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The Ladder
by Halfdan Rasmussen and Marilyn Nelson and Pierre Pratt

Overview - A curious ladder inadvertently becomes a pathway to the clouds in this droll, interactive translation of an enchanting Danish poem.
So first it did a little dance,
then it did a little prance,
then, as nicely as you please,
it waddled off with stiff red knees.
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More About The Ladder by Halfdan Rasmussen; Marilyn Nelson; Pierre Pratt
 
 
 
Overview
A curious ladder inadvertently becomes a pathway to the clouds in this droll, interactive translation of an enchanting Danish poem.
So first it did a little dance,
then it did a little prance,
then, as nicely as you please,
it waddled off with stiff red knees.
Once there was a jaunty ladder, abandoned by a mysterious carpenter, that sprung to life and decided to take a trip through the countryside. As time passed, the gentle ladder found itself intrigued by a seriesof encounters with people and animals that climbed it to the top and disappeared into the sky, only to return, one by one, in a triumphant parade at the end. This exquisite edition of THE LADDER, the text of which was originally written by renowned Danish poet Halfdan Rasmussen, combines a translation by award-winning author and poet Marilyn Nelson with simple, striking artwork by Pierre Pratt, featuring several foldouts and partial pages in a charming, whimsical design.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780763622824
  • ISBN-10: 0763622826
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press (MA)
  • Publish Date: June 2006
  • Page Count: 62
  • Reading Level: Ages 4-7


Related Categories

Books > Juvenile Fiction > Fantasy & Magic

 
BookPage Reviews

A very tall tale indeed

Summer days are filled with ways to pass the time, and reading a delightful picture book to a group of young children should be one of them. A selection sure to entertain any group is Marilyn Nelson's appealing new book The Ladder. Translated from a poem by noted Danish poet Halfdan Rasmussen, The Ladder depicts the surprising journey of a curious, wandering red ladder that dances, prances and waddles its way into readers' hearts.

The ladder begins its travels when its creator/carpenter disappears up the ladder and into the sky. While the long red ladder crosses the countryside, others follow the carpenter's lead and use the ladder as a stairway to the sky. The odyssey continues as a lively collection of onlookers climbs into the clouds on their own adventures—leaving the lonely ladder a bit confused by it all. A charming (and reassuring) ending sets things straight.

In simple but cheery illustrations that give the book a retro look, Canadian artist Pierre Pratt conveys the movement of the journey through such elements as a changing landscape, flying birds, the progress of a distant train and the variety of people and animals the ladder meets along the way. The rolling hills and spacious blue skies provide a fitting setting for a poem about possibilities, while fold-out and pull-out pages extend the novelty of the tale.

An accomplished poet in her own right, Marilyn Nelson won a Newbery Honor in 2002 for Carver, a collection of poems about the life of George Washington Carver, and a Printz Honor this year for A Wreath for Emmett Till. The Ladder is considerably lighter than these earlier works, and Nelson moves the story along with crisp, rhythmic couplets.

Somewhat longer than the average picture book, The Ladder is a captivating read-aloud experience for young readers and the young at heart. This lyrical story draws in readers and carries them along on a ladder's imaginative excursion.

Lisa Long works at and attends the University of North Carolina.

 
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