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Download A Natural Man: The True Story of John Henry epub

by Steve Sanfield,Peter Thornton

Prose version of the classic American folksong about John Henry, the legendary "steel driving man" who wins a race with his nemesis, the steam drill, only to lose his life in the process
Download A Natural Man: The True Story of John Henry epub
ISBN: 0879236302
ISBN13: 978-0879236304
Category: Children
Subcategory: Geography & Cultures
Author: Steve Sanfield,Peter Thornton
Language: English
Publisher: David R Godine Pub; 1st edition (September 1, 1986)
Pages: 48 pages
ePUB size: 1553 kb
FB2 size: 1774 kb
Rating: 4.7
Votes: 714
Other Formats: rtf txt azw mbr

This book is delightful in every way and will enrich the lives of the young people with whom it is shared.

The fact that the author is a poet and storyteller is evident in the beautiful mental images he is able to create with words. Instead of simply saying, "The night was black," for example, he writes, "The night was black - as black as a crow's wing dipped in ink." The whole book flows well, with such images offered frequently. This makes it a living experience for the reader or listener that touches the heart as well as the mind.

Part of the book's delightfulness is a touch of humor, sometimes subtle, that is evident (" soon as John Henry raised his voice he raised the roof with it. That was the end of his music lessons, and that was the last time John Henry ever sang indoors.")

The beautiful charcoal drawings, of which there are many, do a great job of complementing the text. The layout is nice with text on the left page and a picture on the right page of almost every pair of pages.

The story lightly touches on periods of history that can be discussed in classroom settings: slavery, the Civil War, freedom from slavery, the building of the railroad, and the industrial revolution.

Near the end, one is cheering for the human being with the human heart as he endures the contest with the machine that is meant to replace humans. And, although the contest had a significant cost - John Henry's life - there is relief that the human being won.

At the end of the book the author's version of the John Henry song (which complements the book's version) is offered, along with the traditional music. This enhances the value of the book for young people.

Highly recommended.
A wonderful book to be read aloud to your child, or to be read aloud by your child to you. The text as written by Steve Sanfield flows off the tongue as only a poet can deliver, and at every step it is complemented by Peter Thornton's exquisite soft charcoal drawings done in such a manner as to evoke the mid to late 1800's in which the story takes place.

It is a colorful tale of, the bigger than life, John Henry's, struggle against the mechanized "Steam Drill" while building the Big Bend Tunnel on the
C & O Railroad.

This is the tale of man competing against machine that your child will enjoy again and again.
This is a tale to be read in the solitude of your child's room, or in the company of entire classrooms, but be prepared to show every single picture while reading.

I highly recommend reading this book to your child and them watching them pick it up and read it for themselves.
The story of John Henry is told with the brevity and power of a Rad Bradbury novel, and the graphics capture every folksy nuance of the "natural man's" story, from auspicious beginnings to tragic ending. The illustrator Peter Thornton is known and well-regarded for his vivid color illustrations. His A Natural Man is an earlier work with rich tones made from simple grey graphite, which makes one wonder when he will return to this elegant medium.
A beautifully written version of the story of John Henry. Poetic language that drives the story forward while leaving space for small details and a sense of place and time. The atmospheric illustrations allow the story to take root and give the characters, especially John Henry and Polly Ann, a real humanity. Highly recommended.
A great book for adults and children! Sending a copy to my nephews!
This is a wonderful perspective on a classic folk tale. The engaging text is well suited for reading aloud, and the illustrations are rich with detail. My students enjoyed the book; stopping me frequently for discussion. I also appreciate the inclusion of the folk song entitled "John Henry".
As a daughter of a blacksmith, I so related to the world of iron and hammers. But it was Thornton's lights and darks and grays and whites that endeared me to John Henri and softened his life of hard work and steel. The text and illustrations do so well for one another. I look forward to reading this book with my young school-age friends.
This is a wonderful book depicting the folklore story of John Henry. So much of the story still relates to the continuing struggle between personal effort and the latest invention of the day. The images are brought to life in the soft, detailed illustrations of Peter Thornton. A worthy read for every generation.