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E.B.

Prof. Kalas

ECE 260

14 September 2017

Folklore Book File

 #1 – younger readers

 Author: Simms Taback

 Title: This Is The House That Jack Built

 Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons

 Summary: A story that builds on itself until the result is a long, silly outcome.

Evaluation

 Plot

o Believability (absence of coincidence/sentimentality, etc.): 5

 Comment: Not meant to be taken seriously, each plot point and character

only adds to the silliness.

o Major dramatic question (clear early in book?): Yes.

 Comment: What will happen in the house that Jack built?

o Other considerations (satisfactory conclusion, tension, clear conflict, etc.): 7

 Comment: Building tension, minor conflict, and surprising yet

unsatisfying ending.

o Style and language (precise vocabulary, figurative language, dialogue, cadence,

understatement, unexpected insights, line in sand, etc.): 8


 Comment: Probably meant to be told orally, this story reads well out loud

due to the rhyming schemes and balanced arrangement of words.

o Pacing: 10

 Comment: Moves along excellently. Gives us time to take in the new

addition before moving on to the next.

o Character (dynamic protagonist, characters “ring true” [including cultural

considerations], etc.): 5

 Comment: The characters exist purely for the silliness and rhymes. One-

dimensional.

o Setting (detail, texture): 5

 Comment: We have a loose idea of setting, with little focus on details.

o Theme (absence of overt didacticism?): 8

 Comment: No hint of didacticism here, but no real theme either except

that, perhaps, life is unexpected and intertwined.

o Other considerations (mood, tone, etc.): 7

 Comment: Completely unserious and almost pokes fun at its own

characters and story.

o Is it a well-rounded piece? 7

 Comment: Zany illustrations match the silliness of the story and rhymes.

o Overall rating: 7

 Comment: A silly, memorable, re-readable story with fun rhymes.

 #2 – younger readers
 Author: Simms Taback

 Title: There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly

 Publisher: Penguin Books USA Inc.

 Summary: A woman accidently swallows a fly, then continually swallows other animals

in hopes of making it better.

Evaluation

 Plot

o Believability (absence of coincidence/sentimentality, etc.): 4

 Comment: Silly characters and sillier plot. Not a shred of realism, but the

point of the book is certainly not to be realistic.

o Major dramatic question (clear early in book?): Yes.

 Comment: What will the woman swallow next?

o Other considerations (satisfactory conclusion, tension, clear conflict, etc.): 8

 Comment: Building tension throughout the book, ends with a sudden and

dramatic end that may be funny to some and sad to others.

o Style and language (precise vocabulary, figurative language, dialogue, cadence,

understatement, unexpected insights, line in sand, etc.): 7

 Comment: Repetitive and silly rhymes that are fun to read out loud.

o Pacing: 9

 Comment: Moves along nicely until the sudden stop at the end.

o Character (dynamic protagonist, characters “ring true” [including cultural

considerations], etc.): 4
 Comment: Our main character, the old woman, is neither dynamic nor

realistic, but she is memorable.

o Setting (detail, texture): 5

 Comment: Little attention to detail or texture.

o Theme (absence of overt didacticism?): 9

 Comment: The only obvious moral children could pull from this is as the

book states at the end: “Never swallow a horse.”

o Other considerations (mood, tone, etc.): 7

 Comment: Unserious, funny, and wild.

o Is it a well-rounded piece? 7

 Comment: Quirky illustrations matched by the silliness of the story.

o Overall rating: 7

 Comment: A memorable and funny story children may enjoy reading over

and over.

 #3 – younger readers

 Author: Jerry Pinkey

 Title: The Lion and the Mouse

 Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

 Summary: A wordless story of a lion who frees a mouse and finds a friend in the nick of

time.

Evaluation
 Plot

o Believability (absence of coincidence/sentimentality, etc.): 7

 Comment:

o Major dramatic question (clear early in book?): Yes, but slow.

 Comment: Will the lion let the mouse go? How will the lion escape?

o Other considerations (satisfactory conclusion, tension, clear conflict, etc.): 8

 Comment: Children who don’t know the story will be worried about the

outcome. Tension clearly depicted, with a satisfying ending of a new

friendship.

o Style and language (precise vocabulary, figurative language, dialogue, cadence,

understatement, unexpected insights, line in sand, etc.): N/A

 Comment: This being a wordless story, I cannot rate its language use.

o Pacing: 8

 Comment: Readers will be caught up in the journey of the mouse coming

to the lion’s rescue.

o Character (dynamic protagonist, characters “ring true” [including cultural

considerations], etc.): 8

 Comment: Emotions and actions are clear to the reader, showing

confusion, worry, and happiness.

o Setting (detail, texture): 9

 Comment: The setting is very well detailed and becomes real. We almost

feel the concern of the mouse, the touch of the rope on the lion’s paws.

o Theme (absence of overt didacticism?): 7


 Comment: A small act of kindness will always be repaid.

o Other considerations (mood, tone, etc.): 7

 Comment: Anticipation is the main theme of this book. From the

beginning, events keep happening that we could not have expected.

o Is it a well-rounded piece? 8

 Comment: Good portrayal of emotion and action.

o Overall rating: 8

 Comment: Well-illustrated book skillfully tells the age-old fable in a new

way.

