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The Rooster Prince of Breslov Hardcover – September 13, 2010

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The Rooster Prince of Breslov + It Could Always Be Worse: A Yiddish Folk Tale (Michael Di Capua Books)
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 1-3–When the prince rips off his clothes and insists on crouching naked on the floor and crowing like a rooster, the king and queen offer a bag of gold to anyone who can cure him. The doctor, the magicians, and the sorcerers all fail. Yet a frail old man with a very peculiar plan turns the rooster prince into a real mensch, full of compassion and ready to become a wise and benevolent king. Stampler's witty retelling and Yelchin's imaginative, graphite and gouache illustrations bring to life this well-loved Yiddish folktale from Rabbi Nachman of Breslov (1772-1810). Children will enjoy picking up on the visual clues that reveal the old man's plan. An author's note provides background information. With more creativity and humor, the text and illustrations are far superior to Izzi Tooinsky's The Turkey Prince (Viking, 2001) and Sydell Waxman's The Rooster Prince (Pitspopany, 2000). Perfect for reading aloud.Rachel Kamin, North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, Highland Park, IL
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

"Her [Stampler] witty, dialogue-based storytelling nicely dramatizes such concepts as excess, sufficiency, and the relationship between learning compassion and attaining 'moral authority.'"--Horn Book

"Yelchin's self-satiric figures pitch exaggeratedly forward, the rooster postures comically extreme. Stampler' touching note demonstrates this layered tale' openness to multiple interpretations."--Kirkus, starred review

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 790L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Clarion Books (September 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618989749
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618989744
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,334,613 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ann Stampler was the mild mannered author of literary picture books when she broke out, tore off her tasteful string of pearls, and started writing edgy, contemporary young adult novels set in Los Angeles, where she lives with her husband and writer's-helper rescue dog - without whose compelling distraction she would have no doubt penned dozens of novels by now.

You can find Ann at http://www.annstampler.com, where she chats about life in general, and at Novel In The Oven, where she offers Really Bad Writing Advice. (Seriously, it's rank.)

If you'd like to check out the first few chapters of her novels, go here for Afterparty (Simon Pulse, 2014) http://www.scribd.com/doc/183272047/Afterparty-by-Ann-Redisch-Stampler-Excerpt

and here for Where It Began (Simon Pulse, 2012)here: http://pages.simonandschuster.com/annstampler

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By AJL Reviews on January 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover
In the three Jewish folktales that Ann Redisch Stampler has retold for children, she has shown a blend of wit and psychological insight that with the lightest of touches reveals the stories' meaning and their application to the difficult process of growing up. Her writing is so deft that the rather profound themes of the stories are never told but always shown, a fundamental test of good writing. The Rooster Prince of Breslov, in some versions called The Turkey Prince, is one of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov's tales. It can be found in many collections as well as in at least two individual illustrated versions. It is usually interpreted to mean that in order to be successful, a teacher must approach students at their own level, just as the old man in the story pretends to the confused young prince that he too is a fowl. In Stampler's version, the thematic focus is on the child, who through gentle teaching is able to acquire empathy for others or, as the author puts it in a note, "to become a man by developing rachmanis, or true compassion, and practicing mitzvoth, or good deeds."
The central task of childhood is to grow beyond the self, beyond infantile egocentricity. Stampler's version of the rooster prince story recognizes this and suggests a Jewish model of how this goal may be achieved. She tells the story of an alienated child whose sense of self has been impeded by over-indulgent parents. Eugene Yelchin's illustrations express the psychological depths of the story through images that are more archetypal than realistic. All of the human characters are comical looking and slightly distorted, shown from odd angles and perspectives.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pam - because someone has to be persnickety TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
"You're right! replied the old man. "It's the way you treated a cold, hungry, achy old rooster that makes you a man. For it was you, Your Majesty, who wrapped me in a blanket and shared you Sabbath feast with an old traveler."

I love this story of a prince who has-it-all, and yet doesn't have enough. What does he lack? Simply the chance to share and give to others.

THE SKINNY:::
This traditional Jewish tale will have kids smiling and thinking. It's a great read-aloud. And Eugene Yelchin's whimsical artwork is both colorful and intriguing.

Pam T~
mom/blogger
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Rabin on March 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
It's hard to find Jewish books for children that are age-appropriate, entertaining and not too wordy (which bog the story down and make the audience focus elsewhere). Which is what makes this book a particular gem. It's fun, witty and wise, and I highly recommend it. There are a lot of different points for discussion that you and your child can have after. Entertaining and thought-provoking, with bright captivating illustrations. What more can you ask for?
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Format: Hardcover
In a fairy tale land, a Jewish prince suddenly rips off his clothes, yells Cock-a-doodle-doo, and begins behaving like a rooster. His distraught parents appeal to doctors and magicians, but the cure comes by way of a wise old man who joins the boy in crowing and pecking, and gradually leads him back towards a human lifestyle. This is a beautiful retelling of the Yiddish folktale by Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, that infuses the humorous story with deeper meaning. Instead of focusing merely on the joke of how the prince is tricked into acting like a man (while still believing himself to be a rooster), this version allows the rooster phase to represent the boy's spiritual struggle, his dissatisfaction with his pampered life, and his basic goodness. The author's endnote confirms that the book is meant as a coming-of-age story in which the prince learns that compassion and good deeds make him human. The quirky art, with its jagged lines and unusual perspectives, works well to show the awkwardness of the rooster lifestyle. Each upcoming stage in the prince's treatment is cleverly foreshadowed in the pictures, engaging readers in the old man's plans. The nakedness of the prince and old man is discreetly shown in profile views, although young readers will inevitably giggle over the amount of skin shown. This is a great teaching story, amusingly told. The writing is smooth, lyrical, and compelling, and the art is an excellent match for the story's flavor. A good combination of vibrant storytelling and engaging art, this version of The Rooster Prince is highly recommended. Grades 2-5. Heidi Estrin
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Format: Hardcover
Great story -- especially for older preschool or long attention span children. So many great messages about what is "enough," and what is important, and why we are here. My (long attention span) 3 year old requested it 4 times in 24 hours, and it is so well written I didn't even cringe. Illustrations really give it punch. No worries about the nudity, nothing untoward is revealed -- though I might stay away from it in a school setting. I believe this will stay an active choice in our bookshelf for years to come and my daughter's appreciation of it will grow over time. And I will still be happy to read it.
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