How the Ostrich Got Its Long Neck by Verna Aardema
A Tale from the Akamba of Kenya

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A three-time Caldecott Medalist provides the illustrations in a humorous African folktale that explains in playful language how the ostrich got its unusual shape.

About Verna Aardema

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Verna Aardema was born on June 6, 1911 in New Era Michigan. She received her B.A. degree from Michigan State College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences in 1934. She was a grade school teacher from 1934 to 1973 and staff correspondent for the Muskegon Chronicle from 1951 to 1972. Aardema started writing children's stories in the 1950's, and in 1960 she published her first books, Tales from the Story Hat and The Sky God Stories. She specializes in the modernization and adaptation of traditional African folktales. In the 1970s, Aardema joined illustrators Leo and Diane Dillon and produced three picture books. Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears received the Caldecott Medal in 1976 and the Brooklyn Art Books for Children Award in 1977. Who's in Rabbit's House? was the 1977 School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and a Lewis Carroll Shelf Award winner in 1978. Aardema received the Children's Reading Round Table Award in 1981, and several of her books have been selected as Notable Books by the American Library Association. Oh Kojo! How Could You! won the 1984 Parents' Choice Award for Literature. Verna Aardema died in 2000. Marcia Joan Brown was born in Rochester, New York on July 13, 1918. She graduated from New York State College for Teachers (the University at Albany's predecessor). She taught at Cornwall High School in New York City, where she began her writing career with the publication of The Little Carousel in 1946. She is the author and illustrator of more than 30 children's books. She has won the Caldecott Medal three times for Cinderella, Once a Mouse, and Shadow.
Published September 1, 1995 by Scholastic Trade. 28 pages
Genres: Children's Books.

Unrated Critic Reviews for How the Ostrich Got Its Long Neck

Publishers Weekly

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Salvaged from Aardema's out-of-print Tales for the Third Ear, this Masai tale shines as a standalone offering, thanks partly to Heo's (The Green Frogs) fresh, invigorating oil and pencil illustrations.

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Publishers Weekly

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Jackal's Flying Lesson, reviewed June 26) and Caldecott Medalist Brown's (Stone Soup) pump up the energy in this animated Kenyan pourquoi tale.

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