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Salt; a Russian tale by Harve Zemach

Salt; a Russian tale

by Harve Zemach

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This Traditional Fantasy tells the Russian legend of Ivan the Fool. Ivan, the youngest of three sons of a rich merchant, is seen as a foolish musician who cannot be trusted with valuable items. When he sets sail following his brothers’ two precious cargo laden ships, Ivan gets separated and lands on an island with a mountain made of Russian salt. He takes a shipload of this salt to a kingdom and convinces the king to buy his cargo. In the process he wins the heart of the king’s daughter, and the two set sail with their gold and silver for Ivan’s home. However, the brothers find him at sea, toss Ivan overboard and claim the princess as their own. With the help of a giant, however, Ivan is able to return to his home and reclaim what is his, earning his father’s respect in the process.

This book was entertaining to read. With illustrations that capture the simplicity of the story, the book grabbed me from the beginning. Although it is not something I would typically pick up, I’m glad that I did. It makes me want to check into more Russian legends and find out more about what the giant in this story might represent.

I would use this book in the classroom as an introduction to Russian literature. Since the book mentions a mandolin and dancing, I would have some Russian music to play and have some examples of Russian dances to show the class. Perhaps we could learn a short dance ourselves! I would use this book as an example of how important it is to believe in yourself no matter what others think. ( )
  AngelaPrice | Sep 19, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374363854, Hardcover)

Ivan the Fool, youngest son of a merchant, barters the cargo of his ship for a princess and a fortune.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:02 -0400)

Ivan the Fool, youngest son of a merchant, barters the cargo of his ship for a princess and a fortune.

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