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Hello. Fats here.

As our bimonthly theme, From Asia With Love, comes to a close I’d like to share with you not just one but three picture books that feature Ed Young’s gift in art and storytelling. This was a last-minute idea that came to me while browsing books at the library. Don’t you just love it when you come upon amazingly wonderful reads by accident? That’s how I felt when I brought home these picture books by Ed Young. I loved it even more when I saw the different styles that Ed Young used to bring these stories to life. Whether or not you’re familiar with these books, I’d love to hear your thoughts about them!

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Story and illustrations by: Ed Young
Published by: Roaring Book Press
Book borrowed from the library.
Book photo by me. 

An abandoned egg.
A young boy.
A strange chick.
A hook nose?
Let’s call him Hook. 

And so begins the tale of an eaglet that a mother hen found and was taken under the hen’s wing. Upon seeing the eaglet’s hook nose, the hen understood that Hook was “not meant for Earth.” With the help of a young boy, the mother hen encouraged Hook to push beyond his limits and “rise to where he belongs.”

This simple tale of perseverance reminds us, the readers, that if we don’t succeed at the first try, we could keep trying. Not only does perseverance increase our chances of achieving our goals, it also builds our character. The beautiful Maya Angelou could not have said it any better:

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”

May we also be reminded, through Ed Young’s Hook, that some goals require time. There is no need to hurry. Life will not judge you by how fast or how many you’ve achieved. You may not get it today or tomorrow or even the week after. Find comfort in knowing that you shall get there someday, somehow.

Seven Blind Mice1013200_10151640725583700_2073080823_n

Story and illustrations by: Ed Young
Published by: Philomel Books
Book borrowed from the library.
Book photo by me. 

One day seven blind mice were surprised
to find a strange Something by their pond.
“What is it?” they cried, and they all ran home. 

Ed Young’s Seven Blind Mice is a retelling of the ancient fable of the Blind Men and the Elephant. With its brightly colored paper-collage illustrations, this is surealy a visual treat to the younger readers. Winner of the Caldecott Honor, Boston Globe Horn Book, and the California Children’s Media awards, Seven Blind Mice tells the story of how seven curious blind mice decided to examine the strange Something by their pond, each having a different idea of what it is.

Although not entirely similar, Seven Blind Mice reminded me of Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar, each spread representing one day during the week. Filled with wit and charm, this book will surely bring delight to the early readers. Through this book, they will learn about colors and the days of the week. To everyone else, Seven Blind Mice is a good book about taking things in perspective and analyzing situations as a whole, not just in parts.

Seven Fathers1044192_10151640725613700_721046396_n

Retold by: Ashley Ramsden
Illustrated by: Ed Young
Published by: Roaring Brook Press
Book borrowed from the library.
Book photo by me. 

One winter’s evening, a lone traveler
trudged down a winding forest road
looking for a place to spend the night. 

Ashley Ramsden retells a Norwegian folktale about a young traveler who was in dire need of a place to stay one winter’s night. When the traveler encountered a man who was chopping wood, the traveler asked the man if he had any room to spend the night.

“Oh,” said the old man, “I’m not the father of the house. You’ll have to ask my father. He’s around back, in the kitchen.” 

The rest of the story is told in a similar pattern. The traveler goes to the kitchen to ask the woodcutter’s father the same question, and the traveler gets the same answer, only he is directed to another place in the house. Will the traveler ever find a room to stay?

Of the three picture books, this is my favorite. Ed Young’s beautiful illustrations add to the magic that the folktale possesses. While Seven Fathers is meant for older readers, the younger ones can learn about hospitality, connectedness, and the family as a unit through this book. Regardless of age, Seven Fathers is worth the read.

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Seven Blind Mice
Winner, Boston Globe Horn Book, 1992
Caldecott Honor Book, 1993
California Children’s Media Award

AWB Reading Challenge Update: 31 of 35

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Read-a-Latte Challenge Update: 141, 142, 143 of 150

1 comment on “Ed Young and His Tales for Children: A 3-in-1 GatheringBooks Special

  1. I love Ed Young! We’ve lived in Asia now for 8 years, so I’m always on the lookout for good Asian children’s books. Thanks for sharing these. I hadn’t seen all of them.

    I am starting a new link-up party this week for all things book and reading related on my blog, Mommynificent. I’d love to have you join us with this post and any others you’d like to share. Hope to see you at Booknificent Thursday this week and every week!
    Tina @ Mommynificent

    Like

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