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It's Not about the Crumbs!: Easy-to-Read Wonder Tales by Veronika Martenova Charles,David Parkins

It's Not about the Crumbs!: Easy-to-Read Wonder Tales
It's Not about the Crumbs!: Easy-to-Read Wonder Tales
Veronika Martenova Charles,David Parkins
Formats available:
docx lit mbr lit
Literature & Fiction
Tundra Books (October 12, 2010)
64 pages
PDF size:
1313 kb
FB2 size:
1416 kb
EPUB size:
1519 kb
Here are five first books for fledgling readers that offer the enjoyment of a good story along with the thrill of accomplishment that comes from independent reading. Written in short, easy phrases with carefully selected vocabulary and plentiful illustrations, each book helps youngsters achieve success as they have fun. The series follows three friends who love to share stories. In each book, one is reminded of a well-known story: Little Red Riding Hood in It's Not About the Hunter!, Beauty and the Beast in It's Not About the Rose!, Snow White in It's Not About the Apple!, Cinderella in It's Not About the Pumpkin!, and Hansel and Gretel in It's Not About the Crumbs! As one friend starts, the others are reminded of versions they know so each volume has three stories within one framework. The stories come from around the world, and Veronika Martenova Charles provides a note at the end of each book to describe the origins.  Easy-To-Read Wonder Tales is a great first step in developing a lifelong love of reading, and it makes a fine companion to Veronika Martenova Charles's series, Easy-To-Read Spooky Tales.

  • Gogul
Great read for young readers.Goid comparison of fairy tales around the world.
  • JoJolar
Reason for Reading: My son read aloud to me as his reader.

First I'd like to mention that the cover is not the neon green that it appears to be in the picture. All on-line images have the same shade, but it is actually a leaf green in real life, much more attractive! I loved this reader! My son loved this reader! Three children, who appear to be 9 or 10 year olds are doing something and talking and one of them mentions a few elements from a popular fairy tale, in this case Hansel and Gretel. Then another says that's not the version I've heard and they proceed to tell an ethnic version of the Hansel and Gretel story. The rest of the book follows this pattern until all three children have told a fairy/folk tale from around the globe that is similar in some way to the previous one. Then the final chapter brings us back to what the children were doing in the first place that brought the topic up.

Hansel and Gretel is explored here from a mixture of European sources, an African version and a Japanese version. Both my son and I greatly enjoyed the tales. He has been raised on fairy/folk tales and myths and it was exciting for him to be reading this material on his own. It was fun to notice the differences and the similarities with the original story and with each other. All three versions presented here were new to us. At the end of the book the author gives a very brief explanation as to what her source was for each tale, which could set one off on trying to find the original ethnic versions she mentions.

As to reading level, there is no reference to it on the books at all. It would have been nice had the publisher's actually determined the RL for the books in this series. Though the publisher's website does have a "browse & search" feature which will let you see for yourself whether they are appropriate for your child. I'm going to go out on a limb and say they are about equivalent with a Level 2 "I Can Read" Book. My son, who has learning disabilities, read the book very well with moderate help from me. The publisher describes the reading as "Written in short, easy phrases with carefully selected vocabulary..." but these are books the parent will have to see to judge whether they are up to your child's reading level. Otherwise, I never find anything wrong with a child reading a book that is too easy, if they enjoy it. We have the rest of the series and ds has already picked one to be his next reader!
  • asAS
It's Not about the Crumbs! explores parallel tales across countries in an easy to read book for kids. I was really impressed with the three versions of Hansel and Gretel that were presented. The reader is allowed to explore the story from a mixture of European sources, from an African version and then from a Japanese version. As an older reader, and one who loves reading the same tale from different perspectives, I had a great time reading all three and seeing where they had similarities!

As to reading level, although the book claims that it is "easy-to-read" and for younger readers, I'm not entirely sure what level this would be for. I can say that my first grade class would definitely have trouble with some of the words in this book. Although the tales are definitely written in kid-friendly language, there are also some concepts that they might not grasp or feel uncomfortable with.

I think this is definitely a great asset to parents who have reluctant readers! I would suggest that parents read it first though to see if it matches their child's reading level, and also to see if they are comfortable with the story matter. After all, we all know fairy tales can be a little dark at times. I think this is a solid addition to a shelf of books you can share with your children.
  • Dozilkree
As a 2nd-5th grade teacher, I thought the cover of this book would attract students. I think it's great that someone is writing about the old classic stories and even putting a multi-cultural spin on it by including versions of Hansel and Gretel from other countries. It seemed like the 3 kids the appear on the cover aren't developed enough throughout the book and the "popcorn story" isn't quite developed enough either. The story could have had a better ending but the actual bulk of the story is great! I teach struggling and ELL 3rd graders and I would most likely need to assist them about 30% of the time for this book.
  • Kelerius
My daughter read this book on the way to church, and told us all about it all the way home. She especially liked how each of the children in the book told the same story as it is told in different countries around the world. She highly recommends this to our friends.

I liked this book because it started a conversation in our family about different cultures, and how they interpret stories we all know in slightly different ways. Thus incorporating things, animals, and people they are more familiar with.

Outstanding book!