Master Man by Aaron Shepard
A Tall Tale of Nigeria

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Synopsis

Shadusa is strong. In fact, he figures he's the strongest man in the world. He tells his wife, Shettu, "From now on, just call me Master Man." But Shettu says, "Quit your foolish boasting. No matter how strong you are, there will always be someone stronger. And watch out, or someday you may meet him."
 
When Shadusa learns of someone else calling himself "Master Man," he goes out to set the man straight. But the trouble he gets into is far worse than he or even his wife could imagine.
 
Read this rollicking tall tale from West Africa to find out who's the real Master Man.
 
TEACHERS AND LIBRARIANS -- A READER'S THEATER SCRIPT OF THIS BOOK IS AVAILABLE IN AARON'S BOOK "FOLKTALES ON STAGE," OR FREE ON AARON'S WEB SITE.
 
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Aaron Shepard is the award-winning author of "The Baker's Dozen," "The Sea King's Daughter," "The Adventures of Mouse Deer," and many more children's books. His stories have appeared often in Cricket magazine, while his Web site is known internationally as a prime resource for folktales, storytelling, and reader's theater.
 
David Wisniewski is the illustrator of the Caldecott Medal book "The Golem" and many more picture books. 
 
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Starred review, The Horn Book 
Starred review, Kirkus Reviews 
Starred review, School Library Journal
 
"This tall tale of strength and size packs a double-whammy: while the fresh, funny, and perfectly paced narrative simply screams story hour, the hugely appealing visual presentation will easily win the most reluctant independent reader. With comic-book design and the attendant combination of humor and suspense, Master Man recounts the exploits of a boastful he-man who meets his match -- and then some. . . . The characters in Wisniewski's three-dimensional collage burst through the borders with great animation, and their exaggerated expressions are consistently dead-on. The story's original sources, taken from the Hausa in Nigeria, are documented in a detailed author's note; the unlikely choice of illustrative style for the traditional tale proves unbeatable." -- The Horn Book, Jan.-Feb 2001, starred review
 
"Caldecott Medalist Wisniewski is clearly the 'Master Man' of paper-cut illustration, powerfully demonstrated again with the delightful illustrations for this traditional tall tale from northern Nigeria. Shepard is a professional storyteller and Wisniewski a former clown and puppeteer, and both understand all the elements of holding an audience spellbound with a successful tall tale. . . . Pull this one out to read to a group of wiggly kids, and show them the power of a masterful picture book." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
 
"Part superhero legend and part pourquois tale, the lively, well-paced story finds wonderful expression in Wisniewski's cut-paper collages. . . . The characters' bold expressiveness extends the story's humor and farce and will leave kids giggling through repeated readings. Thorough source notes conclude." -- Gillian Engberg, Booklist
 
"Shepard and Wisniewski have created a book with wide appeal, and reluctant readers will take this title by storm." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
 
"An oversized good time. . . . People, backgrounds, even words spill over the boarders of this comic-strip styled layout in reckless abandon. . . . The pacing is excellent and the narrative is vigorous and humorous." -- Carol Ann Wilson, School Library Journal, Feb. 1, 2001, starred review
 
"A rollicking, raucous tale. . . . Aaron's prose is, as always, a gift to storytellers. His tales are clean, clear, lively." -- Katy Rydell, Stories, Spring 2001
 

About Aaron Shepard

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Aaron Shepard has been fascinated by this story since childhAaron Shepard has been fascinated by this story since childhood. He is the author of many folktales, including "The Sea ood. He is the author of many folktales, including "The Sea King's Daughter: A Russian Legend, The Baker's Dozen: A SainKing's Daughter: A Russian Legend, The Baker's Dozen: A Saint Nicholas Tale, The Maiden of Northland: A Hero Tale of Fint Nicholas Tale, The Maiden of Northland: A Hero Tale of Finland, " and most recently, "The Princess Mouse: A Tale of Filand, " and most recently, "The Princess Mouse: A Tale of Finland." He lives in the Los Angeles area. nland." He lives in the Los Angeles area. Children's writer and illustrator David Wisniewski was born in England and joined the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Clown College. Wisniewski began the Clarion Theater Show after combining his circus and puppet talents with those of his wife. He has received two Jim Henson Foundation Grants, a Citation of Excellence from the Union Internationale de Marionette, and a Caldecott Award for his book, Golem.
 
Published December 1, 2000 by HarperCollins Publishers. 32 pages
Genres: Action & Adventure, Children's Books.

Unrated Critic Reviews for Master Man

Kirkus Reviews

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Shepard (The Gifts of Wali Dad, 1995, etc.) tells a familiar type of tale in which a headstrong young man blunders into the stronghold of an ogre, falls in love with the beautiful servant he finds hidden away there, and performs impossible tasks with the help of the brave and clever maiden, with ...

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Publishers Weekly

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He makes his wife call him ""Master Man,"" even though she warns, ""No matter how strong you are, there will always be someone stronger."" Inevitably Shadusa hears of a rival Master Man, and when he investigates, he sees a fierce giant who wears cow-skull bracelets and devours elephants whole.

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