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William Tell Hardcover – March 22, 1996


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 8 years
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR); 1st edition (March 22, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374384363
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374384364
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #436,460 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Elegant full-page oil paintings, in the style of Fisher's Kinderdike, provide a dramatic backdrop for a retelling of the famous but underexplored legend about a 14th-century Swiss marksman. When Herr Gessler, the cruel governor of Altdorf, decrees that residents must kneel before his hat, elevated on a pole in the town square, William Tell refuses to meet the tyrant's demands, calling them "mean and stupid." As punishment for his disobedience, Herr Gessler issues Tell the well-known ultimatum about shooting an arrow through an apple perched on his son's head. Fisher builds the essential tension as Tell accepts the challenge and prepares to release the fateful arrow. The son, of course, is spared; the governor, however, is not, and he is killed by Tell's arrow before the story ends. Working in a stylized palette that allows for orange or lavender skies and slightly mottled figures, Fisher paints almost cinematic compositions, as if freeze-framing the action. One caveat: presiding adults may wish Fisher had included source notes or other information about the legend. Ages 5-8.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-5-In 1307, Hermann Gessler, governor for King Albert of Hapsburg, proclaimed that the citizens of Altdorf must kneel before his hat in the town square. The frightened people obeyed for the most part, but a young pig seller and a boy and his sister forgot to kneel and were clapped in chains. Then William Tell and his son Jemmy refused to comply with the rule. Gessler was enraged but challenged Tell, a fine hunter, to shoot a single arrow through an apple placed on Jemmy's head. If Tell succeeded he would be set free, but if he failed he would be sent to prison. Tell first determined to shoot wide of the apple to save his son, but Jemmy convinced him to try the shot, and his aim was true. A week later his arrow found its mark once again, and the people were rid of a cruel tyrant. Fisher's richly textured paintings bring a distinctive sense of drama to this traditional tale. He uses light and varying perspectives to highlight the human dimensions of the story, while vivid colors underscore the emotional tensions and move the exciting plot to its swift denouement.
Barbara Kiefer, Teachers College, Columbia University, NY
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is the William Tell legend done with a great text and outstanding illustrations. The dad in this story sets a fine example for his son: do not bend to the tyranny of a thuggish politician. Confidence, skill, quiet certitude - excellent manly traits.

If your bigger kids want more William Tell, try "The Apple and the Arrow" by Mary and Conrad Buff.
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By MuliFresh on November 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The story of William Tell is one that was new to me and my 3 year old son. It was captivating to us both and we love reading it over and over again. A tale of heroism, made real by brilliant illustration!
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