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Seven Fathers

3.08  ·  Rating Details ·  74 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
In the midst of a fearsome blizzard, a weary traveler seeks refuge from the cold.
"Good evening, Father, I'm so glad I found you. Would you, by any chance, have a room where I could spend the night?"
"Oh," said the old man. "I'm not the father of the house, You'll have to ask my father. He's around back, in the kitchen."
And so the traveler is sent on a journey within his jou
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 12th 2011 by Roaring Brook Press
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Karen A.
Apr 05, 2011 Karen A. rated it really liked it
Much like Jon Muth, Ed Young is able to illustrate profound themes without being didatic or preaching. In Seven Fathers his soft monochromatic collages allow Ashley Ramsden's retelling of the Nordic tale to take center stage. This story may not get the oohs and ahhs of immediate gratification but the enigma of the story is sure to make young readers ask for it again and again.
Oct 04, 2011 Laura added it
Shelves: children-s, 2011, picture
I'm not quite sure how I feel about this one. Ramsden's Seven Fathers is a retelling of a Norwegian myth. A cold, tired traveler stumbles across a home. He asks for a place to spend the night and an old man tells him to ask his father. And so the man does, finding another man, even older, who tells him to ask the father of the house. This happens six times until he finally finds the father of the house. He is granted a magnificent feast and then (and this is where I feel that I'm missing somethi ...more
While I appreciate the spiritual theme in this Norwegian folktale I wonder how much kid appeal the story has. The illustrations are dark and so abstract that they don't really add to the story, either.
Dec 22, 2010 Tasha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
A lone man walks in a snow-filled night, desperate to find shelter from the cold and weather. With the last of his strength, he approaches a house that appears out of the darkness. There he finds an old man chopping wood. When the traveler asks if he can stay the night, the old man replies that he is not the father of the house. His father is in the kitchen. The traveler heads to the kitchen where he meets an even older man and asks him if he can stay. But the man replies that he too is not the ...more
Rachel Lizan
Jan 27, 2014 Rachel Lizan rated it really liked it
Shelves: libs-642
Description: A traveler in the middle of a snow storm seeks shelter in a mysterious abode where he seeks to find the father of the house.

Genre: Traditional Literature - Folktale

Intended Audience: Preschool - 3rd Grade

Curriculum Connection: Within the kindergarten curriculum, students must be able to make predictions about stories using illustrations and the text. Using the cover picture and the title, students could predict a vast array of plots and themes. Even the ending of the story leaves ro
Kathy Ogg
This was a beautifully illustrated book and I am a fan of Ed Young's artwork. His work reminds me of Eric Carle. The illustrations are muted and fit the theme of the story. The story itself was confusing for me but I did like the end. It is the story of a traveler who is looking for a place to stay for the night. He finds a house and asked the first person he sees for permission to stay and is told he must ask the man's father. The traveler does so only to be told the same thing by that person. ...more
Jun 02, 2012 Kelsey rated it did not like it
Age: 1st - 3rd grade

"In the midst of a fearsome blizzard, a weary traveler seeks refuge from the cold." Each old gentleman he asks for a room, he is sent to their father. Meant as a storytale, Seven Fathers loses its clarity and intent. The author explains that "we are all connected to the ones who came before us and the spiritual origins that underpin our entire existence." But the story ends too mysteriously without character development. Perhaps in the story told aloud, characters are given i
Sep 30, 2011 Barbara rated it really liked it
A traveler is desperately seeking shelter from the cold when he stumbles on a dwelling place. When he asks to spend the night, he is sent from one person to the next. This retelling of a Norwegian folktale leaves readers wondering what happened the next morning and prompts readers to ask several questions about the whole ordeal. Ed Young's cut paper collages perfectly replicate the traveler's battle with the cold and the snow, and some of the illustrations are stunning in their beauty. Young rea ...more
Oct 18, 2011 Ashley rated it did not like it
2011 - Traditional Literature

This is a retelling of a Norwegian folk tale, where a desperate traveler finds himself in need of a place to stay to avoid dying in the harsh snow storm. The traveler finds a house and asks if he may stay the night. However, the man he asked was not the father of the house. The man leads the traveler to the next father, who leads him to the next, and so on. I will be honest and say that I really did not understand the ending or the point of the story. I would need to
Linda Lipko
The lovely illustrations of Caldecott award winner Ed Young augment the telling of this Norwegian folk tale wherein a weary traveler is stranded in a huge snow storm. As the precipitation pounds his face and clothes, he is greatly relieved in finding shelter.

Entering, he asks for a room to stay, he is sent to successive fathers. His patience is rewarded with a large feast and lovely shelter.

