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Paul Bunyan by Steven Kellogg

Paul Bunyan (1984)

by Steven Kellogg, William Dempster (Illustrator)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
this traditional story for children has been one of my favorite tall tells to read. The art in the book really brings the story to life and makes it more fun to read. Being all tall tell it helps with the imagination of children.
  Katie-Langston | Feb 8, 2016 |
Literature for grade levels 1-3. The author has excellent illustrations that highlights one of America's hero. The legendary Paul Bunyan and his magnificent blue ox is an incredible tall-tale that every child will enjoy. Great book that keeps you engaged! ( )
  Jihan0228 | Feb 11, 2015 |
Paul Bunyan is a classic tale of a larger than life lumberjack. It starts out with him as a baby, born into a logging family. He grows far too big and strong for ordinary town life. His knack for destruction forces his family to move into the wilderness where Paul gets along much better. He makes friends with the animals, races deer and wrestles bears. He comes upon a blue bull in the snow and rescues him. They become best friends. The bull, named Babe, grows as big as him and seems to have a say in the weather. The story follows them into adulthood where they join a logging company and are responsible for some of nature's wonders like the Great Plains and the Grand Canyon. At the end of the book, Paul and Babe retire to Alaska where the author claims they are still rumored to live.

Personal Experience:
I read this to a small group of second graders. They were a little confused by the story. Some asked if it was a true story. Some asked if that is actually how the Grand Canyon was created. After I answered a few silly questions, they all agreed that they liked the story and the elaborate illustrations. My older son is eight and he thought the book was funny. He liked the names of the cooks and the pictures of the huge pancakes falling on cars and buildings.

Classroom Extension Ideas:

1.) It would be fun, if done properly, to use this as a lead into the real history of some historical parts of the United States (like the Grand Canyon). The kids got a big kick out of the idea that the Grand Canyon was cut by a huge axe. Paul's journey covers most of the United States, complete with a map in the back of the book. A classroom discussion could be about the States and their landmarks that Paul supposedly had a hand in.

2.) Paul Bunyan's enormous stature allowed him to do great things. I would ask my kinds, "If you were as big as Paul Bunyan, what great thing or things would you do?"

3.) Paul meets a lot of animals along his journey across the country. We could make a list of all the animals. I could have the kids write the animals down as I read them. This would be a fun game, and a good spelling and listening exercise. ( )
  CamilleSchmidt | Feb 6, 2015 |
I enjoyed rereading this classic story for a number of reasons. Looking at this folktale with a new set of eyes, I noticed the use of well detailed illustrations, dramatic descriptive language and deep character development. First off, I enjoyed the vivid and colorful drawings which made up the story. As you flipped each page, one side contained the written language while the other was the drawing of the action. For example, as Paul described his blue ox, you actually got to see his brightly colored blue ox on the adjacent page. Next, the author used extremely dramatic language to describe the action of the story. A perfect example of this is “Paul’s clothing was so large that they had to use wagon wheels as buttons.” Finally, the author chose to tell the entire story of Paul Bunyan, from birth to adulthood, this included details, not only about his appearance, but also his personality. These three aspects combined easily to show the author’s main message to share a humorous story of an extraordinary lumberjack. ( )
  ShelbyBurton | Oct 27, 2014 |
I love this book. Tall Tales are a genre that is fun and exciting to read. Paul Bunyan is probably one of the most favorite tall tale characters of all. Steven Kellogg does an incredible job retelling and illustrating the story. It is also interesting how many wonders are explained through the doings of the characters. For instance, Paul Bunyan created the Grand Canyon by dragging his pickaxe that fell from his shoulder from exhaustion and he dug the St Lawrence River and the Great Lakes too. This book makes for fun reading.
The writing in this story is the best part. The use of figurative language throughout the story makes the reader just want to keep turning the pages. A great example of the colorful language is, “He grew into a sturdy lad who was so quick on his feet he could blow out a candle and leap into bed before the room was dark.” Later on in his life Paul became a lumberjack and with his men they “leveled the Great Plains and shave the slopes of the Rocky Mountains. “ The reader will just want to keep reading to see what antics Paul will be up to next.
Along with the wonderful writing, the illustrations are just as thrilling as the words. Mr. Kellogg does a great job illustrating this story. The immense size of Paul and Babe in comparison to his men and the world he lives in is done so well. Some of my favorite pictures are Paul as a baby in his cradle that is as big as any ship in the harbor and of course when Paul rocks his cradle there were gigantic waves that came ashore and flooded everything. Another is Paul wrestling with a bear and when at the end he is holding up a big, blue whale in the Pacific Ocean.
The big message in this story is that anything is possible. Paul makes things happen because of his enormous size and personality. As the reader reads the story it gives the impression that we to can do anything with the right attitude and dreams. Wouldn’t we all like to be a tall tale hero like Paul Bunyan or Pecos Bill? ( )
  AlexWyatt | Oct 27, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Steven Kelloggprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dempster, WilliamIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Buddy EbsenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For my heroic nephew, Steve Hoffman
First words
Paul Bunyan was the largest, smartest, and strongest baby ever born in the state of Maine.
Early one morning after a ferocious storm, a huge cradle washed up near a town in Maine. Inside the cradle was the biggest baby anyone had ever seen. It took the milk of five cows to fill his bottle!
Fueled by the powerful mixture of flapjacks and syrup, the men leveled the Great Plains and shaved the slopes of the Rocky Mountains.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0688058000, Paperback)

Do you know how the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River were first formed? How about the Great Plains and the Grand Canyon? Some people think these wonders were established by the forces of nature, but those folks clearly haven't heard of Paul Bunyan, the "strongest, smartest, and tallest hero of the tallest of American tall tales." Paul and his pal, Babe the Blue Ox, were responsible for creating all these geographic features as they worked their way west with their unusual lumber crew. Paul's adventures begin when he is just a baby (who can lift a cow over his head) and continue as he grows into the biggest lumberjack in the world. All the basic stories about Paul Bunyan are here in this rollicking tale, as well as a few inventive incidents added by author and illustrator Steven Kellogg.

Kellogg is well known for his stories about Pinkerton the Great Dane, retellings of classic tales such as Chicken Little, and illustrations for books such as How Much Is a Million? by David Schwartz. But Kellogg's most important contribution to children's literature is his series on American folk heroes, including Johnny Appleseed, Mike Fink, Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind Crockett, and of course, the tallest hero of the tallest tale of all--Paul Bunyan. A great legend and great fun. (Ages 5 to 9) --Marcie Bovetz

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:46 -0400)

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Recounts the life of the extraordinary lumberjack whose unusual size and strength brought him many fantastic adventures.

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