Changing Faces Changing Places: A Guide to Multicultural Books for Children
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The Barefoot Book of Brother and Sister Tales by Mary Hoffman
Published by Barefoot Books, 2000

Anyone with a brother or sister will relish this beautifully illustrated collection of tales brought together from all over the world.

Siblings enjoy a unique relationship, sometimes fraught with jealousy and rivalry but more often feelings of shared experience, loyalty and love bind them together.

The Barefoot Book of Brother and Sister Tales by Mary Hoffman

The brothers and sisters in these tales all have to endure hardship or set out on bold adventures drawing on their best resources to save themselves from perilous situations. The well-loved German story ‘Hansel and Gretel’ shows how Hansel’s quick thinking initially saves the pair from certain death. However, it is Gretel’s cunning which ultimately defeats the witch’s evil plans. The Cheyenne story of ‘The Quillwork Girl and her seven star brothers’ tells of a young Native American girl’s tireless sewing of magnificent garments for the seven brothers whom she adapts as her own. It is then the youngest brother who repays her sisterly love by saving all eight of them from death and transforming them into stars.

The devotion that these brothers and sisters display towards each other is always rewarded, their mistakes are often forgiven and the weaknesses of one are usually balanced by the strengths of the other, be they princes and princesses or the children of a humble shepherd. The children work together to surmount the obstacles which are placed in front of them, in the same way that we all have to overcome problems and mishaps in our lives.

This inspiring anthology makes a perfect present for brothers and sisters everywhere and an ideal book for families to share.

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