A 13 year old Cro-Magnon boy learns that genuine manhood is not found through initiation rites, but through his heroic quest to acquire a spear-thrower.
Cowley's archaeologically accurate story begins with Dar nervously awaiting his initiation to manhood. While emptying his Uncle Kernok's traps he meets a stranger with a remarkable tool. The smallish man uses it to hurl a spear with shocking force, exceeding that of powerful Kernok. Once the initiation ceremony gives Dar his independence, he sets out to get a spear-thrower from the stranger's clan. Exciting moments, surprising connections and life affirming lessons bring Dar into a genuine, confident manhood.
There are great things to do, but you must work towards them even in the midst of failure... "There's fun to be done!"
The Geisel's offer the best advice anyone can give a child facing the world: use your free will, take charge of your own direction, enjoy the ups and wrestle through the downs, but never stop. Rather than penning a nonsense story in rhyme, the Geisel's have used their considerable talent to provide readers of all ages with the ultimate 'life' pep-talk: One can always choose a direction, and go, You should choose this book for your kids.
Five young, Czech orphans attempt a daring escape by train to avoid a future under Communist tyranny.
Thirteen year old Franta is the oldest of 5 war orphans living in Czechoslovakia, with middle aged Ms. Novak. When the Communists take over in 1951, the "family" learns they will be broken up and sent to Communist educational centres. Though young, Fran knows the only preventative is a daring escape. All Aboard for Freedom is based on true events.
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.
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").
Franklin learns that everyone has to struggle with their particular challenges, just as he has to struggle to cycle without training wheels.
It's time for Franklin to ride his two-wheeler without training wheels. He observes his friends and mistakenly thinks they find it easy, but a closer look helps him grasp that others find various things difficult too. Imagine a porcupine rollerblading, and you get the idea. Porcupine suggests Franklin use rollerblading pads, put pillows beside the walkway for crash landings, and to keep on trying!
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.
A mysterious sylph –a seamstress– instills beauty and a romantic view of life into the lives of austere villagers, via their pockets! [Image showsvillagers surprise at her arrival.}
Wafting from 'wherever', the sylph proved a seamstress. Fancier than the town wished, she grew bored with their taupish cotton. With tincture and texture she slipped motifs of embroidered fantasy into the pockets of functionaries and farmers; romance was rekindled. In her husband, one wife saw "a buccaneer holding pink shells, black pearls and a sword." Pockets evinces the ecstasy in aesthetics, and shows us verse in prose -a delight for embryonic elocutionists.
Marc Falkoff's abridged story of an orphan girl who seeks to fit into her new community of adults and friends without sacrificing her self respect and Romantic values.
Mathew and Marilla sought a boy to help on their farm, but the orphanage sent Anne. Anne has a number of "scrapes" as she tries to integrate into a rather austere household, and a community with a mix of characters. Her prideful pursuit of her own values is both charming and exemplary. Marc Falkoff does not merely enumerate Anne's scrapes, but presents them as if the reader was there —an essential aspect of writing for children.