While the tale is open ended in meaning, I tried not to be frustrated, and instead focused on the incredi
A cold and weary traveler seeks refuge from the harsh winter weather and inquires about a room, but is sent on a journey within a journey to find the right father to grant his request.

I liked the language of this tale, the familiar replies that make up the refrain, the progressive aging of the fathers, the long-awaited yes to the traveler's desperate inquiry.

Illustrations consist of cut-paper collage.

Young reader may be frustrated by the many questions this tale invites, but older audiences (u
This was another selection for the Mock Caldecott awards from my local library system. I had never heard of the story, which was based off a Norwegian folktale about a young man lost in a snowstorm who finds himself at a house seeking shelter and rest, and has to ask everyone in the house before he can do so. The story just dragged on for awhile and then I didn't really understand parts of the ending. I hesitate to give any Ed Young illustrated book this few stars, but I liked the cut-paper illu ...more
Judy Desetti
Dec 17, 2011 Judy Desetti rated it did not like it
I read this one as a consideration for a picture book award. I did not like it. I felt the story needed more details. As is I don't think kids will grasp the meaning nor find it terribly exciting. I did like the ending in that it leaves the child to ponder what will happen the next morning.

Premise of book is a Norwegian folk tale about a traveler who is looking for a place to spend the night and must ask each succesive father whether he can stay.
Apr 13, 2013 Rora rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-book
better for lap time or independent reading than story time. Pictures are largely monochromatic (browns) and done in mixed media, which makes for interesting textures up close but likely blurs into a mess from farther away. Also, tale is kind of wordy on some pages. Story is comfortably predictable though, and silly (ridiculous) in places, which may help hold interest.
Julie Heidingsfelder
Dec 11, 2011 Julie Heidingsfelder rated it really liked it
Shelves: 544
Genre: Traditional Literature Picture Book. This book has the most gorgeous illustrations!!! The spiritual quest of the traveler has so many layered meanings it could be used in many ways in the classroom. One of my favorite picture books so far.
I think this is a beautiful read-aloud for elementary school kids, in a classroom, or one-on-one at home. My wish: That every child who asks, "What does THAT mean?" at the end of the book gets this answer from their grown-up: "What do YOU think?"
May 21, 2013 Bethe rated it did not like it
I didn't get this one at all, illustrations are dark and text is hard to see on the page. While I appreciate the attempt to retell a traditional tale from Norway, I feel this has book has little appeal for children.
Mary Ann
May 11, 2012 Mary Ann rated it it was ok
Shelves: 3rd, 2nd, folktales
While the illustrations are evocative and beautiful, and the narrative smooth and full of lovely repeating elements, ultimately this left me confused and perplexed. I can't see young children being able to connect with it or figure out the metaphorical meanings of the many fathers.
Jan 31, 2012 Peg rated it liked it
A retelling of a Norwegian folktale with spiritual overtones, this might be confusing to some. Young's artwork is spectacular and might be enough to lead readers on to ponder this tale and its meaning.
Lori Gravley
Jan 28, 2016 Lori Gravley rated it really liked it
I would love to see more spareness in the book's language and more specificity in the books illustrations. Even so, it's a lovely book that could open up many interesting discussions in a second or third grade classroom, and the textures in the collage illustrations are compelling.
Debby Baumgartner
A man seeks shelter during a blizzard and must ask the permission of the father of the house for shelter.
Apr 21, 2011 PWRL marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2011-new
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
This is different. It will be interesting to see how a variety of readers respond to it. I think it might be more appreciated by older readers who might be able to analyze it on multiple levels.
Sep 27, 2011 Michelle rated it did not like it
This story doesn't make any sense as it was retold. The illustrations are so abstract and odd that I do not think that children would be able to access them.
Nov 27, 2011 Jim rated it really liked it
Shelves: great-read-aloud

i don't understand this book but i think it will be in my thoughts for a long time. i'd love to know what kids reactions are to it.
Nov 01, 2011 Tom rated it liked it
Shelves: kid-stuff
Some neat collage illustrations for this book. It's a bit of an odd story of a man searching for a place to stay.
Jun 30, 2011 Beth rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
A cold and tired traveler is looking for the father of the house to have a place to stay and learns a lot in the process.
Deb Tyo
Sep 25, 2011 Deb Tyo rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-book
A picture book for older readers as I do not believe that younger readers will make sense of the story.
Brendan Howard
Jul 16, 2013 Brendan Howard rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-to-zahara
Captures well the mystery of folk tales.
June Pecchia
Mar 27, 2012 June Pecchia rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: families at bedtime on a cold night
Moody snow blizzard art fits the struggle of the protagonist... he just wants a place to lay his head and sleep.
Good example of a circular story pattern, fun to read.
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