Young People's Stories of Kindness
Billings, Melissa Stone
. Young People's Press, Inc. . San Diego
YPS 5 .
PZ8.1.Y846 Kn 1996 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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There are five stories in this oversized pamphlet. The first is The Lion and the Mouse, identified as a story from Greece, illustrated by Marion Eldridge (2). I see nothing unusual in this nicely illustrated LM. The large format of the book allows for a dramatic double-page view of the lion in ropes. The second story is Birdfoot's Grampa, a Native American poem illustrated by Bryna Waldman (6). Grampa stops the car to save toads leaping across the road. They have places to go to too (7). The third story is The Guest on New Year's Eve from ancient Japan, illustrated by John Gampert (8). A horse-trader finishing a bad day takes home a leper and gives him a place to sleep. The next morning a big lump of gold is where the leper was. The fourth story is The Emerald Lizard from Guatemala, illustrated by Theresa Smith (14). A good woman gives a desperate Indian woman all she can, a lizard who appears while they encounter each other. The lizard turns into an emerald. She sells the emerald and thus can feed her children and get medicine for her sick husband. She uses the money prudently. Eventually, she has enough to seek the emerald out in Mexico and buy it back. She brings the emerald to the good woman who had given it to her. The latter puts it on the ground, and it turns back into a lizard. The final story is the Jewish Ask a Foolish Question, illustrated by Eldon C. Doty (24). A wag challenges Rav Hillel to teach him everything Jews should know while I stand on one leg. Hillel remains calm, thinks for a while, and then says Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. That is all one needs to know. There are acknowledgements on 30. Strangely, sources are acknowledged for only four stories. Apparently, Aesop's story is taken to be common knowledge.