Tree-ear, an orphan, has become fascinated with the potters' craft; he wants nothing more than to watch master potter Min at work, and he dreams of making a pot of his own someday. When Min takes on Tree-ear as his helper, Tree-ear is elated--until he finds obstacles in his path: the backbreaking labor of digging and hauling clay, Min's irascible ...
Tree-ear, an orphan, has become fascinated with the potters' craft; he wants nothing more than to watch master potter Min at work, and he dreams of making a pot of his own someday. When Min takes on Tree-ear as his helper, Tree-ear is elated--until he finds obstacles in his path: the backbreaking labor of digging and hauling clay, Min's irascible temper, and his own ignorance. However, Tree-ear is determined to prove himself.
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This tale, so very beautifully woven in detail by Linda Sue Park, teaches the value of true friendship. A trust that only can come about through enduring hardships and a love that grows out of respect as one overcomes seemingly insurmountable challenges. There is something for everyone; art lover, adventurer, soul seeker, person of faith... And of course there is the clash between the simple/good and greedy/evil...
This is a great tool for teaching self esteem where there may be struggles in comparing the tangible wealth of others...
Read this book, let it touch you - I promise you will not be disappointed!
Publishers Weekly, 2001-03-05 Park (Seesaw Girl) molds a moving tribute to perseverance and creativity in this finely etched novel set in mid- to late 12th-century Korea. In Ch'ul'po, a potter's village, Crane-man (so called because of one shriveled leg) raises 10-year-old orphan Tree Ear (named for a mushroom that grows "without benefit of "parent-seed"). Though the pair reside under a bridge, surviving on cast-off rubbish and fallen grains of rice, they believe "stealing and begging... made a man no better than a dog." From afar, Tree Ear admires the work of the potters until he accidentally destroys a piece by Min, the most talented of the town's craftsmen, and pays his debt in servitude for nine days. Park convincingly conveys how a community of artists works (chopping wood for a communal kiln, cutting clay to be thrown, etc.) and effectively builds the relationships between characters through their actions (e.g., Tree Ear hides half his lunch each day for Crane-man, and Min's soft-hearted wife surreptitiously fills the bowl). She charts Tree Ear's transformation from apprentice to artist and portrays his selflessness during a pilgrimage to Songdo to show Min's work to the royal court he faithfully continues even after robbers shatter the work and he has only a single shard to show. Readers will not soon forget these characters or their sacrifices. Ages 10-14. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2003-03-10 In a starred review of this Newbery Medal winner, PW wrote, "The author molds a moving tribute to perseverance and creativity in this finely etched novel set in mid- to late-12th-century Korea. Readers will not soon forget these characters or their sacrifices." Ages 10-up. (Feb.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly, 2002-02-04 British actor Malcolm initially seems an odd choice of narrator for Park's novel set in 12th-century Korea, but he proves to be a compelling performer on this adaptation of the book that was recently named winner of this year's Newbery Medal. Tree-ear, a 12-year-old orphan, spends most of his time rummaging in trash heaps for food for himself and his friend and protector, the crippled Crane-man. But Tree-ear longs for much more; he wants to become skilled like the potters of his village, Ch'ulp'o, famous for its prized celadon ceramic ware. Tree-ear begins his path by accident, watching master potter Min in secret. Before long, Min grudgingly takes Tree-ear on as an assistant, having the boy fetch wood and do other menial tasks. Eventually Min entrusts Tree-ear with a most important job: delivering two specially crafted vases to the palace in hopes of securing a royal commission for Min's fine pottery work. The vases meet with disaster on Tree-ear's journey, but he persists on his mission, with only a single shard to show the royal emissary. Though Malcolm's performance slows a bit when reading passages describing the routines of the potters and Tree-ear's travels to the palace, listeners will likely be hooked by Tree-ear's perseverance and fascinated by a look into this craftsmen's colony from Korean history. Ages 10-14. (Jan.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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