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Three Strong Women (Viking Kestrel picture books) Hardcover – June 1, 1990


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Series: Viking Kestrel picture books
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Juvenile; Rei Sub edition (June 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670833231
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670833238
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 8.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,989,143 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3-- Forever-Mountain is a famous wrestler, smug and rather conceited--until he meets Maru-me. Along with her mother and grandmother, she shows him what real strength is. Under their tutelage, he gains not only physical prowess, but the humility of the truly strong. This version of the Japanese tall tale is filled with sly humor and witty exaggeration. The Tsengs' illustrations match the text perfectly; the glowing watercolors evoke a rural Japan of long ago. The artists are masters at imbuing their characters with life, from the self-satisfied Forever-Mountain to the defeated wrestlers crying like fat babies. The page design is exemplary. Each illustration is framed by a thin border surrounded by white space. The action often continues over a two-page spread and not only overlaps the border, but in some cases, as when the grandmother throws Forever-Mountain, seems to fly off the page. With its unconventional approach to issues of gender, size, strength, and power, this is a robust addition to any folktale collection. --Karen James, Louisville Free Public Library, KY
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kara Reuter on September 14, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book tells the story of a wrestler who encounters three generations of women as he heads to the capital city to begin the wrestling season at the court of the Emperor. He's very conceited and literally loves the sound of his voice. He comes across a young woman carrying water from the river and decides to tickle her for fun. The fun is at his expense when she captures him and drags him home for further training before the wrestling season commences. When they arrive back at the farm, the wrestler encounters her mother carrying a cow over one shoulder and her grandmother as she uproots a tree that gets in her way and tosses miles away. The three women put him to work to strengthen him and after three months when he goes to the capital he easily defeats and scares off his opponents. He returns to the three women to marry the daughter and live life as a farmer.

I love that the book ends with the young woman carrying the wrestler up the mountain before she lets him carry her, though I sort of wish the illustration showed the former instead of the latter. The illustrations by Kazue Mizumura are lovely, sort of reminiscent of Japanese calligraphy done with loose brush strokes in shades of black, white, and red. The main lesson relates to humility and assumptions. While the wrestler pays the price for his assumptions, the outcome is positive all around. There is also an implicit message about class and idleness in the representation of the courtiers. Finally, the book seems to celebrate humility, simple living, and, of course, hard work.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ilene Stanton on January 17, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I read this story with my seven year old daugther. We agreed this is a wonderful tale. These three deceptively frail appearing women teach the strongest Sumo wrestler in Japan about values, strength of character and enjoying life. Kristen liked the "happily ever after". A very pleasant story with simple illustrations.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jenbyrd on October 28, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
My daughter loved this book and I loved reading it to her! We had an old scholastic version from a garage sale and I wanted to see what else was out there. I ordered this edition and it is one of the 20 or so children's books that we will keep in our permanent collection. These illustrations are great. The story is now probably my favorite tall tale. I also think this is a great read aloud for the 6-8 year old crowd.
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