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.
Harold's world is a blank slate through which he learns to draw his own experiences, with a purple crayon.
Toddler Harold draws his way into a moonlit stroll in a world of his own design. Unexpected events –a too scary dragon, a tumble into water and getting lost– combine to make his walk exciting yet ultimately it remains a matter of his own design. Although he, literally, draws every scenario with his purple crayon, and saves himself from their difficulties. it is clear that the metaphor is not about whim, so much as design.
— Out of print. —
Having failed at copying the abilities of other creatures, Kitten Cat learns to judge herself by her own talents.
Kitten Cat could not fly from the clothesline, and the birds laughed. She could not open nuts, nor hop on lily pads, nor crow like a cockerel. Dejected she cries to her mother "I can't do anything. I'm only a cat!" Springing proudly to her feet, Mom announces "Only a cat indeed! ...follow me." Here appears the unmistakable theme: Kitten Cat should learn her own talents, rather than risk disappointment copying the skills of others.
David's struggle to survive in the endless muskeg of the Canadian North shows intelligent determination and a pursuit of wise personal values for his maximum happiness.
Escaping his unhappy stepfather, David stows aboard a U.S. airplane at an Edmonton airport. David, unexpectedly, is bound for the same destination as a pair of rare whooping cranes flying to their nesting pond... in the Northwest Territories! Tragedy strikes both sets of travelers. David and his strange but valued companion must fight for their lives. This story of determination and intelligence in the face of ever growing difficulties, offers readers a great character and an excellent vocabulary.
Risking the Tsar's punishment for theiving, Pavel courageously saves a beautiful wolfhound, and receives an unexpected justice.
Pavel saves an enormous, half frozen dog. If he looks after it, his father is sure they would be punished by the Tsar for stealing, but he values its beauty and cannot leave it to die in the bitterly cold forest. Bravely seeking a solution, he discovers, in an unexpected way, that men of any social class are capable of justly acknowledging the good in others.
Jack's survival comes to depend on the happy perspectives that his vocabulary and literary wit offers others
At the orphanage, Jack used his wits to avoid trouble. Then, horrified by his assigned apprenticeship he ran, taking only his prize possession and source of ideas: an old dictionary. To survive he peddled 'ideas' in town markets, as "fresh air for the brain". In a town where one could find "more lively company in a crew of clams", its mayor set about arresting him! Ellis's marvelous wordings just might encourage your child to love words.
A tree and boy reveal the opposite character presenting the false, modern, moral alternatives of altruistic & egotism, respectively: the tree gives its all –even its life– for the boy, whereasthe boy takes the benefits with indifference.
A little boy plays on a tree he loves, and that loves him. As he matures he only visits her when he wants something. Her happiness lies in giving him her fruit, limbs and trunk! Finally, as a depressed, unappreciative old man, he sits on the dead stump "and the tree was happy." An honest reader must ask, "Really? You're dead." This parable exposes the folly of giving and taking as today's preeminent moral choice. Parents are left to teach a smarter alternative...
A young boy learns that 'heaven' is understanding how Grandpa's influence continues long after he has passed away.
As his family relates precious moments they had with Grandpa, the grieving young son can't understand 'where' Grandpa is. The father wisely portrays Heaven "as any place two people who love each other have shared some time". The boy grasps the useful lesson that Grandpa's 'presence' lies in his ongoing relevance to their lives, though he no longer physically exists. The understanding enables him to tell them his own memories—emotional stuff!
Enno's dream 'boats' become so large he must act on them.
Farmer Enno dreams of a boat, and when he awakes, a model of it is on his bedroom floor. Each night he dreams of a different boat, and they appear on his bedroom floor, but they get larger. Soon enormous boats are appearing in his fields. This magical story has a wonderful message. Why do the boats get so big? What should Enno do about it?