Extra! Extra! Fairy-Tale News from Hidden Forest

Extra! Extra! Fairy-Tale News from Hidden Forest
¡Extra! ¡Extra! Noticias del Bosque Escondido


When the res­i­dents of Hid­den For­est wake up and open their morn­ing papers, they are in for a sur­prise. An enor­mous beanstalk has mys­te­ri­ously sprouted out­side of Jack Blake’s house, and Jack is nowhere to be found. Mean­while, Pinoc­chio and Half-Chicken or Mediopol­lito have set out on adven­tures of their own, and Tor­toise and Hare are off to the races. Will they all find their happy end­ings? Hid­den For­est News has got the scoops. Writ­ten and laid out in news­pa­per for­mat, this install­ment in the enchant­ing Hid­den For­est series has received a new twist from Alma Flor Ada and Leslie Tryon. All of your favorite char­ac­ters from Dear Peter Rab­bit or Querido Pedrín, Yours Truly, Goldilocks or Aten­ta­mente, Ric­i­tos de Oro; and With Love, Lit­tle Red Hen are back, but this time they are hit­ting the presses and mak­ing headlines!


Pub­lish­ing a book is always a long process, but some­times it can be a VERY long process. That was the case of my lat­est book: Extra! Extra! Fairy-Tale News from Hid­den For­est. Due to a series of mishaps, it took 9 long years to go from a man­u­script to a book. But, now rejoic­ing in the great art of Leslie Tryon, it was worth the wait. This is a book I have got­ten to like and love more each day…because it was born out of my love for news­pa­per –grand­daugh­ter of two news­pa­per men that I am– and because I believe that while fun and enter­tain­ment it will give chil­dren an oppor­tu­nity to see two sides of an argu­ment, and also to learn to read crit­i­cally. When a giant beanstalk appears in Hid­den For­est the town gets divided between those who feel that any­thing dif­fer­ent is a men­ace that should be elim­i­nated, and want to chop down the beanstalk imme­di­ately, and those who pro­pose that there may be rich­ness in diversity…

You can read Leslie Tryon’s reflec­tions about the cre­ation of the Hid­den For­est series in the chap­ter she wrote for Alma Flor Ada and You, vol­ume II pub­lished by Libraries Unlim­ited in the series The Author and You.

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Kirkus Reviews:

Ada’s lat­est is a con­tin­u­a­tion of the Hid­den For­est series of fairy-tales adven­tures, but this time, sev­eral edi­tions of the Hid­den For­est News news­pa­per replace the let­ters of the pre­vi­ous books. Sub­scribers fol­low many new sto­ries, the most notable being the saga of the mys­te­ri­ous beanstalk and the related dis­ap­pear­ance of Jack Blake. Op-ed pieces illus­trate the con­tro­versy sur­round­ing the beanstalk. Also news­wor­thy is the clos­ing of Geppetto’s toy shop, the begin­ning of Half-Chicken’s jour­ney to Mex­ico City (both Inter­na­tional news) and the intended race between the Tor­toise and the Hare (Sports). The “Back Page” lists the adver­tise­ments. Read­ers with a thor­ough ground­ing in fairy tales will laugh out loud at the allu­sions and dou­ble enten­dres that are the hall­mark of Ada’s writ­ing. Tryon’s busy full-color illus­tra­tions will keep read­ers’ atten­tion as they search for hid­den details. The news­pa­pers them­selves are illus­trated with small tongue-in-cheek black-and-whites. Teach­ers of fairy-tale units will love the sub­tle teach­ing of news­pa­per con­tent and lay­out. A must for every fairy-tale col­lec­tion. (Pic­ture book, 6–9).

School Library Journal:

Hid­den For­est, which retold tra­di­tional fairy tales through a series of let­ters, this fourth install­ment uses a news­pa­per for­mat. Through arti­cles, opin­ion pieces, and even sports and … more » inter­na­tional pages, sev­eral issues of the Hid­den For­est News pro­vide the scoop on Jack and the Beanstalk and report on an Ital­ian toy­maker who as gone miss­ing while search­ing for his puppet/son and a race betw between a hare and a tor­toise. Head­lines, columns, and black-and-white spot art tell Jack’s tale from a vari­ety of view­points. Things are livened up by occa­sional full-color pages painted in bright water­col­ors that show Hid­den For­est res­i­dents pro­duc­ing, deliv­er­ing, and read­ing the paper. Fans of the series will find their favorite char­ac­ters in the arti­cles, edi­to­r­ial bylines, and even the adver­tise­ments (Mr. Wolfy Lupus is run­ning a sum­mer camp for chil­dren). While there is much fun here, the for­mat does make the plot con­sid­er­ably more com­pli­cated. Read­ers unfa­mil­iar with the fea­tured sto­ries may strug­gle to fol­low along, while older chil­dren who would enjoy the humor may be put off by art with such a young tone. Pur­chase where the other books are popular.

Horn Book:

Unlike the first three books set in Hid­den For­est, this install­ment for­goes letter-writing (With Love, Lit­tle Red Hen, rev. 1/02), instead com­pris­ing three issues of the Hid­den For­est News (and a two-page extra edi­tion). The paper cov­ers local and inter­na­tional sto­ry­book head­lines as well as sports, com­mu­nity hap­pen­ings, and adver­tise­ments (tout­ing, for exam­ple, the masonry ser­vices of Pig Three). Above-the-fold news is dom­i­nated by two local sto­ries: the sud­den appear­ance of a giant beanstalk-like plant and con­cern about the fate of Jack Blake, who traded the fam­ily cow for some beans. As with the pre­vi­ous books, the fun is in fol­low­ing famil­iar char­ac­ters as they inter­act with one another and play out their well-known roles. The text-heavy news­pa­per for­mat doesn’t lend itself to story-hour read­ings, but there are plenty of clever details in both text and art for read­ers to enjoy on their own. Tryon’s black-and-white draw­ings enliven the arti­cles and fea­tures; full-page color illus­tra­tions between issues show, among other tableaux, Peter Rab­bit on his paper route. The con­cept isn’t new (e.g., Colin and Jacqui Hawkins Fairy­tale News, rev. 7–04), but for Hid­den For­est fans, Extra! Extra! Offers all the fairy-tale news that’s fit to print.”


Extra! Extra! By Alma Flor Ada (Atheneum, ages five to eight) gives all the scoops on fairy tale news as pre­sented in the news­pa­per. When the res­i­dents of the Hid­den For­est wake up and open their morn­ing papers, they are in for a sur­prise. An enor­mous beanstalk has mys­te­ri­ously sprouted out­side of Jack Blake’s house, Pinoc­chio and Half-Chicken have set out on great adven­tures, and the great race between Tor­toise and Hare fills the sports pages. Will they all find their happy end­ings? Hid­den For­est News has got the scoops. Full-color watercolor-and-ink illus­tra­tions are scat­tered among the newsprint-toned sheets. Writ­ten and laid out in news­pa­per for­mat, this new twist on famil­iar fairy tales is com­plete with fairy-tale ads, edi­to­ri­als, and a back page for children.


Extra! Extra! Read all about it. Boy trades fam­ily cow for beans. Giant beanstalk grows. Jack Blake dis­ap­pears. Extra! Extra! Read all about it. Gepetto’s Toy Shop clos­ing. Extra! Extra! Read all about it. In sports today, we have cov­er­age of the race between the Tor­toise and the Hare. Extra! Extra! Read all about it. Lots of inter­est­ing sto­ries in these news­pa­pers! — http://nancykeane.com/booktalks/ada_extra.htm


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