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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This book is ex-library, it shows signs of wear and has clearly been previously owned, but is still in good readable condition.
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Clay Boy Hardcover – May 30, 1997

4.3 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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$17.99 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 6 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2. A retelling of a traditional Russian folktale. An older couple whose children have grown and gone away yearn for the company of a child. Grandpa fashions a boy out of a piece of clay, and as the boy dries out by the fire, Clay Boy comes to life saying, "I am here! I am hungry!" The two old peasants feed him all they have and watch him in astonishment as he quickly grows to gargantuan proportions. But Clay Boy's appetite cannot be satisfied so he goes outside and eats the chickens, geese, cat, dog, then Grandma and Grandpa (yikes!), and all the other inhabitants of this rural Old World village. The last living being is a little white goat who saves the day by destroying Clay Boy and rescuing all held captive within him. Children will be engaged by the fast pace of events and simplicity of character and outcome. However, the visual interpretation of this tale is potentially frightening. While Smith's watercolors masterfully portray all of the characters and scenes, his rendition of the boy made of clay is at times so grotesquely distorted that it could cause nightmares.?Amelia Kalin, Valley Cottage Library, NY
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From The New Yorker

Children will be engaged by the fast pace of events and simplicity of character and outcome...
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 5
  • Lexile Measure: AD320L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books; 1st edition (May 30, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688144098
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688144098
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 0.4 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #847,925 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Library Binding
.
What is it about most traditional East European folk tales? They nearly always have a sinister, sometimes scary story line. "Clay Boy" is no exception.
The concept of a clay boy that comes to life is very reminiscent of Pinocchio. An elderly couple known as Grandpa and Grandma are lonely now that their children have grown up. The clay boy is to become their child substitute.
There is one big problem when he comes alive. He is insatiably hungry. He eats and eats, and he grows and grows until he ate all the food in the house. "More More" he cries.
Now things get a little macabre. He's seen gulping down whole live chickens, and then the geese, cat and dog are consumed. Then it's Grandma and Grandpa's turn to be on the menu.
By now, Clay Boy is of giant proportions. In one bite, he eats a man, a wagon, a horse and a load of hay. GULP!
He is still unsatisfied, after swallowing everybody in the village.
But then, he meets his match.
A very cunning goat (check out the face on this Billy) offers to jump straight into Clay Boy's mouth, but on one condition: Clay Boy has to close his eyes.
The goat took a great leap straight at the big fat belly. Clay Boy broke into a hundred pieces and all the people and animals that he had swallowed tumbled out. The goat was the hero of the village and had his horns painted gold. Such rejoicing!
No explicit moral is given in this story. But what does this folk tale tell us? Will insatiable greed and endless consumption lead only to annihilation?
There is also a modern message here. Now that most of us live far removed from our parent's homes, perhaps we should spend more time with our folks so they don't get lonely.
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Format: Hardcover
My friend was given this book as a gift for her daughters, aged 2 1/2. Since she's in constant motion with her twins, she asked me to post this review. One of the girls was rather uninterested, and unaffected, by the story, but the second one was nothing short of traumatized by the images depicted in this story, particularly of the Clay Boy devouring a horse, with its rider and cart. She has had nightmares ever since and constantly asks her mother "Is the Clay Boy outside our house?" and "Will the horse be OK?" The illustrations are wonderfully done, but they are a bit too lifelike for those too young to understand. I think this book is much more appropriate for children who are at least four or five.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My son loved this book as a young boy & so I purchased it for him to have & maybe someday enjoy reading it with his own children. He kinda laughed when he opened it as its meant for a younger child, but he liked it & it brought back memories of when we used to read it together.
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Format: Hardcover
I am a Pre-Kindergarten teacher and I use this book after we are done with all the different Gingerbread Man books. Granted, it is just the 4-5 year old children who I read this to, however we have a discussion first about the difference in fiction vs nonfiction. Children in my class know that fiction is only pretend or make believe. They have gained an awareness from the beginning of the year about this concept. They are also used to the antics of the Gingerbread man and his usual ultimate demise. As we read the Clay Boy, they are expecting an outcome that is the same. They are so surprised that all of the animals and townspeople are safe and then have a party with the goat as the guest of honor. We then discuss the differences between this book and the Gingerbread stories. I am surprised at their insight and answers, since they are able to give me each one, as we write the responses on a chart. There is a lot of laughter and enjoyment since I have prefaced the reading with, "This is not real; it is pretend." Finally each child creates 3-D art as they come over one by one to make a Clay Boy for display. The results are amazing because they really "Get it!" Adults need to read children's books first and lay the ground work. That is missing in so many situations, however teachers do this daily.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was hands down the most loved book by my 3-4 year olds in my pre-school class. They loved the story and If you read it in an animated tone it will be sure to excite. The only down side is some of my children called it "play boy" instead of Clay Boy. You can imagine the fright of the parents who's children asked them to buy " Play Boy"
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A little scary for some, but a great discussion starter. I am a preschool teacher, and heard of it through another provider. When it came and we read it the first time... I could see it was going to be a favorite. The kids asked for it again and again, then we followed up by playing with natural clay, making our own versions of the Clay Boy. The PS's played at Clay Boy for weeks. Pre read, and consider your audience, but it was a hit here! 3-5 year old friends.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Clay Boy was my youngest son's favorite book. I used to take him to the local library on a regular basis when he was a youngster. We would always check out a stack of children's books. Clay Boy went home with us each visit. When you think about it - it's really along the lines of the children's song "There Was Once an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly".
For me though seeing the book again just brought me back to that time spent at the library with my son.
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