk to the park. On their way, Jake drops popcorn on the sidewalk to help them find their way back. This reminds his friends of the "Hansel and Gretel" story, and each shares a similar tale in which children outsmart an evil creature. Jake tells "The Children in the Woods," an American-English folktale. Then Lily tells "Zahra and Binti," an African tale of two sisters trying to escape from a gigantic woman who chases them with an ax. Ben's story, "The Ogre," is from Japan; three brothers hide from an ogre and then steal his magical boots to escape. The book concludes with brief source notes. Although the modern-day frame with Jake and his friends feels somewhat awkward, the stories are well told. Give this book to kids who like their stories truly scary; it is not for the faint of heart. Children are abandoned and nasty creatures plot to kill them, but in the end, the youngsters prevail. The black-and-white cartoon illustrations are equally frightening. Fans of Alvin Schwartz's In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories (HarperCollins, 1984) might be ready for this title, or suggest it to older, reluctant readers.—Jackie Partch, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR
Kirkus Reviews

Three versions of the Hansel and Gretel tale are strung together in an early-reader format. Three modern kids (the illustrations show a brown-skinned girl, a white boy and an Asian boy) go to the park, dropping popcorn along the way, which reminds them of different versions of the classic tale from Europe, Africa and Japan. Each tells the tale he or she knows from childhood. Typeface changes signal that the narrative has switched from modern time to storytelling.Light black-and-white illustrations grace each page, adding interest to the rather bland text. The hugely artificial construct of three modern children hanging around and telling fairy tales to each other is a weak one, even for an early reader. The stories themselves are an amalgam of many versions, muddying the waters for teachers trying to introduce international versions of folk and fairy tales. That one tale is from Japan and the other two are from continents confuses the matter further. Good intent, poor execution. Other titles in this new series were not seen. (Early reader. 5-8)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780887769535
  • Publisher: Tundra
  • Publication date: 10/12/2010
  • Series: Easy-to-Read Wonder Tales Series
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 494,837
  • Age range: 5 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

VERONIKA MARTENOVA CHARLES is an award-winning author and illustrator whose books include The Birdman, illustrated by Annouchka Gravel Galouchko and Stéphan Daigle. She has studied at Ryerson University, the Ontario College of Art and Design, and has a graduate degree in Folklore from York University. Veronika Martenova Charles lives in Toronto.

DAVID PARKINS is the award-winning illustrator of over fifty children's books. He began his career at Dyfed College of Art in Wales, studying wildlife illustrations. He has been an illustrator since 1979, and drew the British cartoon, Beano. David Parkins lives in Kingston, Ontario.

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