The Cow of No Color: Riddle Stories and Justice Tales from Around the World

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9780805037364: The Cow of No Color: Riddle Stories and Justice Tales from Around the World
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In this outstanding multicultural collection from the authors of the prizewinning While Standing on One Foot, readers must try to outsmart evil kings, answer questions from Death, even puzzle with angels over the justice of God. Every tale returns to the most basic question: What is fair?

With tales from Africa, Asia, and Europe, from Irish, Jews, and Muslims, from American schools and courtrooms, The Cow of No Color is truly an international gathering. Ranging from tricks to watch for in playground games to big issues to ponder for a lifetime, here is a book with insights and challenges for every member of every family.

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About the Author:

Nina Jaffe is on the graduate faculty of the Bank Street College of Education. She is the author of many outstanding books for young readers, including The Way Meat Loves Salt.

Steve Zeitlin has a Ph.D. in urban folklore and is the director of City Lore in New York City. He is the editor of Because God Loves Stories, a collection of Jewish folktales.

Whitney Sherman is on the faculty at the Maryland Institute, College of Art, in Baltimore.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 4 Up-If a chief asks a woman for a cow of no color, how should she respond? A lawyer is sure he's gotten his client off but the jury convicts him. Why? A wise judge knows a man is a thief, but how can he prove it? Jaffe and Zeitlin offer a collection of 23 brief stories intended to make readers ask themselves: What would I do or say? What is fair or just? When should mercy temper justice? After a brief note that sets the story in its cultural context, each tale is told up to the point where a character makes a decision or takes action. Then the editors step in (in italics) and ask readers to reflect. This intrusion might be distracting to some, but it clarifies the dilemma and provides a break to initiate discussion. The stories are grouped into categories such as "Poetic Justice" and "Forgiveness and Mercy." Most of the selections are folktales but there are also true stories and one taken off the Internet. Source notes and a bibliography provide more information. Sherman's slightly surreal pen-and-ink illustrations appear every few pages. This collection might appeal to teachers and counselors, religious educators, storytellers, and youngsters fond of George Shannon's less weighty but still thought-provoking collections. Teens who are not put off by the introduction and comments clearly directed toward children might also enjoy it.
Sally Bates Goodroe, Harris County Public Library, Houston, TX
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Nina Jaffe; Steve Zeitlin
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