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Genre 2 Traditional Literature
Children's and Young Adult Literature Review
| Home | Genre 1 Picture Books | Genre 2 Traditional Literature | Genre Poetry | Genre 4 Nonfiction | Genre 5 Historical Fiction/Biography | Genre 6 Fictioon, Fantasy, and Young Adult Literature | Challenged Books - The Giver | Audio Book | New Page Title | Mem Fox

Scieszka, Jon. 1992. The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Tales. New York: Viking. 067084487x.

The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Tales is story that will engage children and adults of all ages. The book contains a collection of twisted compilation of classic fairy-tales intertwined with humor and sarcasm. Jack the Narrator (from Jack and the Beanstalk) moves the reader through the stories, as he perceives them. The ugly duckling grows up to be an ugly duck. The prince slips a bowling ball under his true loves mattress, so shell be able to impress his parents with her sense of delicacies. The frog gets kissed but remains a frog. And the Stinky Cheese man, whos a variation on the Gingerbread boy chants, Run run run as fast as you can. You cant catch me. Im the Stinky Cheese Man, but hes not appetizing at all. In fact he stinks.

Beyond the stories are the amazing illustrations done by Lance Smith. The pictures are creative and done in such a funny way that children will humors and appealing. Once again the collaboration between Scieszka and Smith side splitting humor, sarcasm, and wit will make this book a classic like many of the traditional fairy tales collected in this book.

Gerson, Mary Joan. Why the sky is Far Away. Boston: little Brown. 1992. ISBN 0316308528.

Gerson has re-told a traditional folktale of the Bini tribe on Nigeria that has been part of their culture for more than 500 years. The story can still be used to teach children today to care for the environment, dont waste food, and the greed will be punished. In the beginning, the sky was close to the earth and provides the Bini tribe with all they need to eat. Anyone that was hungry could reach up and take a piece of the sky and eat it. The people were beginning to waste the gift and the sky became angry. The sky told the chief of the Bini people, I am tired of seeing myself scoured and spoiled on every rubbish bin in this land, brooded the sky. He told the chief that if his people continued to waste his gift he would move far far away. The chief told his people what the sky had told them. The Bini people began to watch what they ate and no longer waited food. All except for one woman in the village who took a piece of the sky and could not eat it all. The next morning the sky was far far away. The chief called up to the sky and asked the sky, What will my people do for food? Ever since then people have had to work for their food.

Golembe has created simple bold illustrations that represent the land and people of Africa. The lyrical text and strong vibrant illustration will capture the attention of its readers. The illustrations add to this timely story African tale that address very contemporary environmental issues still face today,

Schwartz, Alvin. 1992. And the Grass Grew All Around. New York: Harper Collins. ISBN 0060227575

Alvin Schwartz folklore anthology is a collection of poems from many different areas. The book includes rhymes, riddles, parodies, and nonsense verse. Children will love the My Eyes have seen Glory of the Closing of the School, and favorite school yard anthem On top of Spaghetti. Schwartz has organized the poem by topic and/or form providing interesting details that will generate discussion among its readers.

The book is intended for readers grade 3 and up. Many adults recall jumping rope to verse contained in this book. The only concern with Schwartz collection maybe with those adults that feel Shel Silversteins poetry is offense may feel the same over a few verses in the collection. The illustrations add to the humor and wit of the verse that will make each one memorable in the hearts of the reader.