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Rootabaga Stories Paperback – April 1, 2003


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Grade Level: 3 - 5
  • Lexile Measure: 1130L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1-Simul edition (April 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 015204714X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152047146
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #220,067 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Takes the home-bred American fantasy of The Wizard of Oz even further."--School Library Journal

"Glorious for reading aloud."--The New York Times Book Review

From the Back Cover

Joyous, humorous, poetic, and always uniquely American, Carl Sandburg's Rootabaga Stories are an important part of our children's literary legacy. In inimitable prose, Sandburg created Rootabaga Country-where the railroad tracks go from straight to zigzag, where the pigs have bibs on, and where the Village of Cream Puffs floats in the wind-and populated it with baby balloon pickers, flummywisters, Poker Face the Baboon and Hot Dog the Tiger, the White Horse Girl and the Blue Wind Boy, corn fairies, blue foxes, and many more fanciful characters. Rootabaga Stories, Part One is irrepressible, zany Americana-an anthology to delight admirers of Sandburg's genius.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

All of us responded with delight to the word music and rhythm of Sandburg's writing.
Sandra J. Froese
A little non-sensible and filled with witty rhyming schemes and silly topics, this is a fun book to share with a child, or to read as an adult.
Pamela C. Ellis
I have given it many times as a gift and read it all the way through to my grandson.
Donna Schoenkopf

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 51 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 4, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Carl Sandburg, winner of Pulitzer Prizes both for his biography of Abraham Lincoln and for his COMPLETE POEMS, explores another genre in ROOTABAGA STORIES, fairy tales that he wrote for his daughters. When asked how he wrote the stories, Sandburg replied, "The children asked questions, and I answered them."
The ROOTABAGA STORIES are unconventional in almost every way. Unlike traditional fairy tales, they have no perfect princesses and evil witches. They are American fairy tales with a rural flavor and, in fact, they have no evil characters. The settings, though fanciful, include images that defined America in the 1920s, when the stories were published: the railroad, which "ran across the prairie, to the mountains, to the sea," and the skyscraper.
In Rootabaga Country the railroad tracks go from straight to zigzag, the pigs wear bibs (some checked, some striped, some polka-dotted), and the biggest city is the Village of Liver-and-Onions. Characters in this fanciful world are equally peculiar: Please Gimme, Blixie Blimber, Eeta Peeca Pie, and dozens of others. Children and literary critics alike would be hard-pressed to explain (even symbolically) the events that occur in the stories. Nevertheless, meaning comes through and truth is revealed. For example, in "Three Boys with Jugs of Molasses and Secret Ambitions," ambition is defined as "a little creeper that creeps and creeps in your heart night and day, singing a little song, 'Come and find me, come and find me.'" Who would expect that "The Two Skyscrapers Who Decided to Have a Child" would have an absolutely poignant ending?
Although the events of the stories may not be explainable, the stories are replete with concrete images.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Julie Lovisa VINE VOICE on May 20, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I wish I could give this book 10 stars...what can you say about an author that gives his characters such wacky and fitting names? The "Potato Face Blind Man," "Bozo the Button Blaster," "Ragbag Mammy," and "Spink and Skabootch" leave their marks on your memory as perfect children's fairy tale characters. The imagery in this book is unbelievable and I have to believe that this is the prose equivalent of e.e. cummings poetry because Carl Sandburg enables you to see the fantastic worlds he has created almost as if you had created them yourself. If you can get your hands on a copy of "More Rootabagas," which is out-of-print, buy it, if only for the two stories, "A Girl Named Silver Pitchers Tells a Story About Egypt, Jesse James, and Spanish Onions," and "The Story of Peter Potato Blossom Wishes and How She Went Down into Rootabaga Country and Came Back with Five Sky Blue Whispering Cats." I can't think of any more lyrical and imaginative writings for children than the words you will find in these, or any of the Rootabaga Stories.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Michele Rhodes on August 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
Sometimes it is late and you want to read your child something short so you naturally will reach for this book - where most of the stories are 4 pages or less and they are not really connected - the problem is: you can seldom stop at one and if you are not careful you will read the whole book! My 10 year old is just as mesmerized by Sandberg's words as my 8 year old was 2 years ago, mostly because Sandberg's choice of words and fantastic plots and settings are continually unexpected and surprising. I'm mesmerized too, but I won't reveal my age.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 10, 1998
Format: Paperback
A refreshing book of fantasy and rhymes, 'Rootabaga Stories' is sure to please. This is the kind of book I know everyone will love and it is also a great book to read aloud, for a bedtime story or a rainy day. If you've read it once, the odds are 1 to 99 that you'll read it again. I have read it 6 times and am still coming back for more. Ingeniously written, Carl Sandberg has done it again. This is a great book for children reading, but also for adults! In fact, this would be a good book for a child and an adult to read togethor. A sure pleaser.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 17, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I must have had my dad read these stories a million times at bed time. I remember always bugging him to read one more story. It has been so many years since then and I can't wait to read them to my own children, although i don't think I can do the voices quit so well. The illustrations in the hardcover edition were beautiful and i would spend so much time pretending with my little sister that we lived in rootabaga country. It will be a pleasure to reread all the stories of my childhood. When i would pick rootabaga stories at bedtime even over everybodies all time favorite Winnie-the-pooh.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mike on February 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you have kids, if you are one yourself or if you have ever been one, you want this book. This is Sandburg at his wacky-best. It will have you all laughing.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Peter D on October 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
My wife and I love and highly recommend Carl Sandburg's other book "The Wedding Procession of the Rag Doll and the Broom Handle". This is a picture book that is very funny, and was one of her favorite books growing up as a kid.

Rootabaga stories doesn't have any pictures, and is a bit strange. Don't get me wrong, the author is brilliant and the writing is interesting, but it wasn't a fun kid's book like we were expecting.
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