It's Not about the Crumbs!: Easy-to-Read Wonder Tales

It's Not about the Crumbs!: Easy-to-Read Wonder Tales


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780887769535
Publisher: Tundra
Publication date: 10/12/2010
Series: Easy-to-Read Wonder Tales Series
Pages: 64
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.20(d)
Age Range: 5 - 8 Years

About the Author

VERONIKA MARTENOVA CHARLES is an award-winning author and illustrator whose books include The Birdman, illustrated by Annouchka Gravel Galouchko and Stéphan Daigle. She has studied at Ryerson University, the Ontario College of Art and Design, and has a graduate degree in Folklore from York University. Veronika Martenova Charles lives in Toronto.

DAVID PARKINS is the award-winning illustrator of over fifty children's books. He began his career at Dyfed College of Art in Wales, studying wildlife illustrations. He has been an illustrator since 1979, and drew the British cartoon, Beano. David Parkins lives in Kingston, Ontario.

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It's Not about the Crumbs!: Easy-to-Read Wonder Tales 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Loralthea on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
¿It¿s Not About The Crumbs¿ was an interesting look at a series of books currently being written for beginning readers that deal with the concept of Parallel Myths. While I applaud the focus on this interesting occurrence in folk literature, I was not impressed on whole with this book. It was written in such a way that I found the sentence structure to be awkward at times. I also felt it was almost too dumbed down for children. I thought the stories chosen were suitable examples of parallel myth, though I did feel that the stories were very dark for such a low reading level. It seemed you would either want to make the reading level more difficult or the stories a bit milder. Overall I applaud the effort and I think this series would have great potential for teaching children stories that might be outside of their standard fairy tales.
WildMaggie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This easy-to-read kids¿ book is suitable for beginning readers and to read aloud to younger audiences. It re-tells three folktales from different cultures all featuring children outwitting an evil character who wants to eat them. The three re-tellings are framed by a story of three modern-day American kids from three different ethnic backgrounds telling each other these tales. The American kids point out the origins and similarities of the tales to the reader. The framing device is more than a bit forced. It feels very didactic. The folktales are illustrated by black-and-white drawings in typical kids- book style¿no frills. The lack of color, unfortunately extents to the proses. Stories that have thrilled, delighted, and enchanted for centuries are here rendered in colorless, dry, minimalist text. The telling details that make the traditional stories scary and memorable (the cottage made of sweet gingerbread irresistible to the hungry siblings and the blind witch tricked into believing Hansel is too thin to cook by being offered a gnawed bone to feel, for example) are entirely lacking. Stripped to their barest bones, the action in these stories seems just rather random and inexplicable. OK, maybe the crocodile in the African tale was a bit interesting but, on the whole, the book is dull as dishwater. Reading this book, I can just picture the lesson plan it is intended to fulfill. I suggest that anyone wishing to teach that lesson simply turn to any of the abundant primary sources for the kind of lively, memorable language and imagery that has kept kids coming back to these tales time out-of-mind.
chilirlw on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One in a series billed as "Easy-to-Read Wonder Tales" this book covers three variations on the Hansel and Gretel tale from three different cultures (Europe, Africa, Japan) within a framing tale of three friends on a walk in a new neighborhood. This framing tale only lightly brushes on the theme of getting lost, and mostly serves only as a transition from story to story. The stories are nicely illustrated and clearly told. I don't really know quite how to characterize this book. The language is simple, but not really what I would consider "Easy Reading". I would say it is probably geared toward reluctant readers of about 8 or 9, but the subject matter isn't really compelling enough to excite such a reader, and the main benefit would seem to be in their simply being able to read it. I wasn't hugely disappointed by this book, but I wasn't wowed, either.
jugglingpaynes on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"It's Not About the Crumbs!" is part of a series of easy to read books that take classic fairy tales and present versions of the story from different countries. This particular book uses the tale of Hansel and Gretel. The author combined American and European versions of the story and also presented versions of the story from Africa and Japan. While I thought the Euro-American tale was a bit watered down compared to the story I remember, I figured that was the point of this--we all grow up with different tellings of the same story. The African and Japanese stories were new to me, and when I had my eight year old read the book, she liked the Hansel and Gretel from Africa (Zahra and Binti) best. Personally, the story from Japan (The Ogre) reminded me more of "Jack and the Beanstalk" than "Hansel and Gretel," but it was still a good story. This is a good book for showing children how stories can change based on who is telling it and to show how basic themes show up in stories all over the world.
sheherazahde on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jake, Lilly, and Ben use popcorn to find their way in a unfamiliar neighborhood inspiring them to take turns telling stories about lost children. Jake tells the European story of Marek and Jana who are abandoned by their parents in the woods and must escape an evil Witch who wants to eat them. Lilly tells the Egyptian story of Zahra and Binti who run away from abusive relatives and then have to escape from a cannibal woman. Ben tells the Japanese story of three brothers who are abandoned by their poor mother and must defeat a evil Ogre. This is a thin volume with large type, lots of pictures, and only a few sentences on each page. It is intended for 4-8 year olds. The stories are told simply and clearly. It's not about the crumbs. These stories are united by a theme of lost children not breadcrumbs. I think this is a good way to introduce young children to stories from other cultures that they might not encounter any other way. But I think they should already be familiar with the popular version of Hansel and Gretel before they read this.
