Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Firebird by Saviour Pirotta - ESSENTIAL

Pirotta, Saviour  Firebird.  Paintings by Catherine Hyde.  $18.99.  PICTURE BOOK.  Content, PG.  Based on the Russian ballet, Firebird.  A firebird is caught eating King Vaslav’s precious apples, so his youngest son sets out on a journey to bring back the firebird.  King Vaslav promised his son that he can own half of his kingdom if he returns with the bird.  After sacrificing his horse to a wolf, the youngest son, Prince Ivan is taken by the wolf to the firebird.  Because Prince Ivan doesn’t take just the firebird, but greedily tries to take the all-gold cage the bird is in, King Dormant who owns the firebird catches Ivan. King Dormant sends Ivan on a journey to bring him a horse with a golden mane from the next kingdom over, but Ivan is caught by King Afron.  King Afron promises to let Ivan go if he will go to the next kingdom and bring back a beautiful woman there.  When Ivan gets the woman from that kingdom he falls in love with her and has to use trickery to get out of his other obligations.  Fascinating story.  Excellent paintings that don’t just illustrate the story, but actually make you feel the story.  Amazing experience to read.  EL, MS & HS-ESSENTIAL.   Reviewer, C. Peterson.

1 comment:

bigmangomomma said...

My nearly 4 year old son came home with this book from the library last week. I was surprised that he would have chosen this. His previous week's choice of "Dino-soccer" was more like him. But we read the story and he enjoyed it. It was quickly apparent that he was drawn to the book because of the illustrations. He really loved touching the picture of the firebird with the golden threads running through it. As the story was a little long, I decided to read it over two nights. It struck me that we'd never read a story at bedtime that couldn't be done in one go before. And that got me thinking of the idea of delayed gratification.

When I was a kid, my bedtime stories were read from thick, hardcover books like the complete tales of Winnie the Pooh. And even if the books were compilations of short stories, and my mom finished one of those stories, I always wanted more; because in my child's mind the book wasn't finished until you flipped the back cover over. Know what I mean?

I've just written a short blog post about this. I'd love to know what you, as a librarian, think about the whole idea that longer bedtime books (read over several nights) could be used to teach kids about delayed gratification; something that (as a teacher and now as a parent) I think is lacking in our 'instant' world.