The Pond God and Other Stories

Overview


Oscar Wilde was once asked why he wrote stories for children (for example, The Happy Giant). His answer: "I no more write for children than I write for adults. Rather, I write for those who find in simplicity a subtle strangeness." So, too, writes Samuel Jay Keyser in The Pond God and Other Stories. The stories were inspired by a Navajo shaman who once said that he had seen a god walking across the horizon. Keyser is both humorous and profound as he explores the foibles and insights of the very human "gods" who ...
See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (11) from $1.99   
  • New (1) from $58.77   
  • Used (10) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$58.77
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:

(213)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New

Ships from: Chicago, IL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview


Oscar Wilde was once asked why he wrote stories for children (for example, The Happy Giant). His answer: "I no more write for children than I write for adults. Rather, I write for those who find in simplicity a subtle strangeness." So, too, writes Samuel Jay Keyser in The Pond God and Other Stories. The stories were inspired by a Navajo shaman who once said that he had seen a god walking across the horizon. Keyser is both humorous and profound as he explores the foibles and insights of the very human "gods" who inhabit his primordial world. The stories include “How Clouds Came to Be," "How a Thief Stole the Horizon," and "How the Sun Tricked a God." Each reader of these 43 parables will bring a different perspective to the stories. Robert Shetterly, acclaimed for his illustration of William Blake's Proverbs of Heaven and Hell, captures and compounds the "subtle strangeness" of Keyser's tales in the simple, evocative line drawings for The Pond God.

A collection of original fables, inspired by a Navajo shaman and featuring a variety of "gods".

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Written in free verse, The Pond God and Other Stories by Samuel Jay Keyser, illus. by Robert Shetterly, offers more than 40 brief tales or fables about wise or foolish gods, and explores the gods' human qualities with humor and insight. In the title story, a young shape-changing god offends the other gods, changes into a lake and the other gods drink enough to transform him into a pond for a thousand years; however, in this form he finds contentment ("And that is why contentment is not something one seeks/ but something one finds," reads the closing moral). A crying god causes the rain in the pourquoi tale "Where Rain Comes from," and "The Stony Gods" offers a fable that explains "Only by touching others do we touch ourselves." Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
This collection of stories is written for people of all ages to enjoy, but the content may be too mature for younger readers. The stories, which have titles such as "May Misfortune Smile on You" and "How the Gods Learned to Die," are dark, even cynical. Even the stories that seem more benign, i.e. "How Birds Began to Sing," are grim-a god impatient for song tears out the breastbone of a living bird, instead of waiting till its death, to carve a flute. There is nothing wrong with dark books. "The Series of Unfortunate Events," for example, is clever and well written, as is this book. However, unlike this book, the misfortune that befalls the Baudelaire siblings is balanced by their commitment to one another and ability to overcome the odds. In Keyser's stories, the characters, mostly gods, betray, harm and deceive each other with great frequency. On a positive note, the illustrations are gorgeous. Robert Shetterly's work, which is creative, haunting, and eerily beautiful, complements Keyser's stories. A few images, though, such as the one with a snail creeping out of a blind man's ear or another that depicts a bird extending its neck from the gauged out eye-socket of a living man, can be disturbing. It's true that children's stories are not always cheerful or fun-before they were altered, Grimm's fairy tales were originally dark and even graphic. Nonetheless, this particular book is more appropriate for an artistic, moody teenager than a young child. 2003, Front Street, Ages 10 to 16.
— Rihoko Ueno
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-According to an author's note, these 43 brief stories were "inspired by a Navajo shaman who once said that he had seen a god walking across the horizon. The horizon is not a place but a perspective. What happens there depends on who you are." This concept is explored in the title story in which a young, shape-changing god avoids the gods whom he has enraged by turning himself into a pond. When the others finally allow him to resume his former shape, he decides that he is satisfied as he is. "And that is why contentment is not something one seeks but something one finds." Each one-page selection concludes with a tidbit of wisdom to explain an aspect of the natural world or a speck of philosophy. Some are pourquoi tales, detailing, for example, why willows weep and why thunder sounds; others reveal truths such as how "even the wisest of words can hurt more than they help." Still others describe how the world was created and when it will disappear, "when the gods close their eyes-." The simple line drawings that accompany each story suggest the action, make the abstract concrete, and help to open up the format. These sophisticated fables may appeal to readers knowledgeable in traditional literature.-Maria B. Salvadore, formerly at District of Columbia Public Library Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Original fables in free verse are only varyingly successful, making for a collection that fizzles. Several dozen stories fit on a single page each and tell about "How a Thief Stole the Horizon," "How the Gods Learned to Wait," and "How Clouds Came to Be," etc. Each ends with a moral, and is accompanied by a single-page illustration. These sketchy line drawings are often awkward, and have little child appeal. The stories suffer similarly, borrowing from several traditions while acknowledging none (even if they were "inspired by a Navaho shaman.") Keyser seems to be trying to create his own mythology, but the stories are amorphous and fail to cohere. Some even contradict others. (In the last five stories the gods "die without a trace," then are "left behind," then stay, then "learn to die," then all lie down which ends "the first universe.") These flaws undermine Keyser's occasional insights and lyricism, and make this a disappointing collection. (Folktales. 9-12)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781886910966
  • Publisher: Highlights Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2003
  • Pages: 96
  • Age range: 8 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author


SAMUEL JAY KEYSER is Peter de Florez Emeritus Professor at MIT and an emeritus member of the Linguistics and Philosophy faculty. He is currently special assistant to the Chancellor at MIT. N.B. Jay Keyser has published prolifically in the field of linguistics. THE POND GOD is his first book for children.

ROBERT SHETTERLY is a Maine-based artist and has shown extensively in many New England galleries including the Leighton Gallery, Frick Gallery, New Hampshire Institute of Art, Hobe Sound Galleries, and Berkeley Center at Yale University. He has been included in the juried Maine Coast Artist's Annual Show for 5 consecutive years. He is currently collaborating with other Maine artists on a premiere Cuban artist exchange program

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)