Tag Archives: Henrik Drescher

Brer Rabbit and the Wonderful Tar Baby by Eric Metaxas

Brer Rabbit and the Wonderful Tar Baby (1990)

Blog 2 Info

Genre:  Animal / African American / Trickery / Contraptions
Year Published: 1990
Year Read:  1993

Publisher: Rabbit Ears Books

Blog 1 Introduction logo

This is a Grammy-award nominated story that is masterfully done by the folks at Rabbit Ears. Danny Glover’s raspy yet calming narration and Taj Mahal’s solo guitar music helps complements the story of those two tricksters, Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox.

Blog 4 Pros
Danny Glover does a great job at narrating this story as he provides inflections throughout the story such as going deep when he does Brer Fox and going high-pitched when he does Brer Rabbit. Danny Glover’s narration is calm and energetic and makes this story great to listen to on the ears. Taj Mahal’s solo guitar music is excellent as the music greatly matches the story’s calm mood and southern roots.

Blog 5 Cons
Although, I found nothing inappropriate about this story, I felt that Henrik Drescher’s illustrations were a little awkward for this story. Since, the mood of the story is calm and sweet, Henrik Drescher’s illustrations are a bit wild and blunt and the illustrations usually take the attention away from the main story. I did not like how the contraption came to be as it looks like a black jug that has wobbly legs attached to it instead of an actual person, which is normally seen in the other versions of this story.

Blog 6 Overall
Overall, this is a great story that fans of the Brer Rabbit would greatly appreciate. Both Danny Glover and Taj Mahal make a great team at providing the southern theme for this story. However, the illustrations may need to be improved to match the mood of the story.

Blog 7 Awards

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4 stars

Also reviewed at: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

Story Discussions #4: The Fool and the Flying Ship (1991)

The Fool and the Flying Ship (1991)

Hey everybody! Welcome to “Story Discussions,” where we talk about various Rabbit Ears stories each week and you can talk about what you liked or hated about the Rabbit Ears story we will discuss for that week.
This week’s Rabbit Ears story we will be discussing this week is:

The Fool and the Flying Ship (1991)

Narrated by: Robin Williams
Music by: The Klezmer Conservatory Band
Illustrated by: Henrik Drescher

As everyone knows, “The Fool and the Flying Ship” is my all-time favorite story from Rabbit Ears and what I loved so much about this story was that the narration, the music and the illustrations all combine effortlessly to create one hilarious and wild take on the ancient Russian folktale!  Robin Williams was brilliant in narrating this story as he brought so much humor to the story and made the story fun to watch!  The Klezmer Conservatory Band’s music brings in a creative flair to the story and Henrik Drescher’s illustrations is the icing on the cake as they are bizarre yet creative at the same time and really brings in a unique spin on this ancient folktale!
So, what did you liked or hated about Robin Williams’ narration on “The Fool and the Flying Ship?”
Please feel free to answer below!

The Gruesome Guide to World Monsters

A great review on “The Gruesome Guide to World Monsters!”


Bibliographic citation:Sierra, Judy. The Gruesome Guide to World Monsters. Candlewick Press, 2005. ISBN 0-763-6-1727
Format Examined: Hardcover print
Annotation: Monsters from different folklore are explained.
Personal Reaction: I loved this book! I do enjoy a good scary monster tale. Little kids might actually get scared, however, because some of these monsters are reputed to be quite deadly. The monsters are all ranked on a skull and crossbones scale, five skull and crossbones being the deadliest. I thought that was a cute touch. There is a forward that explains that all these monsters come from actual folk stories from countries all over the world. I would recommend this book for very brave children! This book encourages print motivation with its very colorful (often bloody) pictures.
Age Recommendation: 2 and up
Website: http://www.judysierra.net/

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McFig & McFly: A Tale of Jealousy, Revenge, and Death (with a Happy Ending)

Wee Required Reading’s thoughts on Henrik Drescher’s McFig and McFly.

Wee Required Reading


By Henrik Drescher

Candlewick Press, 2008

Far away from anywhere big and important, in a little cozy cottage surrounded by fruit trees and berry bushes, lived McFig and his little daughter, Rosie. One day, a stranger named McFly and his son, Anton, bought the land next door. This was OK with McFig, as long as they weren’t noisy or smelly.

In fact, they’re just the opposite. McFig and McFly have quite a bit in common and get along marvelously. So marvelously in fact, that McFig helps McFly build a cottage exactly like his own. But when McFig also builds a tall tower with his leftover lumber — making his house just a teensy bit bigger and better — so starts a competition that will consume, and eventually end, their lives.

