The Lion Book of Wisdom Stories from Around the World

Overview

Collected in this inspiring anthology are 15 traditional stories drawn from a variety of cultures from all across the globe. Each tale focuses on a different key issue—among them sharing resources, the downfalls of pride, and the nature of true wealth—and offers insight on how they can best be resolved. Sensitively retold and accompanied by lush illustrations, these tales offer a glimpse of people of every background and reveal the benefits of learning from others.

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Overview

Collected in this inspiring anthology are 15 traditional stories drawn from a variety of cultures from all across the globe. Each tale focuses on a different key issue—among them sharing resources, the downfalls of pride, and the nature of true wealth—and offers insight on how they can best be resolved. Sensitively retold and accompanied by lush illustrations, these tales offer a glimpse of people of every background and reveal the benefits of learning from others.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Sarah Maury Swan
This retelling of folk tales is nicely done, though I did cringe at a couple of grammatical errors. The stories tell of a spider learning he cannot hoard wisdom; a jackdaw (blackbird) seeing that pride gets you into trouble; a woman finding happiness by helping a dog; four animal friends sharing a tree; a prince in India being taught to welcome strangers in need of a homeland; three friends understanding that arguing does not solve problems; an ant discovering that planting a wheat seed will bring him more food the next year; a carpet maker giving a special carpet made for a teacher to a dog and her puppies; a farmer and his wife being reward for honesty; two boys explaining that what one does is more important than how one looks; a Native American warrior and his wife learning to trust; a soldier tricking a miserly woman into giving him something to eat; a bee earning praise for listening; and finally, merchants being shown that wisdom is more precious than gold. The illustrations are enchanting. Reviewer: Sarah Maury Swan
School Library Journal
Gr 2–5—This collection focuses on folktales that convey broad messages, such as the value of generosity or the importance of patience. Tales originate in places from Ghana to ancient Greece and from Italy to North America, but there is an emphasis on stories from India and the Middle East. Some regions, such as South America and Australia, are not represented at all. The table of contents indicates the region of each story's origin, but the entries themselves give little sense of place or culture. Indeed, without the illustrations, many stories are generic in terms of their location. The pieces are short, vague, and rather preachy, and tend to conclude with unsatisfying abruptness. While they offer words of wisdom, readers are likely to feel lectured at rather than engaged. On the other hand, the jewel-toned illustrations are lush and beautiful, featuring smoothly stylized characters that are reminiscent of the work of Leo and Diane Dillon. They bring the stories to life in a way that the text does not. The collection lacks source notes. Additional.—Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL
Kirkus Reviews
First published in England, this collection of short tales and fables focuses on both people and animals acting morally and wisely. Representing different cultures and religions, the tales include a West African Anansi story that came to the Caribbean, Hindu and Buddhist stories from Asia, European stories from Italy, Germany, Greece and Russia ("Axe Porridge," a version of "Stone Soup") and several Middle Eastern stories. Although the country or region of origin is noted in the table of contents, it is not included on the title page of each story, and often the stories don't provide this context either. While this may abet concentration on the universal lessons about generosity and sharing, it still represents a regrettable omission. Balit's paintings are very attractive, but the stylized rendering of people with large eyes, long noses and sad looks make most of the men and women look similar from country to country. No sources are given for the stories, also limiting the book's usefulness. There are enough other, better-sourced and -contextualized picture books and anthologies that this can be given a pass. (Folklore. 7-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745960609
  • Publisher: Lion UK
  • Publication date: 4/1/2009
  • Pages: 46
  • Age range: 7 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 10.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

David Self is the author of several books on religion for children, including The Lion Children’s Treasury of Classic Verse, The Lion Encyclopedia of Christianity, The Lion Treasury of Saints, and The Loyola Treasury of Saints. Christina Balit is has illustrated numerous children's books, including The Adventures of Odysseus, The Lion Illustrated Bible, and Zoo in the Sky.

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