Philipok

Philipok

by Leo Tolstoy, Gennady Spirin, Gennadii Spirin, Beneduce Ann Keay
     
 
Philipok wants to go to school like his older brother. But his mother says no, he must stay home with Grandma. Little Philipok is determined to go and slips out of the house to make his way to school through the snow. He is cold and frightened when he arrives, and soon finds that he must earn the privilege to stay. Simple, lyrical prose, a rich palette, and fine

Overview

Philipok wants to go to school like his older brother. But his mother says no, he must stay home with Grandma. Little Philipok is determined to go and slips out of the house to make his way to school through the snow. He is cold and frightened when he arrives, and soon finds that he must earn the privilege to stay. Simple, lyrical prose, a rich palette, and fine illustrations bring Leo Tolstoy's classic tale to life.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With their subtle coloring and lush detail, Spirin's watercolors add luster to the old-world charm of one of the Russian-born artist's own boyhood favorites, a children's story by Tolstoy. Philipok longs to go to school with his older brother Peter but must stay at home with Grandma. When Grandma falls asleep, however, Philipok creeps out of the house and, after a run-in with some village dogs, goes to the schoolhouse, where he proves to the teacher that he's clever enough to begin his studies. Beneduce's (previously teamed with Spirin on Joy to the World, reviewed Sept. 25) retelling is fluid and clear, but the real draw is the artwork. Spirin brings a certain romanticism to his translation of Slavic sensibility, from the traditional peasant clothing of the characters to schoolbooks sporting the Cyrillic alphabet. Rendered in a wintry palette of understated browns and grays, the scenes are full of expression and life. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
With artwork that PW called "full of expression and life," this retelling about a boy who longs to go to school with his older brother, and sneaks away from Grandma to win a place in the classroom is "fluid and clear." Ages 3-8. (Sept.)
Children's Literature
Philipok desperately wants to go to school like his older brother Peter, but his mother says he must stay home with his grandma. When grandma falls asleep, the youngster slips out the door and scampers through the village. Big dogs chase him and by the time he reaches the school he is too afraid of the dogs to return home and too afraid to enter the school. A woman passing by insists that he enter the building and when questioned by the stern teacher, Philipok dissolves into tears. But the teacher is compassionate and soon the little boy shares what his older brother has taught him. Philipok says, "I am very clever, I learn quickly. You see, I'm very smart!" Through laughter, the teacher decides it is time to start learning and quit bragging. The heartwarming story is timeless and the watercolor illustrations are breathtaking, compelling the reader to pour over the book time and time again. 2000, Philomel/Penguin Putnam books for Young Readers, $16.99. Ages 5 to 8. Reviewer: Laura Hummel
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Beneduce uses her considerable storytelling skill to retell Tolstoy's simply told tale as a charming read-aloud set in 19th-century Russia. Young Philipok wants nothing more than to go to school with his elder brother, Peter. He waits until his grandmother falls asleep, takes his hat and coat off the peg, and sets out through the snow to the schoolhouse on the other side of the village. Cold and frightened when he arrives, he earns the privilege of staying at school. Spirin's classic, old-world styled illustrations are rich in historical details. The artist combines contemporary Russian technique with traditions of the Renaissance to illuminate this gem.-Doris Gebel, Northport-East Northport Public Library, NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A children's story by the great storyteller, set in the wintry scenes of a Russian village. Philipok wants to go to school so badly that he puts on his hat and starts to follow his big brother right out the door. His mother gently tells him that he is too young and must stay home. Undeterred, he decides to take matters into his own hands and, one morning when no one is looking, sneaks out of the house and heads across the village to school. On the school's doorstep, he loses his nerve, but is shooed in by a passing grown-up. Once inside, he is intimidated by the noise and activity in the room full of children. Challenged, he shows off his knowledge and demonstrates that he (more or less) knows the alphabet. To his utter delight, the teacher declares that Philipok is indeed ready for school and can join the other children in the classroom. Spirin's illustrations are less sophisticated than usual, but that makes this book all the more accessible to younger children. While the palette is subtle, with many browns and grays, there are touches of gold—the church steeple, the boy's hair—and the children's faces are sweet and appealing. No one can paint snow and fur like Spirin, and there are lovely touches of color, including the quilt on the bed and the flowers on the shawls the women wear. The double-paged spread that shows Philipok playing with his colorful toys and book is especially inviting. The language is uninspired and the story slight, but the theme will appeal, especially to those who can't wait to be grown enough to begin the same activities as their older siblings. All will admire Philipok's bravery in traveling alone across the sometimesscaryvillage. Not assubstantial a story as Kashtanka, the Chekhov story also illustrated by Spirin, but certainly not without its charms. (Picture book. 3-7)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399234828
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/28/2000
Series:
Young Readers Series
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.28(w) x 10.28(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 6 Years

Meet the Author

Leo Tolstoy, universally recognized as one of the world's greatest writers of fiction, died in 1910.

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