Mirra Ginsburg was a Jewish Russian-American translator of Russian literature, a collector of folk tales and a children's writer. Born in Bobruisk (then part of the Russian Empire, now part of modern-day Belarus) in 1909, she moved with her family to Latvia, then to Canada, before they settled in the United States. Although she won praise for her translations of adult literature, including the Master and Margarita (1967) by Mikhail Bulgakov and We (1972) by Yevgeny Ivanovich Zamyatin, she is perhaps most celebrated for her contributions to children's literature. She collected and translated a vast array of folktales from the Russian tradition, as well as Siberian and Central Asian traditions. Ginsburg died in 2000.
A brood of fluffy young chicks sets out to find the sun and bring it back to the sky in this folktale from Slovenia, published in 1975, and translated by the prolific Mirra Ginsburg, who has made so many Eastern European works available to American readers. Outfitted by the mother hen with a grain of rye and a poppy-seed each (sounds like slim rations for a long quest to me...), they wander about, asking each animal they meet whether they know where the sun lives, and picking up quite an entourage in the meantime. It falls to the local hedgehog to guide them all up to the local mountain peak, where they hop on a cloud that takes them to the moon, who in turn guides them to the sun's dwelling. Here the animal companions must convince the sun to emerge once more, all pitching in to get him ready.
Although I wouldn't describe How the Sun Was Brought Back to the Sky as a particularly scintillating read, I did find it a sweet, gentle little story, perfect for younger children who enjoy a good quest story, sans blood, guts and mayhem. The scene in which the animals clean up the sun was particularly charming! As someone with an interest in folklore, moreover, I appreciated the fact that this tale was from Slovenia, as I have not had a chance to read much from the folk tradition of that country. The colorful artwork is a little cartoon-like, but is cheerful and appealing all the same. I liked the scene in which the chicks are confronted by the magpie - it was quite charming! All in all, a solid folkloric retelling, although I do wish that Ginsburg had listed her sources, or given some information about the story.
I spent the whole night trying to find this book last night! It's a real task if you can't remember the title of a rare book. I loved this story when I was a child and I can't wait to share it with my child.
This is the one book I still remember from my childhood (born in 1976)! I could never remember the title, though, and just came across it here. My childhood was full of books and I was a voracious reader so it pleases me to no end to have rediscovered one my favorite reads of all time!
Five stars because my 4 year old grandson loves it, and asks to hear it again every time I see him! There's hope for these kids. It's a sweet story, with details that make it even more fun to read with a child.
Like other (retold) folktales, there is a situation, a dilemma, or a problem. The sun has not shone in three days, just sad, gray clouds. And like in other tales, there is a journey, and a destination, and help along the way. It's a tale that emphasizes the interdependence of all living creatures, and the sun and the moon and the earth. The young chicks in this tale set out on a journey, and at the end of the journey, something is gained, something is learned, and at the end of the tale there is hope. I like that the mama hen encourages her brood to set out on the journey to find the sun, giving them each a grain of rye and a poppy seed. I like that we learn about each creature's favorite habitat and habits. Each of their skills comes into play when they 'clean off the sun's face,' restoring brilliance and shine to the sun and to the earth. And all is well with the world at the end. Good tale to read out loud, although the book is rather a small format, and it might be difficult to find. Published in 1975.
Reminiscent of the-sky-is-falling stories this one sees a group of adventuring animals on a quest to return the sun to the sky because it had been absent for 3 days.
When they arrive at the sun's house, which looks a lot like American Southwest architecture, the sun is awoken and replies with, "Oh, oh! ... I don't even know how to shine any more." Next comes a display that would make Neil de Grasse Tyson cringe. The animals pour water on, scrub, dry with a towel, and pick the dust off of the sun's face.
In the end the sun returns and all is well again...
But something that the animals and sun seem to miss is the importance of clouds and what they are and how they fit into the ecosystem. An environment without cloud cover is not ideal - nor is an environment with constant sun. What is needed, what the animals and sun fail to realize, is that moderation is key to environmental and overall success.
I remember loving this book as a little girl, and I don't know what happened to it. Over the years I forgot about it and even the title. I'm now 46, and the mother of 2 sons who are 13 and 8. Me and my mom were talking last week about books, I told her about this book and remembered her reading it to me and my little brother. I remembered the cover being brown around the edges from the wooden doors and the big yellow sun with his little friends. So I literally GOOGLED: classic children's book from the 80's about the sun, and there it was!! I'm purchasing it now to read to my own 13yo and 8yo sons. They're going to LOVE it!!
I received this book when I was a very little girl. I remember my mother reading it to me and it being a favorite of mine, then later learnt to read it myself. I then read it to my children and now am reading it to my 2 year old granddaughter! Illustrations are wonderful almost a waterpaint but not really... will captivate listeners and readers both.
The sun hadn't shown in 3 days so little chicks first missed him, then they set out and asked others along the way where the sun lived. They encountered a magpie, rabbit, duck and a hedgehog (so introducing young children to animals they may not have seen or know about) They do make it to the sun's house to find that he was sad 'cause the clouds have pushed him out of the sky. So the animals help clean him up and help him shine bright again. A cleaver 'new' book that is different than others; not the same storylines as others. And teaches importance of friends and staying on task (chicks wanting to find the sun's house regardless of not knowing where he lived) Really great book!
I found this book when looking up books for a sources of light lesson. It's a story about baby bunnies who venture off to find the sun. They eventually end up finding it sleeping in the clouds, wake it up, and the sun shines brightly and disperses the rain clouds. I didn't use this book, but it was a nice story and a good topic book for sources of light. A lot of the story is fictional, so it would be a good connection for kids to tell the difference between how light works in real life compared to the story.
The best part of this book is when the animals wash the sun so that it can come back out and shine. Especially when the hedgehog polishes it with his bristles. Otherwise both the pictures and text are forgettable.