An astounding tale of courage, belonging and endurance from a master storyteller and winner of the prestigious Newbery Award. Tree - ear has a dream. He has watched the master potter Min take a lump of clay and shape it into a thing of beauty. For Tree - ear the transformation is a miracle. Someday he wants to perform such a miracle himself. But ...
An astounding tale of courage, belonging and endurance from a master storyteller and winner of the prestigious Newbery Award. Tree - ear has a dream. He has watched the master potter Min take a lump of clay and shape it into a thing of beauty. For Tree - ear the transformation is a miracle. Someday he wants to perform such a miracle himself. But you cannot just walk up to a master potter and ask him to teach you his craft, especially if you're an orphan like Tree - ear. First Tree - ear must prove he is worthy of Min's time and teachings. So he asks the honourable master if he can work for him, without pay, for the privilege of being near such talent. Tree - ear has taken his first step toward his dream. If Tree - ear takes it one hill, one valley, one day at a time, maybe he'll be able to make his dream come true.
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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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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