 #1 – older readers

 Author: Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire

 Title: D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths

 Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc.

 Summary: A collection of detailed Greek myths with colorful illustrations.

Evaluation

 Plot

o Believability (absence of coincidence/sentimentality, etc.): 6

 Comment: As myths typically go, things work out perfectly in the favor of

the heroes, they find the overpowered magic right when they need it, and

the villains get what they deserve.

o Major dramatic question (clear early in book?): Yes.


 Comment: As the book is filled with one- or two-page myths about

different characters, each has a different question.

o Other considerations (satisfactory conclusion, tension, clear conflict, etc.): 8

 Comment: Each myth has the proper tension, conflict, and resolution to

satisfy the reader.

o Style and language (precise vocabulary, figurative language, dialogue, cadence,

understatement, unexpected insights, line in sand, etc.): 8

 Comment: The few bits of dialogue in the story are in fine, classic high

speech. Sentences have a nice cadence and liberal use of figurative

language.

o Pacing: 9

 Comment: Stories move along nicely, with each myth ending on one

particular character, leading into them being the heroes of the next myth.

o Character (dynamic protagonist, characters “ring true” [including cultural

considerations], etc.): 8

 Comment: Characters are rich and colorful, full of the passions Greek

deities are known for. Even the most basic characters show more sides

than one.

o Setting (detail, texture): 8

 Comment: Each myth is beautifully descriptive, giving a good sense of

what each setting or character is like.

o Theme (absence of overt didacticism?): 8


 Comment: Myths each have a loose, hidden moral, but they aren’t overt in

nature.

o Other considerations (mood, tone, etc.): 7

 Comment: A mystical, secretive tone, at times overly dramatic.

o Is it a well-rounded piece? 8

 Comment: A fine collection of myths.

o Overall rating: 8

 Comment: Filled with gorgeous illustrations that will capture the

imagination and lovely tales to match, this collection is a classic for any

who love mythology.

 #2 – older readers

 Author: Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

 Title: Hansel and Gretel

 Publisher: Canterbury Classics, via Baker & Taylor Publishing Group

 Summary: Lost in the woods, a brother and sister stumble upon a magical house made of

cake and sugar.

Evaluation

 Plot

o Believability (absence of coincidence/sentimentality, etc.): 4


 Comment: From the beginning, this plot feels contrived. The family’s

situation, the boy and girl’s relationship, the witch’s plot – all seem

coincidental, stiff, etc.

o Major dramatic question (clear early in book?): Yes, but slow.

 Comment:

o Other considerations (satisfactory conclusion, tension, clear conflict, etc.): 6

 Comment: The tension, conflict, and conclusion are all satisfactory, but

are contrived, and salvation continually shows up out of nowhere. Such is

the nature of fairy tales.

o Style and language (precise vocabulary, figurative language, dialogue, cadence,

understatement, unexpected insights, line in sand, etc.): 7

 Comment: This is a mix because in general, the story is very well-written

and uses beautiful language in its descriptions. However, the speech is

very stilted and awkward.

o Pacing: 7

 Comment: Satisfactory pacing; doesn’t get stuck on unimportant details

too often.

o Character (dynamic protagonist, characters “ring true” [including cultural

considerations], etc.): 6

 Comment: Characters are rather stiff and one-dimensional.

o Setting (detail, texture): 8

 Comment: The settings are actually very well described and beautifully

detailed.
o Theme (absence of overt didacticism?): 8

 Comment: The theme here is well hidden, thus safe from overt

didacticism. “Don’t trust strangers” and “family sticks together” are two

morals one might learn from this story, though they’re not explicitly

stated.

o Other considerations (mood, tone, etc.): 6

 Comment: Though its content implies it to be a serious, dark story, the

tone is happy-go-lucky and carefree.

o Is it a well-rounded piece? 7

 Comment: Though it’s a well-written story and a classic, the characters

and overall plot are very flimsy.

o Overall rating: 6

 Comment: The characters fall flat, but the story-telling and the unique plot

make this story memorable.