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The Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop…
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The Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary School

by Candace Fleming

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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
This book as a humbling message. Don't count your chickens before the hatch! I really liked the title of this book too, I think it introduces the words "Aesop" and "fable" right off the bat. In this story there is a girl in the story named Amisha Spelwadi (interesting since she can spell). In the story she is the only person who can spell wildebeest and she goes on to brag about how she got a perfect score on her spelling test. BUT, then when asked to spell cat she spells it "kat", uh oh! It's a funny story of the journey of a class or fourth graders. ( )
  jessotto | Apr 2, 2014 |
In the past, I've really, really enjoyed Candace Fleming's nonfiction children's books, recommending them even to adults because they were so good. When I saw she had this fiction title as well, I jumped on the chance to read some high-quality children's literature.

Or so I thought. The Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary School turns out to be a take on Aesop's fables, and fairy tales and fables have never been my favorites. This book was no exception. Rather than being a typical chapter book with an ongoing story, this was more like a series of vignettes, albeit with some continuity in time and characters. At the end of each vignette is a moral, like in Aesop's fables. Of course, sometimes it's a bit of a stretch to see how the moral fits the story (just one of the issues I take with fables in general). Furthermore, as this book was concerned with having silly stories and morals to go with them, character development was not a goal and the students' characters remain the same from story to story -- which, in the end, translates them to them not really have learned from their morals at all, a rather dodgy thing for a moralistic book to say.

Speaking of silly, that's probably the best word to describe this book. It's full of the ridiculous, peopled with absurd characterizations (that are often nothing more than grossly exaggerated stereotypes, like the lovelorn mousy librarian who is obsessed with the beauty of the Dewey decimal system) and outrageous names like Victoria Sovaine for the beautiful fourth grader who preens all day long. Other groan-worthy puns are peppered throughout, with the particular painful ones coming from the responses the children give to various questions from their teacher regarding academics. (These were particularly painful given that the teacher would tell them that their answers were correct when they were not. I'm not sure that fourth graders will always get that humor, and I dislike when children's literature gives out incorrect information in the guise of humor, as I think it does a disservice to children who are still learning so much about the world.)

HOWEVER, given all those criticisms, I tried to look at this book the way my fourth-grade self would and I think there's a chance that I had read this in elementary school, I would have probably gotten a few good chuckles out of it. For that reason alone, I gave this book two and a half stars, although my actual enjoyment level was lower than that. I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend this to anyone, with the exception maybe of some young kids who really enjoy corny humor. ( )
  sweetiegherkin | May 8, 2013 |
The fourth-graders of Aesop Elementary School have quite the reputation: no teacher wants to be assigned to that rowdy bunch. Until Mr. Jupiter arrives. He has a way of making things happen. Over the school year, the children learn their lessons one fable at a time. A fun and contemporary spin on the traditional fables, especially if kids get the opportunity to compare and contrast the originals with the happenings in each chapter. ( )
  KimJD | Apr 8, 2013 |
The fourth grade class at Aesop Elementary is horrible - so horrible that their teacher quit before even teaching them for one day. Instead, they have Mr. Jupiter, a very eccentric man who fits into their craziness and makes it a year worth remembering. There is a chapter for each character in the book and each chapter has a moral at the end.

This book wanted to be Sideways Stories, or Thirteen Ways to Sink a Sub (both favorites of mine when I was a kid) but it fell short of the mark. Disappointed...I had heard good things from kids at the library. ( )
  agrudzien | Mar 11, 2013 |
This book was light- hearted and full of humor. It is a tale of a group of fourth graders that are well known for being hard to handle. The book takes you through the escapades of the kids with their new teacher, Mr. Jupiter. ( )
  MalissaLojszczyk | Apr 23, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0440422299, Paperback)

These contemporary “fables” are instructive, hilarious, and now in paperback!

The fourth graders at Aesop Elementary are, well, unusual. There’s Calvin Tallywong, who wants to go back to kindergarten. But when he actually gets the chance, he’s forced to do the squirrel dance and wear a yellow-school-bus name tag. The moral of his story? Be careful what you wish for. Then there’s Amisha Spelwadi, who can spell wildebeest, no problem. She’s sure she’ll get 100 percent on her spelling test. But when the teacher, Mr. Jupiter, asks the class to spell cat, all Amisha can come up with is kat. The moral this time? Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.

Here’s a collection of contemporary fables about a hilariously rambunctious group of kids and their amazing teacher that is sure to delight students and teachers alike!

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:42 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

An unlikely teacher takes over the disorderly fourth-grade class of Aesop Elementary School with surprising results.

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