Premise/plot:This one is a reading/literature textbook from the 1930s. It contains stories and poems mainly. The book is divided into four sections: "Merry Animal Tales," "Folk Fairy Tales and Poems," "Stories of Many Lands," and "Playtime Stories."
My thoughts: My favorite selection from "Merry Animal Tales" was "The Frogs' Travels a Japanese folk tale. There are two frogs: one from a pond near Osaka, the other from a stream in Kioto. Both frogs decide to go traveling. They each reach the top of a mountain. They decide to help each other decide if it's worth continuing the journey on.
"Oh," said the Kioto frog, "we can stand on our hind legs and hold on to each other. Then each can look at the town where he is going."and
The foolish frogs forgot that their eyes were in the back of their heads. Though their noses pointed to the places toward which they wanted to go, their eyes beheld the places from which they had come.My favorite section of the book was "Folk Fairy Tales and Poems." I really loved quite a few of these including: "The Good Husband," "The Glass Hill," "Nail Soup," and "The Twelve Months." This section also includes a version of Hansel and Gretel adapted from the opera.
My favorite selection from "Stories of Many Lands," was "The Goose Boy." This one stars a king--the king of Bavaria--and a goose boy. So one day, a king loses a book beneath a tree. Not wanting to exert himself, he tries to hire a goose boy to go and fetch it for him. The goose boy is skeptical that he can earn a gold piece merely by running a mile to fetch a book! And if he did go, who would watch his geese?! The king says he'd be happy to watch the geese while the boy does his errand. But is the king up to such a task?!?! The boy returns with the book to find his geese gone and the king apologetic. The king helps the boy round up the geese again, and, he reveals that he is in fact the king. The boy, still skeptical, says he doesn't know if that is true enough...but he should definitely not be a gooseherd!
My favorite selection from "Playtime Stories," is Moufflou. This one is about a peasant family with a very well-trained dog that may or may not be the making of their fortune. It's a very charming story set in Italy.
© 2017 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews