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The Giant Cabbage: An Alaska Folktale Paperback – March 4, 2003
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From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2-Another twist on the familiar Russian folktale, "The Turnip." Moose's giant cabbage is a shoo-in for a prize at the fair, but he can't budge it on his own. A parade of animals drops by to help, including a bear, wolf, fox, hare, porcupine, squirrel, and vole. By working together, they finally load the enormous vegetable into Moose's truck and ride off to the fair, where the cabbage takes first prize. The friends return home to celebrate and cook up a giant pot of cabbage soup. There is no shortage of recent "Turnip" variations that make excellent read-alouds. Aubrey Davis's The Enormous Potato (Kids Can, 1997) and Jan Peck's The Giant Carrot (Dial, 1998) are two examples. This title, while also highly readable, makes its contribution to the field through its depiction of Alaskan wildlife. At story's end, Stihler includes source notes, information about Alaskan vegetables (the "midnight sun" allows them to grow to record size), and a recipe for Moose's cabbage soup. Trammell's cheerful, paint-and-pen artwork sets a cast of friendly looking animals in a verdant landscape. Alternating spot and full-spread illustrations add to the dramatic effect, and the repeated words "big," "huge," and "GIANT" are printed in successively larger typefaces. The text is a bit long, however, and the bulk of it appears in rather small print. Still, this enjoyable title is a solid addition.
Eve Ortega, Cypress Library, CA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Elementary school teacher Chérie B. Stihler lives in Fairbanks, AK.
Jeremiah Trammell is an illustrator whose work has appeared in over five children's books, including The Giant Cabbage. He lives in Seattle.
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This is for very young children. I wasn't that excited about the illustrations.
The final two pages of the book contains brief and interesting information on Alaska vegetables (find out why they grow so large), the traditional Russian folktale upon which this story is based, and even a recipe for cabbage soup.
The message of The Giant Cabbage is simple and sweet: "Friends and family who work together can get any job done - and sometimes it's the tiniest of friends who make things happen."
Fortunately, Moose's friends have ENORMOUS hearts too and so does Moose when he shares his cabbage after the fair. This is a great book about friendship and helping others. The illustrations are wonderfully sweet. The text is easy to read and children will appreciate the repetitive words that make this story fun to read.