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The Good Master (Puffin Newbery Library) Paperback – May 6, 1986
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About the Author
Kate Seredy (1899-1975) is the Hungarian-born writer and illustrator of numerous children's books. She won the Newbery Medal, the Newbery Honor, the Caldecott Honor, and the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award.
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Top customer reviews
During 1939 and 1940 we were hearing bits of what was happening in Europe and the story in 'The Singing Tree' although about an earlier world war, brought the news down to my eight and nine year old level - I admired how the women and children kept life going until the Uncle returns. Then I had to read 'The Good Master.'
There are many publications of 'The Good Master,' a story about life on the Hungarian plains, with a cover illustration taken from inside the book. However, for me it was not the same until I found a copy of the original illustrated cover with all the color and tradition of Hungarian folk art to pass on to the child of a friend.
Also, there is something special about giving a gift of a used book. There is wonder in knowing someone had read the story and you are following, holding a book just as they held the book while reading the same story.
This book is intended for a 10-12 year old audience, but could be read aloud to a younger child, or enjoyed by an adult. Seredy's prose is extremely well written, and the adventures of the cousins touching and humorous by turns.
After reading the "Good Master", you will almost certainly find yourself purchasing the sequel, "The Singing Tree" .
As a teacher, I read the story to my class. They were enthralled by the adventures of Kate & Janci. I used the story as part of my multi-cultural program. Besides giving a glimpse into what the world was like when their grandparents and great grandparents were young, the way the author incorporates customs and folk lore into her books expands the horizons of my students on many levels. Through the years I've shared this book with hundreds of children in many grade levels. Both boys and girls can relate and Kate is not hampered by out-dated expectations of being a "good" girl. She is as robust and couragous as her male cousin.
I'm now buying this and the sequel, The Singing Tree for my god daughter.
Whether they can read the adventures for themselves or are listening to the tale as part of a nightly installment, children will enjoy participating vicariously in the adventures of Kate & Jansi.
I really can't praise Seredy enough on her work in this book - it's full of life, makes good points and lessons, is fun and humorous, a well-told story, and has beautiful charcoal illustrations by the author. (I only wish these drawings were presented in a finer fashion, as befits them. One can only hope this will be remedied in a future edition.)
Apparently, Seredy started out as an illustrator of children's books, and only began writing late in her career. Too bad, because she is a master of both crafts, and one suspects there is a strong autobiographical element in the charming but mischievous character of Kate. Whatever its genesis, this is a spellbinding tale. Buy this book - your children will love having it read to them, and you will love reading it.