The Tongue-Cut Sparrow (English and Japanese Edition)

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9780525671992: The Tongue-Cut Sparrow (English and Japanese Edition)
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A kind old man and his greedy wife pay separate visits to the tongue-cut sparrow and receive as gifts just what they deserve

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Language Notes:

Text: English, Japanese (translation)

From School Library Journal:

Kindergarten-Grade 4 An old man keeps a tame sparrow of whom he is quite fond. When his ill-tempered wife, in a fit of pique, snips at the sparrow's tongue, the old man follows the wounded bird into the mountains to beg its forgiveness. The sparrow greets its old friend warmly and, on parting, rewards him with a choice of two wicker baskets. The old man chooses the smaller of the two, and, after carrying it home, is surprised to find it bursting with treasure. Whereupon, in true fairy tale fashion, the old wife seeks out the sparrow, demands the same choice for herself, chooses the larger basket, and receives the reward she so richly deserves. This is one of the more familiar Japanese tales and is readily available, but this edition is special. Paterson's translation flows smoothly but retains, in its rhythms and in its language (particularly in the repetition of certain onomatopoeic Japanese words), a clear sense of the culture from which it came. Characters are stock types, but artfully embellished in word (``Sowhat about my present?'') and picture (Akaba's old wife is a hag of the first order!). Vigorous ink drawings, in the style of Japanese scroll paintings, extend the text and amplify its humor. Pages of black and earth-toned inks on rice paper alternate with more monochromatic scenes whenever the action moves into the sparrow's bamboo grove. This is an altogether earthier tale than The Crane Wife (Morrow, 1981), Paterson and Akaba's earlier collaboration, but equally successful, eminently tellable, and singularly attractive. Marcia Hupp, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, Conn.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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