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Stories from the Silk Road Hardcover


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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 860L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Barefoot Books (September 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1902283252
  • ISBN-13: 978-1902283258
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 8.9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,060,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Grade 2-4-Gilchrist has clearly done substantial research for this collection of folktales from countries along the ancient trade route. She has uncovered so much information to supplement the folklore that she includes an introduction; a character called the "Spirit of the Silk Road," whose two-page spiels preface each individual story; and two pages of facts at the end of the book. The result is a collection of seven tales, somewhat weighted down by the burden of explanatory matter. The stories themselves are unusual enough that libraries with large folklore collections or with a strong interest in Asia may want to purchase this title. A few of the selections are reminiscent of European or American variants. "Clever Ashik" is similar to the riddle-solving "Clever Gretchen" and the wish-granting "Magic Saddlebag" is like Jack's magic tablecloth in "Jack and the Northwest Wind." Other tales are more culture specific, such as "Monkey and the River Dragon" from China or "A Rainbow in Silk" from Uzbekistan. Gilchrist's writing is bland, showing little variation as she moves from people to people. Mistry's gouache paintings illuminate the costumes, architecture, and terrain along the way. An additional purchase.
Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Public Library, NY
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

In seven stories, the lively Spirit of the Silk Road takes readers through the culture, history, and folklore of the ancient trade route that stretched from China to Persia and was used from 200 B.C. to the fourteenth century. The retellings, from humorous to creepy, feature an assortment of kind and vengeful gods, spirits, animals, and human travelers. "Clever Ashik" illustrates how cultures adapt and recreate familiar stories; "The Magic Saddlebag," a morality tale, shows the rewards of generosity and kindness; "The Enchanted Garden" presents a nightmarish experience resulting from greed. The conversational tone of the tellings evokes a tourist's sight-seeing expedition, with brightly colored, intricately patterned illustrations of exotic places and characters providing visuals and context. An introduction gives general background about the Silk Road and traded goods; endpaper maps detail the route. A "Did You Know?" facts section and source notes are appended. This will be a good resource for storytellers, particularly those wanting material for international story times, and for individuals interested in Asian folklore. Shelle Rosenfeld

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Sam A. Mawn-Mahlau on June 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
This has been a favorite for our kids from about kindergarten on up, and perhaps even a bit earlier. In Bearfoot Book style, this book includes a full curriculum of art, geography, religion and history in the form of plain old good, engaging stories. The silk road slinks from China through the deserts of Central Asia and into the Middle East, and in this age when so much new history is being written in Central Asia and the Middle East the stories and the accompanying discussions will really help orient your kids to the broader world.

Among the stories that have struck our kids the most are "Monkey and the River Dragon", which should keep the kids laughing through the whole story, and "The Bride and the Horse's head", a story with more pathos and tragedy.

The art in this book particularly stands out, even with the high standards usually set by Barefoot Books, and the maps are a particularly colorful delight. Among kids books, this is one of the better selections when you are reading to children that span all the elementary school grades, as it has something of interest for the older kids as well as the younger ones.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lynn Ellingwood VINE VOICE on August 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book has a series of tales from the Silk Road countries - China, Uzbekistan, Kirghizstan, and Afghanistan. They are easy to read and interesting. I have Afghan students and recently saw the Afghan treasures show at the National Gallery. This book goes along well with a teacher's unit on this area of the world. We don't teach much about Central Asia and I think we often don't much about it. This is a book that gives the area more life and interest in Central Asia.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By kalanamak on April 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
Nice long stories, none of which I've read elsewhere, kept my 7 year old glued by my side. We read it in two sittings, and by the end, he wanted me to go back and reread the "introductions", as he paid attention to the stories only, at first. Good mix with any of the similarly-leveled Marco Polo books. Barefoot Books comes through again. Some of the best stories I've read kiddo this year.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By GypsyKiss on October 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thought this book would have tales from throughout the Silk Road (China, India, Persia, Arabia, etc.) It is almost exclusively based in China. A beautiful book, just not what I was looking for.
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By F. Parker on September 8, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very simple book that points to many other stories that one can find in other books on the Silk Road. For a young reader this book can wet the appetite for looking deeper into a fascinating piece of history and a cultures that are still just being discovered
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