Franklin faces surgery and learns that bravery means acting properly in spite of one's fears.
Franklin's shell is cracked. Dr. Bear has to put a pin in it, and that means surgery and being anesthetized. Everyone tells Franklin that he is brave, but really he is scared. When he tells Dr. Bear, he learns why he really is brave. This. 'must have' Franklin story is useful to children who face medical or dental work, but it shows any reader the true nature of courage.
A bright and introspective hawklet experiments and explores to discover abilities, places and companions, always with the intention of making the most of his life.
Rufous is sure he knows the 'whole' world: his mother, a blue roof, and a nest of sticks. Then a shock! His mother must be going somewhere else to get food! Quietly commanding, she won't let her "handful of dandelion fluff" try flying. Over 18 months we see Rufous proudly grow into the world, and we follow his introspective efforts to understand it. The parallel with human intellectual development is inescapable, and adeptly achieved.
Princess Elizabeth uses her distinctly independent judgment to face a Dragon and her betrothed.
Princess Elizabeth's castle is destroyed by a dragon that also kidnaps her betrothed. She sets out to rescue the Prince. A smart judge of character, she manipulates the dragon by appealing to his vanity, to rescue Prince Ronald. Watch out for the surprise ending! The bold illustrations successfully convey the Elizabeth's bold character ...& the fun!
A young Green Tree Python learns he cannot keep his youthful colors as he matures but, in surprisingly joyous ways, he does keep his zest for life.
As a youthful snake, Verdi resists growing out of his bright yellow skin, with its lovely brown zig zags. He loves his agility too, and resolves to never adopt the slothful life of older snakes. His fascinating 'forest gymnastics for snakes' are too good to miss. Verdi expertly shows us that "accepting what we cannot change, and changing what we can" is essential to the pursuit of personal happiness.
Ziggy heads to the beach as the three disapproving pigs prepare for the wolf, but it's Ziggy's "outside the box" thinking that saves the day.
In fear of a visit from the Big Bad Wolf the three little pigs improve the 'security' of their, straw, stick and brick homes. Ziggy happily sleeps under the stars. The other three scornfully reject Ziggy's carefree invitation to go swimming. When the wolf blows apart all three homes, the pigs run to the beach. There, Ziggy provides a brilliant lesson in "thinking outside the box" (It's also a lesson for advocates of U.S. "Homeland Security").
Arthur proves his resourcefulness when babysitting the terrible Tibble twins.
Arthur agrees to baby sit the terrible Tibble twins. However, his experiences with DW, plus all the negative comments of others who have sat the twins, make him nervous. Sure enough, they are terrible, but after several ideas fail he finds one that works. To DW's dismay he suggests she help him next time. Arthur Babysits shows independence and resourcefulness as practical virtues.
Franklin boasts a lie, and learns that true self-esteem and integrity require a focus on genuine abilities.
Franklin seeks borrowed self-esteem by making a boast to his friends that he cannot keep. Realizing his error, he resolves not to make such boasts again. Wanting to recover his own respect, and that of his friends, he comes up with an interesting solution. The story focuses on a theme of honesty and of making the best of a bad situation, rather than on the deeper error of seeking self-esteem through the approval of others. Parental guidance might bring out the latter.
A cleanly written, entertaining and educational anthology of the most outstanding medieval legends.
This anthology exemplifies medieval literature, in a form young readers can understand. The simplified stories are of heroism, of initiation to manhood, of fate and mystical forces. Some are fables and others are stories of justice. They are as much a learning experience *about literature* as they are literature themselves (this was scored as a Discovery work). Because the stories have plainly unbelievable elements, young readers can grasp that the ideals pursued should be seen as suspect.
Five carefully themed stories present slavish adherence to plans, foolish impatience with Nature, the nature of will power, integrity in bravery, and loss of friends through one-up-man-ship.
Each of the five stories in this little anthology present a point about the vagaries of individual behavior that a child can understand. Frog and/or Toad each make some wrongful judgment that leads to a smarter understanding. Parents can ask their children what that approach might be. The stories do not raise much tension, yet they are still interesting in a way that Winnie the Pooh is not.