Old Man and His Birds

Old Man and His Birds

by Mirra Ginsburg, Donna Ruff

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Ginsburg offers a poetic and striking look at the Earth's annual cycle through the guise of an old man in a flowing robe. As he stands in a field, he releases three birds at a time from his dangling sleeves. The magnificent garment changes from gold to white to green and back as the seasons progress. Then the author poses a series of riddlelike questions about the birds, each with four wings and seven black-and-white feathers. With a bit of help, older preschoolers as well as primary-grade students will sort out the order of day, night, weeks, and months. Ruff's portrayal of the changing countryside throughout the year extends and enhances the text. The rich colors of the robe and its expansive connection to the landscape offer visual clues to the man's identity. Although Ginsburg mentions that she borrowed the idea for the story from a 19th-century Russian collector of folklore, she does not supply a specific source. Yet the tone and structure of the book definitely recall traditional folkloric conventions. When straightforward recitations of days of the week and months of the year grow wearisome, this evocative tale will provide a new perspective.-Kathy Piehl, Mankato State University, MN

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
10.16(w) x 8.26(h) x 0.36(d)

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