theportal2002 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The kids loved this was a very fun read.
roses7184 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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. Overall I'd give this book a solid four on the recommendation scale!
CharlesBoyd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Veronika Martenova Charles' book It's Not About the Crumbs consists of three versions of the Hansel and Gretel tale from Europe, Africa, and Japan. They are bookended by a few pages showing modern children leaving a trail from Uncle Mike's house to a park, then following the trail back. My grandson who is eight, in third grade, and reading at a fifth grade level read the first page and wasn't interested. It was too easy. But he still likes to be read to and when I read it to him, he liked the stories. He especially liked the black-and-white drawings by David Parkins that are on almost every one of the 63 pages. When I asked, he answered that he would be interested in more of Ms. Charles' EASY-TO-READ WONDER TALES! of which It Isn't About the Crumbs is a part.It would be great if the intended grade level/age was marked in all books for children. This one didn't have that. Reading this book reminded me that the old fairy tales were often quite violent. Most of them aren't graphic, nor was this one. Still, the idea of children fleeing to escape being eaten may be frightening to some children, so parents and grandparents would do well to consider their child(ren) when considering books of fairy tales.
HeatherHomeschooler on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's not about the Crumbs!: Easy-to-Read Wonder Tales was a mixed bag at my house depending mostly on age, I think. My early reader loved it. She loved that she could read fairy tales without help. The book told the story of Hansel and Gretel from different cultures. I liked that I could use it as a springboard into geography. My older kids read the book, but considered it to be too easy and lacking in details. My youngest listened to the stories, but the black and white pictures weren't enough to keep him still for long. Over all I think that this book is great if marketed to an early reader, which I believe is the demographic it is geared toward. I like the cultural spin on fairy tales. The illustrations are good, but color would help considerably.
kanzedac on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a lovely book and stories tie together beautifully. I do have a hard time pinning down the appropriate age group. The writing is simplistic enough for new readers, but the stories may be more sophisticated than parents would choose for that age group. Definitely a book parents should be on hand to discuss any questions.
ElizaJane on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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!
cdnbookworm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In "It's Not About The Crumbs!" author Veronika Charles introduces us to three good friends; Jake, Lily, and Ben, who love to share stories with each other.A great aspect of this book series is that Charles doesn't name the place the children live, giving the reader a sense of being included in the story telling circle. I love how Charles took the well known fable of Hansel and Gretel and shows us version from 3 different places, giving the reader an introduction to the cultures represented by her main characters.Jake tells an American-English/European tale, Lily tells a story from the Afican continent and Ben concludes by telling one he heard from Japan. Each child represents a ethnic group and each continue an oral tradition by passing on their stories to each other. The theme of Hansel and Gretel is clear in all the other fabels, and children are sure to recognize the "don't talk to strangers" theme.Story wise this book is right on course to hit the 5-8 year olds it targets. Although anyone younger then 7 will probably have to have the book read to them. Older children can benifitas well because it may intrest them enough to go looking for more similar fables.The illustrations in the book by David Parkins are amazing. They are shaded with details that will aid the reader in their imaginition of the story. The artwork adds depth and emotions to the words. The only thing I didn't like was the lack of colour. Most kids in the target age group are attracted to colours and without them this books is slightly lacking.I however enjoyed it and will reccomend it to other people.
strogan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this amalgamation of the Hansel and Gretel stories and how they differ around the world (and what traits are similar).I think children will enjoy them as well and would recommend it to others.
penelope757 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is not a book I would have purchased for my children when they were young. I suppose the point of collecting these tales together told by these particular children is to show how alike the different cultures are, how we all have variations of the same story told in many different parts of the world. If so, that is a worthy goal, but it has been done better. When my children were young, I bought them classic editions and translations of the different fairy tales and legends from around the world. We read those and discussed the similarities and differences. I would still follow that path today.
reneemrobbins on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book says it is easy-to -read and it was. I think a young reader would be able to read the book very easily, but I think the story would become confusing for a 1st or 2nd grade reader - the level I think would read this book. I personally loved the idea of having multiple Hansel and Gretal stories in one book, but as an educator I feel the younger reader will get lost. The transitions from one story to the next were bumpy and I feel the students will get lost. I believe the book would have been better written at a 3rd - 4th grade level where readers have developed more maturity and would be able to make those transitions more easily.
spartyliblover on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a good beginning reader book. The simple re-tellings of the classic fairy tale Hansel and Gretel are easy to understand and follow and are accompanied by pictures to help readers with unfamiliar words. The three different stories, and the background on each at the end is good for kids that like to know more than just the story. It is a good book for kids that love fairy tales that want to read on their own but aren't ready for harder chapter books yet. This review refers to an Advanced Reading Copy.
Ms.Gibson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.