Stretch, Swallow and Stare

Stretch, Swallow and Stare

by Veronika Martenova Charles
     
 

Stretch was not like other people. She could stretch her body taller than the tallest tree. People didn't trust her because she was different. That's why she lived in the forest

Swallow could eat more food than anyone. The villagers made fun of her because she was short and fat. That's why she left town.
Stare's eyes were so strong they could burn through

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Overview

Stretch was not like other people. She could stretch her body taller than the tallest tree. People didn't trust her because she was different. That's why she lived in the forest

Swallow could eat more food than anyone. The villagers made fun of her because she was short and fat. That's why she left town.
Stare's eyes were so strong they could burn through anything she looked at. Everyone was afraid of her. That's why she stayed alone.
And then there was Ira - small, skinny, and short-sighted - with nobody in the world to help him search for his missing sister.

Somehow these four unlikely characters come together and overcome all obstacles - even the most evil magic in the land.

Veronika Martenova Charles has drawn upon an old Czech fairy tale to create her own contemporary story about the strength of friendship and the value of being different.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Both text and illustrations make a statement about being different. The themes stand out boldly...
- School Library Journal
Children's Literature - Leila Toledo
The three main characters in the story are based on similar ones in a Czech folk tale. The Long One, the Wide One and the Sharp-eyed One were renamed Stretch, Swallow and Stare. Stretch is tall and skinny and could reach the treetops, Swallow has a ravenous appetite and is extremely fat and Stare has such piercing eyes she can burn through anything she looks at. Because they are so different, they are rejected by the community. Together with their unusual talents, Stretch, Swallow and Stare help Ira find his sister and the other children who have been kidnapped by an evil wizard. The story subtly illustrates that valuable friendships can exist between those who are physically different as well as the importance of teamwork.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-Drawing on an old Czech folktale, Charles has created a contemporary story about a young boy's quest, with the assistance of three helpful female companions, to find his older sister. Stretch has the ability to elongate herself, Swallow can eat and drink huge quantities, and Stare's gaze can blast apart even rock. All of the women have fled their villages, ostracized because they are different. Imprisoned by a wizard who feeds on children's dreams, the sister can be freed if the boy and his companions are still guarding her when the sun's first rays hit the castle floor. Each woman uses her unique power and the boy, his quick wits to free Kate and the other children who are imprisoned with her. The tale ends with the three women going off together rather than returning to their homes. Both text and illustrations make a statement about being different. In addition to their various talents, Stretch is tall and brown-skinned, Swallow is chubby and pink, and Stare wears Chinese slippers and a jacket-symbolism that will not be lost on children. A varied viewpoint, mysterious backgrounds, distorted human figures, and textured surfaces add interest to the paint and colored-pencil illustrations. The themes stand out boldly and the book holds its own with other helpful related stories, such as Margaret Mahy and Jean and Mou-Sien Tseng's The Seven Chinese Brothers (Scholastic, l992).-Susan Hepler, Burgundy Farm Country Day School, Alexandria, VA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780773730984
Publisher:
Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Limited
Publication date:
01/01/1999
Pages:
31
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 11.41(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
6 - 10 Years

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