Friday, March 6, 2015

Winter Reading 2015 The H.A. Rey Treasury of Stories


Of the four stories in this collection, I only remember seeing "Elizabite" before. Elizabite is a carnivorous plant. A botanist discovers her and digs her up to take to his laboratory (getting his fingers bitten in the process). Things do not go much better at the lab. Elizabite chomps on the dog's tail, tries to do the same to the maid, and grabs a professor by the beard. But after a run-in with a burglar one night, a happy and safe location is found for this hungry plant and her little sprouts. The illustrations that show the dog running across the room with his tail bandaged as the maid wanders too close to the plant, or the maid and the dog peeking around the corner as the professor leans in for a closer look are funny details that readers will enjoy.

"Tit for Tat" tells the story of Matt and his uncle, Angus. Matt teases his pet turtle by turning him onto his back, knowing he can't roll over in his shell. Angus uses his invention, the Turn-a-vision set, to show Matt how it fells to be on the receiving end of unfair treatment. He tells him, "you should not do to others anything you don't want them to do to you." The scenes are funny - horses sitting in carriages pulled by humans, dogs walking humans on leashes and pulling them away before they can greet their friends, etc. But they use humor to make a point about following the Golden Rule.

"Billy's Picture" is about a rabbit named Billy that is drawing a picture, but before he can finish, a friend comes along and adds a detail. Then another friend makes an addition to the picture, then another, and another. By the time they are all finished helping, it is a drawing of the oddest looking creature you have ever seen. It has an elephant's trunk, a porcupine's quills, and other features from each of the different animals that contributed to the picture. Billy bursts into tears because he only wanted to draw a self-portrait, not some odd mutant thing. But they do come up with a good solution to the problem.

"Zebrology" is the last story in the book and it is wordless. It shows two horses meet, one white and one black. Then there are two young horses, each half white and half black. Then more young ones that have large stripes and so on, until there are a herd of zebras grazing where there were once two horses of different colors. I've probably been teaching elementary school too long, but I think it would be a good visual to how kids how multiplying fractions gets you smaller and smaller fractions. 

As much time as I have spent in libraries and bookstores over the last few years, you would think I would be more familiar with these stories. It seems like a good thing that this collection is being published, so that all these stories are not lost to everyone's memory. 

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

1 comment:

  1. I haven't read any of these! Sounds like a great collection!