Rejected by the tribe for his club foot, Tao's success as a cave artist depended on choosing between his tribe's mystical traditions and the truth of his own experience.
Tao knew his life was forever in the balance. His mother's shocking fight —against the elders and tribal custom— had saved her only child from being thrown to the hyenas. Despite his club foot, he grew to be quick and nimble. As an outcast he often violated tribal taboos. He befriended a wolf, hunted in the swamp of demons, and loved to draw animals —a taboo punishable by death! Could a low ranked and deformed youth survive, to become a cave painter? How is the battle between natural knowledge and religion & authority different today?
Dying of boredom in his retirement pasture, Charlie, a spirited Clydesdale, rediscovers his joie de vivre by setting the entire village "on schedule" for his favorite daily event.
The sorriest sort of creature is the one without a purpose. Marguerite Henry has captured this gravely important principle in a way that children can understand, and has done so by using a draft horse as her main character. One can still be active and important during retirement and Charlie delightfully ensures he is both.
A mongoose battles two devious and deadly Cobras, that are bent on destroying a human family that had saved him from drowning.
One of the all time great children's stories, Rikki Tikki Tavi tells of an Indian mongoose rescued by a British family. He overhears two Cobras planning to make the walled family garden safe for their hatchlings —by killing his benefactors! Rikki, in justice & loyalty to the family, determines to defeat the deadly cobras. For a children's story, the war of wits & agility that ensues is remarkable and compelling.
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.
Norwegian school children use their ingenuity, and considerable bravery, to smuggle gold bullion from under the noses of the Nazi occupying army.
It is its improbability that makes it possible. Twelve year old Peter and 24 Norwegian school children must keep millions of dollars worth of gold bricks (26,000 pounds) from the occupying Nazi forces. Can they transport the gold through the snow, under the very noses of Nazi soldiers, to Uncle Victor's hidden fishing vessel? Grasping the nature of the Nazis, the intelligent and brave children get to work, but Peter soon discovers they are being watched.
Sarah's sailing skill develops from her mature, independent focus on technique and natural forces.
Eleven year old Sarah has a lot to learn to compete in the sailing regatta. The brashness of sailing boys like Tommy do not distract her. Her sensible determination, her Grandpa's advice and her bright sailing observations raise our hopes. Even Tommy offers surprising values in Sarah's benevolent world. Alvord makes unapologetic use of sailing terminology but provides many explanatory sidebars, and a glossary.
Young Percy proves he is of adult character when he courageously defends his family's home against a prairie fire.
In a nightmare, young Percy dreams of a wind driven prairie fire galloping, as a running horse, straight toward their home with nothing to stop it. Later, a prairie fire really comes and Percy and his family are in the fight of their lives. Deemed too young to help on the farm, and in great fear, Percy must now be a man. He must act to protect his values, not just to please his father.
Red is Best portrays Kelly's admirable and fun, intellectual, independence as she happily tells us all her cute reasons for preferring red.
We can't give away too much of Kelly's clear delight with red. She knows her values, and when it comes to color, its red! Kelly says, "I like my red barrettes the best. My mom says, 'You wear pink barrettes with a pink dress.' But my red barrettes make my hair laugh." The simple illustrations provide all we need to appreciate her pleasure with red; Surely you too can see that red boots make bigger steps!
After decades of disinterest, backwoods Indian children in Alaska are amazed to find school learning offers real values, and even happiness, thanks to a teacher from England.
The new teacher wears pants! Frederika, a 10 year old Athapaskan native, remarks, "We sure never started school throwing books out before". When Miss Agnes produced new art supplies she said, "The first thing you must do is brighten this school up." Who cares about reading, writing and arithmetic? People have to fish, hunt & trap. What could little Jimmy Sam, who could already disassemble and restore engines, or deaf Bokko, learn in school? A lot!