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.
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.
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!
The author keeps the interest of 8 to 12 year old girls, while sensibly presenting the many common, important health aspects they face.
The Care & Keeping of You covers almost every health aspect of grooming and hygiene girls might wonder about. It deals with nutrition, eating disorders, underarms, puberty and sleep troubles. Perhaps its most valuable information can be found in its discussion of puberty, which is detailed and sensible without being too technical. The book also deals with such woes as acne, body shape, and the emotional difficulties of menstruation.
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.
Each of twelve animal parents (one human) say why they love their offspring, "forever and always".
"On a hot savannah under a shady tree, a lion cub asks, 'How am I special?" The 2-page spread shows the cub, his parents and the savannah. In the next spread, the lions reply by describing how cute the cub is, snuggling and saying "we will love you forever and ever and always." The pattern is repeated, ending with a human couple and child on a picnic. They love his "warm, caring heart" and "bright, curious mind." In each case, there is a 'special' reason for parental love.
— 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.
A little boy pretends to be the heroic captain of his ocean going craft –a wooden crate with an apron sail– keeping his crew safe through terrible storms, even rescuing lost souls.
Baby Ben saves crewman mouse, fights off a marauding fish, rescues a struggling rooster, navigates through a whale's cavernous mouth, recovers his ship and crew when capsized by a storm, and resists a dark monster from the deeps. All the while, he sets a confident example to his frightened crew, "Mouse, Giraffe, and Bunny too." The frumpy illustrations convey the imaginary adventure well. A similar adventure, that some might say is more for girls, can be found in The Maggie B.
A dentist, who is a mouse, decides to be charitable to a fox with a toothache, but wisely prepares for duplicity.
A mouse pitying a fox with an awful toothache, and helping him? This alone should disqualify the story, but that is not the focus of the story. The mouse, Dr. de Soto, sympathizes with the fox's pain, but devises a brilliant trick to protect himself. It is the latter aspect of the story that proves its worth, and leaves the reader wondering if de Soto would do it again.
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.