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From Sea to Shining Sea; A Treasury of American Folklore and Folk Songs Textbook Binding – October, 1993


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This sumptuous anthology gathers into its generous embrace a rich mix of cultural heritages, from Native American and African American to Hispanic, Pennsylvania Dutch, Cajun, Jewish, Shaker, Scandinavian and others. The resulting medley of folk songs, folklore, prose and poetry is as lovely as an Appalachian patchwork quilt, with each piece a unique but integral part of the whole. Each of 15 Caldecott artists--including Chris Van Allsburg, Barbara Cooney, Donald Crews, Molly Bang and Ed Young--provides stylish illustrations for an entire unit of the book, which is divided chronologically and thematically. Creation stories, pourquoi tales and a Navajo song conjure up America "In the Beginning" (Leo and Diane Dillon illustrate this section); the American revolution, the immigrant experience, slavery, westward expansion, tall tales, ghost stories and baseball all receive their due. The final section, "In Our Time," features numerous 20th-century landmarks (including Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech) as well as folklore from such latter-day immigrant cultures as Vietnamese, Haitian and Cuban. What better way for children to get acquainted with their country's wealth of diversity than through an all-star collaboration like this? All ages.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

A swell compilation (almost as good as the 150,000 first printing, BOMC choice, etc., suggests) of ``the heart and soul of America's story''--folk tales and songs from major ethnic groups, historical vignettes, and more, all arranged in 15 topical sections (with eight to ten entries each) on historical periods, typical genres (tricksters; nonsense; animal stories), and such quintessentially American topics as railroads, tall-tale heroes, and baseball (including Abbott and Costello's ``Who's on First?''--one of several entries not easily available elsewhere). Cohn's selections are informed by conscience as well as diversity (the ten pieces in the section entitled ``Let My People Go'' all represent African-American points of view); her range, representation, and ear for cadence, humor, and appeal are admirable. The best entries are well-honed songs and stories left in the form in which they earned their popularity; the abridgments, retellings, and historical summaries don't have the same energy, but do help tie it all together and make a vehicle for the art that comprises nearly half of this generously huge book. The 14 blue-ribbon artists, most of them Caldecott medalists, aren't always at their best here, nor do they always work in their trademark styles and media (Van Allsburg's humorous ``Frozen Logger'' is in intricate pen and ink), but there's a wealth of splendid images (Ed Young's concluding ``Earth/always/endures''--Native American), and some intriguing matches (Trina Schart Hyman illustrating a Julius Lester tale originally visualized by fellow contributor Jerry Pinkney). Introductory comments for each entry plus interesting endnotes (including ``Read More About It'' sections) and more specific acknowledgements yield a lot (but not always the actual sources for the retold stories, and it's cumbersome to search all three). A treasure-trove for browsing, enlivening the curriculum, reading aloud, devouring whole, or returning to nibble again and again. ``Suggestions for Further Reading''; subject guide; chronology; index. (Anthology. 4-12) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 and up
  • Textbook Binding: 399 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic; First Edition edition (October 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590428683
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590428682
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.8 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #421,195 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 1, 2001
Format: Textbook Binding
A beautiful book with a terrific variety of offerings. I homeschool and have used this book repeatedly through the years with a 10 year old and now a 5 year old. This book gives an excellent foundation for each of the subjects covered in its separate chapter. There are stories, poems, brief non-fiction pieces, and songs that include simple but nicely creative piano accompaniment. You'll find everything from scary southern folk tales to "Who's on First" to a brief, accessible and sad report of Isabel's "cleansing" of Spain. The writers and artists are incredibly diverse, and include Norman Finkelstein, Longfellow, and Leo and Diane Dillon. The fact that the above and many others can seamlessly exist is a wonderful testament to the talents of the editors, Cohn and Bang. Perhaps they could compile an equally terrific anthology of world lit for kids; I'd snap it up. My kids love it and will gladly pick it up on their own to pore over the beautiful artwork.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 6, 1997
Format: Textbook Binding
This is a wonderful book that is full of american folklore. It includes stories, poetry, folk songs, and illustrations. The illustrations are fabulous and are by well-known picture book artists including Marcia Brown, Barbara Cooney, Leo and Diane Dillon, Trina Schart Hyman, Chris Van Allsburg, and Ed Young. The folktale retellings are well-written and are appropriate for reading out loud as well as fourth grade reading level and above. The included folk songs have the musical score as well as the lyrics.
I highly recommend this book for parents and teachers.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Theatre Kidd on November 27, 2003
Format: Textbook Binding
This book is a treasury of poems, songs, and stories, from the great country of the US :) The songs are traditional, and, if you have a little skill in piano, flute, recorder, or mallet percussion, you can play them with ease.
The poems are okay, and they include Paul Revere's Ride, which is wonderful.
The stories are also interesting, and they probably aren't ones that you've ever heard before; all of them are 'G' rated, except for one that might be a little scary for little kids in the first section about a girl whose fingers were smashed off by her father and brothers (gross).
This book is okay, but it isn't the greatest thing out there.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By G. Noland on November 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book contains true American classics. The contents ought to be required reading for all students, and all Americans. Wonderful and diverse, it's one of the most enduring and beloved compilations within the genre of folklore. There are many wonderful selections, some familiar and some not so well known.

Great for young and old, for the casual reader or the serious student. Whether you're looking for an introduction or something to enrich your collection, From Sea to Shining Sea needs to find a place on your shelf. No library--private, public, or academic--should be without this gem.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By ganges on December 13, 2011
Format: Textbook Binding Verified Purchase
From Sea to Shining Sea: Lots of songs and pictures besides historic details -- great for any teacher to draw upon.... I am enjoying this collection....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Susannah Merrill on July 3, 2010
Format: Textbook Binding
I remember poring over this book as a little girl, taking it on long trips and reading and re-reading it over and over. I feel like it gave me a firm foundation in America that I didn't get from school. I loved the stories, the songs and poems. I'm 25 now and my husband and I are planning our homeschool curriculum- and I can't wait to share this book with our children. It doesn't cover controversies in great depth, but it does teach what it means to be an American- about the courage, integrity and hard work that went into building our country- and it's a great addition to the home library.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Susan M. Herbert on December 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The is an amazing collection of American culture folktales, fables and short stories. I'm really sad to know that it wasn't republished with updates since 1993. Every family and classroom would appreciate the collections as told by famous Children's literature authors and the inviting art that accompanies it. I was so glad to find a copy to share with 2 young adults in my family who now have their own.

--S. Herbert
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