Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Twelve Clever Brothers and Other Fools

From my Literary Journal in my Children's Literature class:
Folktales from Russia, adapted by Ginsberg M. (1979). The twelve clever brothers and other fools. New York, NY. J. B. Lippincott. pages 1-19  (Grade Level: 1st-4th).

            In this first of fourteen folktales, the twelve brothers decide to go to town for some things they need for themselves and their families. They leave, but do not reach town before nightfall, so they stop at an inn. Thinking themselves clever, they each turn their sleds towards the direction they must continue in the morning, but while they sleep the mischievous innkeeper turns the sleds around. The twelve brothers do not even realize they have been tricked until they reach home again, and one of the brothers' dog comes running up to them.
            This is an interesting story that reminds it readers not to think themselves too clever. The brothers thought they were being exceptionally smart, but their plan backfired, and they were, in the end, too dull to notice. This story could be used in the classroom to talk about Russia, transportation in Russia, travels, and of course about pride. I do not like the ending of the story, though, because the brothers do not necessarily realize they were tricked by the innkeeper, also, they decide traveling is too confusing and too much of a hassle, and decide to stay home from then on, and never get the supplies that they needed. 

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