Building a clock to teach a moral
4 Stars | Children's | Fiction
Or as others might say, 'setting the scene.'
We are introduced to the family, a poor window and her two daughters in the beginning of this short tale, how they fare - with careful management, and the animals that they keep in their tiny valley and small cottage. This family, their home and the animals they have sets the stage for the story to unfold. I did find one small section unnecessary to the scene being set or the story itself because it didn't add anything additional. We already know the family is poor and they only have a little, so the bit about the kitchen and bedroom are irrelevant.
Now, Chanticleer is the finest rooster you have ever seen with a brood of lovely hens. He has a propensity for 'singing' which a sly fox uses to his advantage to snag poor Chanticleer. The fox uses his cunning to flatter the rooster so thoroughly that the rooster does not realize the danger he is in.
The illustrations in this book have already been awarded top honors with the Caldecott medal, so as you can imagine the pictures accompanying this story are done beautifully.
The moral of the story is wrapped up in one line on the last page. My children didn't get the lesson being taught initially, but that gave us an opportunity to discuss it and they knew more than they realized.
I remember after most of the movies we watched my mom would ask us, 'What was the moral of the movie?' I miss stories that teach a simple lesson, because it is easy to remember the moral even if you don't remember the entire story itself. Stories that are for simple pleasure have their place, but so do these.
(This is an adaptation of Geoffry Chaucer's Canterbury Tales - The Nun's Priest's Tale, Illustrated by Barbara Cooney)
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