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The Wooden Sword: A Jewish Folktale from Afghanistan Hardcover – February 1, 2012


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"Playtown: Airport" by Roger Priddy
Roger Priddy's passion for educating children through fun, informative books has led him to create some of the most enduring early learning books. See more

Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company (March 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807592013
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807592014
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8.8 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,087,438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"Despite the man's hardships, the simple yet elegant prose reinforces his optimistic refrain that 'everything turns out just as it should.' The lush, detailed backgrounds of the spreads bring to life the various settings....Ideal for those looking to add ethnic diversity to their folktale collections." School Library Journal

From the Inside Flap

Though the shah in Afghanistan tries to test his faith, a poor Jewish shoemaker maintains his belief that all happens for the best.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bibliophilic on November 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Award-winning author, Ann Redisch Stampler, specializes in Jewish folktales--and she's captured a kid-pleaser in her most recent book, The Wooden Sword. This story is the Jewish-Afghani version of a folktale common to much of Europe and Asia. While in disguise, a shah discovers a poor but dignified Jew who demonstrates exemplary faith (emunah). The shah tests this gentleman to discover if his faith can be broken. The theme of being happy with what you have runs strongly throughout the text. Colorful illustrations include details such as veils, turbans, and the colorful kippah common to both Afghanistan and Buchara; exotic landscapes, tapestries, scimitars, and paper lanterns help to place the setting. The adventurous locale and good-natured humor will appeal particularly to boys, but my daughters greatly enjoyed this book, as well. Recommended for ages 4 to 8, The Wooden Sword is available online and in brick and mortar stores.

A version of this review, by the author of A Dozen Daisies for Raizy, will appear in the Chanukah 2012 CitySpirit Magazine.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Yana V. Rodgers on March 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Once upon a time in Afghanistan, the shah decided he would slip anonymously into the streets of Kabul to find out more about the well-being of the people. In the poorest section he came upon a shoemaker and his wife who seemed quite content and were willing to share their meager dinner with the shah. Curious as to the strength of their happiness and faith, the shah decided he would put the young man to the test. Each time the man started a new job, the shah decreed that activity to be illegal. Yet the man and his wife remained faithful and continued to offer the stranger a portion of their food. The shah would need to put the shoemaker to the ultimate challenge that would truly test the resilience of his faith.

This book presents young children with a new interpretation of a classic Afghani Jewish folktale. The setting provides a good opportunity to discuss with children how the realities of poverty and job loss in developing countries may differ from the rosier version in the folktale. Parents and teachers seeking to diversify their collection of fairytales and folktales will want to consider this cheerfully illustrated Afghani rendition.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin Burton on August 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I recommend highly recommend this book for children and adults. It is a wonderful tale of faith, trust and even has a deeper meaning woven beneath the text.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Heiss on May 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover
A meddlesome Shah tries to disrupt the life of a contented subject, but through perseverance and creativity, the individual prevails.

Funny trickster ending -- my kids love this book.

If you like using children's books to talk about the Constitutional values of limited government and personal property, also try "That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown" That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown
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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

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The Wooden Sword: A Jewish Folktale from Afghanistan
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