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CHILDREN’S BOOKS: Some Weird Picture Books That Are My Favorites.

From Zack Smith: Writer’s list, here are some bizarre picture books that you should definitely check out!

Happy New Year!  Thought I would get a few recommendations down as I got back to work.

These are some picture books that are so weird and wonderful and crazy that adults can enjoy them as well.  There’s tons of books like these out there, but these are a few of my favorites.

First, a recent one:

This is a really cool book by Matt Furie, whose artwork is colorful, surreal and kind of creepy…but overall, very gentle.

It’s a simple tale about a frog and a rat who go for a nighttime bike ride, meet up with some weird creatures who turn out to be friends, and then they all head to the beach together.

Night Riders 2

Furie does some crazy-detailed pages with creatures lurking in every corner, but despite the seeming threat of danger, the book is more about revealing all sorts of wonders around every corner, and will…

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The Circus is Where It’s At: Oddballs and Misfits in Henrik Drescher’s Klutz and Maira Kalman’s Roarr Calder’s Circus

These are book reviews by Gathering Books about Klutz by Henrik Drescher and Roarr Calder’s Circus. Check them out!

Gathering Books

 “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls and children of all ages! Welcome to Burfoot’s Circus, the travelling home of freaks, misfits, drop-outs and the socially inept – sometimes all of the above – come together for your entertainment pleasure tonight, out of a love of performing in some cases, and simply fear of discovery in others.”
– Jackie Trippier Holt, Freaks Like Us


While I don’t remember watching the circus inside the Big Tent, I do enjoy watching acrobats, trapeze artists, jugglers, lion tamers, and other circus performers every chance I get. I’m particularly enamored by contemporary circus acts like the vibrant Cirque de la Mer who I saw perform at Sea World San Diego, and the visually captivating Cirque du Soleil. I watched Cirque du Soleil’s performance, KA, at MGM Grand in Las Vegas about five years ago with my aunt and uncle.

Click on the image to be taken to the websource. Click on the image to be…

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The Fool and the Flying Ship by Eric Metaxas


The Fool and the Flying Ship (1991)

Blog 2 Info

Genre: Surreal / Russia / Folktale / Traveling / Royalty

Year Published: 1991

Year Read: 1993

Series: We All Have Tales

Publisher: Rabbit Ears Books

Blog 1 Introduction logo

Rabbit Ears have created a wonderful series called We All Have Tales. The series had released a number of wonderful stories from around the world, but The Fool and the Flying Ship remained as my all-time favorite Rabbit Ears story. This story is based on Arthur Ransome’s classic Russian folktale, “The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship.” Of course, this version is funnier and more modern than the original Russian tale, thanks to the Russian voice talents of Robin Williams.

Blog 4 Pros

This is my most favorite story from the Rabbit Ears series because it is extremely funny, witty, and entertaining at the same time. Eric Metaxas’s writing is full of wit and humor and jokes that will have anyone laughing for a long time. My favorite part of the dialogue from this story was when the servant told the Tsar that there were peasants at the palace, but the Tsar thought that the servant was talking about pheasants. Robin Williams provided the voices for all the characters in the story in different Russian accents for each character, providing comedy relief from all characters. Also, I love the way how Henrik Drescher, the illustrator of this story, draws his characters with long and stringy limbs and weird attachments on their bodies, such as the Runner’s antlers on his head and the Sharpshooter’s popped out eyes.  The Klezmer Conservatory Band’s wacky European music is full of jazz and folk-like music that gives The Fool and the Flying Ship a very wacky and over-the-top feel to the story.

Blog 5 Cons

Parents should know that The Fool and the Flying Ship may be aimed at older kids and adults because the jokes in this story may not get through the younger audience. Some of the jokes, such as the one where the Sharpshooter talks about putting the flea, who had a bad cold, out of his misery and the Fool replies that it is the flea’s wife’s snoring that causes the flea to have a bad cold. The Sharpshooter than replies that the Flea’s wife is who he is aiming at. Many children may not get that the Sharpshooter is going to shoot the flea’s wife, although this joke is done very delicately and the Sharpshooter is never seen shooting the flea’s wife.

Blog 6 Overall

I think this story is going to be a favorite among both the adult audience and the younger audience for all time because of the story’s good humor and creative characters.

Blog 7 Awards

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6 stars


Also reviewed at: Rabbit Ears Book Blog