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Rip Van Winkle's Return by Eric A. Kimmel
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Rip Van Winkle's Return

by Eric A. Kimmel

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Kimmel takes on the task of retelling a classic American folktale. I had loved the story of Rip Van Winkle when I was younger. However, I was underwhelmed with this book. The main theme or point of the book was that one should not put off to tomorrow in what can be done today.

I can not seem to pinpoint exactly what I disliked about this book. I think the biggest thing for me was the illustrations. The story is supposed to be set in the Hudson Valley. Fisher is supposed to be a painter, and if he was, stylistically I think he should have used the Hudson Valley school for more of an inspiration. The people seemed to be awkward blobs with expressionless faces. I also felt it helped the story at all. The colors seemed to be more drab or basic colors than what I consider farytalesque.

The story itself also seemed a little to drab for a fairy tale as well. It was a simpler version, which caters to younger readers. It just did not seem to grasp my interest as much as other versions. ( )
  larasimmons2 | Nov 28, 2013 |
Folk/Fairy Tale/Wonder Tale
Kimmel, Eric A; Ilus Fisher, Leonard Everett. Rip Van Winkle's Return. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux , 2007.
Review
Eric Kimmel retells Washington Irving’s classic tale of the lazy Rip Van Winkle. Rip Van Winkle is always idle despite the fact that his wife is constantly nagging at him to work and take care of his family. One day, Rip wanders to the woods with his dog to look for rest and relaxation from the world and falls asleep beside a tree. When Rip awakes from his dream and deep sleep, he finds himself with a long, white beard, overgrown nails, and a world completely foreign to him. Through this experience, Rip Van Winkle learns the consequences of wasting time and the subsequent value of life.
Recommendation
This story has been appropriately tailored for young children because it focuses on the human aspect of this fairy tale rather than the scenery of upstate New York, therefore, making it more interesting to young children. Folk Tales are generally children’s favorite stories, so there is a broad range of targeted audience. It would most ideally suit elementary children older than 2nd grade because it teaches a moral lesson.
Use
Because this book could be viewed by a varying age range, there are different activities for each age group. For the younger children, the book could be compared with other Rip Van Winkle books to distinguish differences in each book’s plot, characters, and settings and then these books could be ranked. For the middle range to older children, grades 4-8, the children could rewrite the book in modern times. They could also write down a list of negative characteristics Rip Van Winkle had that caused this event to happen and what characteristics would have prevented this event from happening. Lastly, the children might write an alternate ending where Rip Van Winkle was able to go back in time and fix his mistakes and then read the children’s thoughts to the class to see what each child has learned from the story.
Artwork
The artwork in this book is fairly bright and vivid and would appeal to its younger targeted audience. However, despite its critical acclaim, the artwork doesn’t coincide with the story type. The pictures accurately depict the story line, but the artwork does not seem mystical enough to be the illustration for a folklore or fairy tale. It would be more appropriate to have brighter imagery with whimsical features and a sense of magic. The limited range of colors and brown end pages also detract from the essence of fables and folklores.
  cdl | Sep 10, 2007 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Eric A. Kimmelprimary authorall editionscalculated
Fisher, Leonard EverettIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374363080, Hardcover)

Rip Van Winkle is an idler who would rather starve for a penny than work for a pound, and his wife is constantly nagging him. In search of peace, Rip heads off to the woods one day with his faithful dog, Wolf. High up in the Catskill Mountains, Rip meets an unusual group of little men. He drinks their strong beverage and falls into a deep sleep. When he awakens, he finds that twenty years have passed – the world has changed and so has he.
 
With vibrant paintings by Leonard Everett Fisher, Eric A. Kimmel’s adaptation of Washington Irving’s classic “Rip Van Winkle” introduces a Rip who reforms as a result of his experience.
 
Rip Van Winkle's Return is a 2008 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:05 -0400)

A man who sleeps for twenty years in the Catskill Mountains wakes to a much-changed world. Rip Van Winkle is an idler who would rather starve for a penny than work for a pound, and his wife is constantly nagging him. In search of peace, Rip heads off to the woods one day with his faithful dog, Wolf. High up in the Catskill Mountains, Rip meets an unusual group of little men. He drinks their strong beverage and falls into a deep sleep. When he awakens, he finds that twenty years have passed - the world has changed and so has he.… (more)

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