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Shoemaker Martin

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
K-Gr 4 Based on Tolstoy's haunting yet heartwarming tale, ``Where Love Is, There God Is Also,'' this adaptation is true to the original story in both content and tone. Martin, a poor Russian shoemaker, thinks Jesus might visit him. While watching and waiting to greet the special visitor, Martin sees the street sweeper, who needs warmth and a cup of hot tea, and invites him in; he observes a young mother and child who need warm clothing and food, and provides them; and he settles a dispute between a market woman and a young boy. At the end of the day, Martin, disappointed but not discouraged, sits down to read his Bible and is overcome with joy to read, ``Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.'' While Watts' simplistic, earth-tone illustrations reflect the poverty, splashes of color in furniture and table service reflect the positive, happy outlook of Martin and his fellow villagers. Although the story is set in a rustic, impoverished land, the message is universal and timeless. An excellent audiovisual companion to this piece is Martin the Cobbler (Billy Budd Films). While younger students will need to share the story with an adult, the message will be as warm for them as for older children, who can read it themselves. Cathy Woodward, Lima City Schools, Ohio
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558587724
  • Publisher: North-South Books, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/28/1997
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD570L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.48 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 0.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Nikolai Tolstoy is a highly recognized and acclaimed historian and biographer. He was the sole beneficiary of his stepfather's will and is one of the trustees of O'Brian's estate.

Bernadette Watts has loved to draw since her childhood in England. She created her first picture book under the influence of Beatrix Potter. Watts studied at the Maidstone Art School in Kent and is the illustrator of North South fairy tales The Snow Queen and The Ugly Duckling.

Biography

Count Leo Tolstoy was born in 1828 on the family estate of Yasnaya Polyana, in the Tula province, where he spent most of his early years, together with his several brothers. In 1844 he entered the University of Kazan to read Oriental Languages and later Law, but left before completing a degree. He spent the following years in a round of drinking, gambling and womanizing, until weary of his idle existence he joined an artillery regiment in the Caucasus in 1851.

He took part in the Crimean war and after the defence of Sevastopol wrote The Sevastopol Sketches (1855-6), which established his literary reputation. After leaving the army in 1856 Tolstoy spent some time mixing with the literati in St Petersburg before traveling abroad and then settling at Yasnaya Polyana, where he involved himself in the running of peasant schools and the emancipation of the serfs. His marriage to Sofya Andreyevna Behrs in 1862 marked the beginning of a period of contentment centred around family life; they had thirteen children. Tolstoy managed his vast estates, continued his educational projects, cared for his peasants and wrote both his great novels, War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877).

During the 1870s he underwent a spiritual crisis, the moral and religious ideas that had always dogged him coming to the fore. A Confession (1879–82) marked an outward change in his life and works; he became an extreme rationalist and moralist, and in a series of pamphlets written after 1880 he rejected church and state, indicted the demands of flesh, and denounced private property. His teachings earned him numerous followers in Russia and abroad, and also led finally to his excommunication by the Russian Holy Synod in 1901. In 1910 at the age of eighty-two he fled from home "leaving this worldly life in order to live out my last days in peace and solitude;" he died some days later at the station master's house at Astapovo.

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Books LTD.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 9, 1828
    2. Place of Birth:
      Tula Province, Russia
    1. Date of Death:
      November 20, 1910
    2. Place of Death:
      Astapovo, Russia

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2005

    A family tradition

    This book was given to our oldest child by his godmather, on the occasion of his First Communion Day, almost 20 years ago. We loved the story so much that we have since given the book to at least a half dozen children, as well as reading our own copy umpteen times to our 3 children and to the many daycare children we cared for over the years. This is definitely 'a keeper'!!!

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