Stories for a Fragile Planet: Traditional Tales About Caring for the Earth

Stories for a Fragile Planet: Traditional Tales About Caring for the Earth

by Kenneth Steven, Jane Ray
     
 

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Ten sumptuously illustrated stories from different cultures highlight the importance of taking care of the world
 

Sourced from around the world and through the ages, this is a collection of world stories that each reflect humanity's need to take care of the world that sustains them. Tales from ancient Greece, the Far East, the Celts,

Overview

Ten sumptuously illustrated stories from different cultures highlight the importance of taking care of the world
 

Sourced from around the world and through the ages, this is a collection of world stories that each reflect humanity's need to take care of the world that sustains them. Tales from ancient Greece, the Far East, the Celts, Africa, Greenland, Russia, China, Japan, South America, and ancient Israel afford wonderful opportunities for Jane Ray's paradisiacal paintings of trees and flowers, animals and birds—in short, all creation. With a theme combining tradition with contemporary urgency, children will gain knowledge of other cultures that share their planet, while enjoying the evocative words and astonishing pictures.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—Ten stories loosely attributed to various cultures from around the world focus on the relationship between humans and the rest of nature, particularly animals. A girl tends a swan shot by a hunter in a "story from the Far East." An African man rescues and raises a lion cub but ultimately returns it to the wild so it can go "back to where it belonged." Miners ravage the countryside in search of precious stones in an unnamed South American country, but a shepherd and some children work to restore the forest. Ray's static, jewel-toned illustrations in bordered boxes underscore the timeless, mythic aspects of most of the tales. Stevens's low-key conversational style makes for easy listening if adults want to select one or two for ecology units or Earth Day observances, but the volume is unlikely to attract a broad readership.—Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato
From the Publisher

"Beautifully designed…the illustrations feature crisp, clear, jewel-like colors in a primitive style, which neatly matches the excellent storytelling of the text. A welcome addition to world tale shelves"—Booklist

Kirkus Reviews

This lovely British collection contains retellings of 10 traditional tales from around the world, revised to emphasize living simply and in peace and harmony with the Earth and its animals.

Some of the stories are revisions of familiar tales (Persephone and Demeter, the Tower of Babel and "The Fisherman and His Wife"), while others are less familiar. "The Hunter and the Swan" (from the Far East), "The Saint and the Blackbird" (from Britain) and "The Panda's Tale" (from China), among others, teach kindness to animals. In "Maha and the Elephant," from Thailand, elephants warn humans of a coming tsunami. Not surprisingly, in more than one tale human greed is contrasted with caring and generosity. The words flow smoothly and make for fine reading aloud. Ray's charming illustrations, many with her trademark intricate stylization, are an excellent complement to these gentle, nature-loving tales. Unfortunately, although the tales are briefly attributed to regions (Africa, South America) and countries (Thailand, Greenland), no specific sources are cited.

Readers looking for a story collection with environmental themes and minimal didacticism may find what they want here.(Folktales. 5-10)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780745963860
Publisher:
Lion Hudson
Publication date:
10/10/2012
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
48
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.20(d)
Age Range:
7 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Kenneth Steven is the author of The Bearer of Gifts, The Biggest Thing in the World, and The Sea Mice and the StarsJane Ray is a renowned children's book illustrator who has worked with Michael Rosen, Jeanette Winterson, and Vikrem Seth, and authored The Apple-Pip Princess and Snow White. She is a Smarties Award winner, has been shortlisted five times for the Kate Greenaway Medal, and was hailed as "one of the most luminous illustrators at work today" by an Economist reviewer.

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