When Stories Fell Like Shooting Stars

Overview

This distinctive, haunting picture book challenges readers to determine which of two stories is true. Two stunningly illustrated fables, the Fox's story and the Bear's story, tell about the fultility of war and the power of myth. Full color.

When Fox sees the sun fall from the sky, his selfish actions set in motion a series of events that lead to war, but when Bear finds the fallen moon, he gets the other animals to work together to...

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Overview

This distinctive, haunting picture book challenges readers to determine which of two stories is true. Two stunningly illustrated fables, the Fox's story and the Bear's story, tell about the fultility of war and the power of myth. Full color.

When Fox sees the sun fall from the sky, his selfish actions set in motion a series of events that lead to war, but when Bear finds the fallen moon, he gets the other animals to work together to return the moon to where it belongs.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Two gracefully told fables, one illustrating the violent consequences of greed and the second proclaiming the benefits of generosity, offer young readers moral food for thought in this exceptional picture book. When Fox sees the sun fall from the sky, he quickly seizes control of the glowing star and, hence, power over his fellow animals. Weasel and Crow try to displace Fox, and the outcome is tragic. In a parallel tale, Bear observes the moon as it falls from the sky. Bear, Spider and their entire community work to restore the moon to its sky home, for all to enjoy. Gregory's (Through the Mickle Wood) poetic imagery and simple sentence structure are a powerful combination, often carrying great emotional resonance ("...but there the sun was, as red as hearts and yellow as gold, trembling"). Her provocative challenge to readers-"only you can say which story is true"-invites open consideration of the text without preachiness. Vitale's (A Christmas Lullaby) dark, stylized oil-on-wood paintings maintain a careful balance between the concrete and the abstract and are perfectly matched to the strong themes at hand. All ages. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Gisela Jernigan
"Long ago, when Earth was new and Sky was black as printer's ink, two stories fell like shooting stars." Two original fables contrast what happens when Fox finds the sun caught in a tree, and when Bear finds the moon on the ground after it slips from the sky. In Fox's Tale, the animals greed and selfishness leads to war and suffering, while the animals in Bear's Tale cooperate and restore the shining moon to the peaceful, dark sky. This picture book, with its dramatic painting on wood illustrations, could lead to meaningful discussions among readers of all ages.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3Two fables that demonstrate different methods of conflict resolution. In "Fox's Story," fox, weasel, and crow each fight to dominate the rest of the forest by controlling the appearance of the sun, which has fallen "like a bird into the tangled branches of a tree." The rivalry among the three escalates to the point of war and the rest of the animals are forced to take sides. Greed, fear, and ignorance lead to destruction of their world with no thought given as to how the original conflict began or how a peaceful solution might have been achieved. In a parallel piece, the moon has fallen out of "a buttonhole of the sky" and lands at the feet of Bear. While other creatures wish to divide or crack open the celestial body, Bear wisely explains that the "moon is not ours to keep" and a mutual decision is made to work together to return it to its rightful place in the sky. This story of kindness and goodness is told through the generations as a reminder of peaceful resolutions. The message in both stories is subtly conveyed in well-written, slightly poetic language. Vitale's expressive folk-style oil paintings on wood dramatically portray the harsh realities of war in "Fox's Story" through the use of dark oranges, browns, and fiery reds. Conversely themes of peace, love, and concern in "Bear's Story" are reinforced through the greens, blues, and aquas of the nightscapes. Thought-provoking concepts for school-age readers.Rita Soltan, Baldwin Public Library, Birmingham, MI
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689800122
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 10/1/1996
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Lexile: 980L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.81 (w) x 11.36 (h) x 0.37 (d)

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