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Between Heaven and Earth: Bird Tales from Around the World Hardcover – October 1, 2004

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 890L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 88 pages
  • Publisher: Gulliver Books; First Edition edition (October 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152019820
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152019822
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 10.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,387,345 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3 Up–The birds in these five well-crafted folktales possess wisdom, are engaged in trickery, or teach lessons about sorrow or jealousy. And the lovely, secretive swans are village ancestors transformed upon dying as humans. Collected at the International Folklore Workshop at the University of Maryland, the stories might be viewed as contemporary manifestations of the oral tradition. All are remembered from childhoods spent far away in Australia, China, Matabeleland, Norway, and Sri Lanka. Smoothly polished and beautifully illustrated, the narratives portray characters, themes, and magical elements familiar in folklore. A pelican that owns the only fishnet in the world and a troublesome troll with an intriguing scarf of live crows will interest children in the early grades. The greater complexities and subtleties of the other three will pique the interest of older readers and listeners. The Dillons have broadly adapted folk motifs into selected scenes from each story. Thick outlines and muted colors suggest the wax-resist printing common to textiles in several of these countries. This collection offers versatile possibilities for use across the curriculum as well as inviting tales for personal enjoyment, reading aloud, and storytelling. A concluding essay identifies the actual contributors and offers personal information about them.–Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 3-7. In Between Heaven's closing note, adult novelist and folklore translator Norman introduces his sources: five adult students in his folklore class who, together, contributed and shaped the stories about birds. The result is a collection of stories that are rich in cultural references from the lands of their origins: China, India, Australia, Norway, and Sri Lanka. Younger children may need help with some of the tales' cultural background, sophisticated language, and symbolism, and the stories' sometimes unfocused pacing may not hold the attention of children accustomed to more tightly structured tales. Still, the Dillons' luminous watercolor-and-pencil illustrations, detailed with patterns drawn from each tale's culture of origin, will draw readers and listeners back to the stories. . Teachers will want this for reading aloud or inspiring students to create their own folktale compilations. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

HOWARD NORMAN is a three-time winner of National Endowment for the Arts fellowships and a winner of the Lannan Award for fiction. His 1987 novel, The Northern Lights, was nominated for a National Book Award, as was his 1994 novel The Bird Artist. He is also author of the novels The Museum Guard, The Haunting of L, and Devotion. His books have been translated into twelve languages. Norman teaches in the MFA program at the University of Maryland. He lives in Washington, D.C., and Vermont with his wife and daughter.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mary Von Ah-Gregory on October 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
One bird tale each from the diverse countries of Australia, Norway, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, and China is retold in this lovely collection. All of them are beautifully illustrated by Caldecott medalists Leo and Diane Dillon. The stylized art work has the feel of stain glass, with heavy outlines framing various shaped colored pieces and their complimentary shades and tones. Many of the pictures are full page size enhancing the effect of these highly ornate visuals. In all cases the illustrations match the action and mood of the story and help to reveal the personalities of the characters involved.

A wide range of human feelings and attributes are portrayed in these stories. In "The Disobedient Pelican Daughter," a story from Sri Lanka, we encounter the curious, bold and disobedient daughter of Goolayyahlee pelican. In the Norwegian tale "The Troll and the Scarf Made of Crows" we meet clever Olav who outwits the mischievous troll by using his knowledge of the habits of the familiar crows. "The Beautiful Quail" is a melancholy tale which takes place during a time of extreme drought in Sri Lanka. In a moving show of sympathy other creatures, recognizing that a world without quail would be keenly lacking, forsake their own needs to come to the aid of beautiful quail as she tries to lay her eggs under duress. "The Bird Who Sang Like a Warthog" comes from the African country of Matabeleland. Kumala, a good man, but a braggart and prone to jealousy, and Sibanda, a blind man with much insight are the main characters. Sibanda has a remarkable gift of being able to identify animals, especially birds, by their voices. Kumala is jealous, so much so that he tricks Sibanda and lies to him. The taunting cries of the birds-"liar, liar, liar...." drive Kumala insane.
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By Miss Kay on February 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
There are multiple cultures represented in this book. The art is beautifully done for the different cultures, while keeping them all coordinated. I would recommend this to anyone who is wanting to peek into different cultures.
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