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The Pearl in the Grass: A Story from China [Paperback]

John Harris , Tom Morgan-Jones
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
RRP: 6.99
Price: 5.40 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

5 Mar 2009
Imagine you're so poor you have to scrape a living by selling wild grass. When the rains don't come the ground dries up and nothing can grow. You go hungry, and you know eventually you'll starve. So if you found a patch of fast growing grass in the middle of the desert you'd think your problems were over, wouldn't you? That's what Sheng thought. But when his mum suggested he dig up the grass to plant in their garden his problems had only begun..... This is one of John Harris's most popular stories. He's told it to thousands of enraptured children in schools and libraries all over the country and now - by huge popular demand - it's available in print. It's an old story from China about loyalty, fear and courage. It will make you laugh and might make you cry. It's also about huge wealth, pots of gold, greedy robbers, nosey villagers and a bit of a (rather magical) surprise. If you're lucky enough to have heard John tell this story you'll know what a treat you're in for. If you're not, find out what you ve been missing!

Frequently Bought Together

The Pearl in the Grass: A Story from China + Charlie's Key + The Geat - the story of Beowulf and Grendel: The Story of Beowulf and Grendel
Price For All Three: 14.62

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Product details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: notreallybooks (5 Mar 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0955212936
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955212932
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 0.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 526,176 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Harris is one of only a handful of full time professional storytellers working in the UK, and the only one who works exclusively with children and young people. He tells all sorts of stories from all over the world and his writing grows out of his storytelling - brilliant and exciting books in which you can find some of his most exciting, amazing and best loved stories.

All John's books are brilliantly illustrated in full colour throughout, and printed (in England!) on excellent quality paper from FSC sources - they're as delightful to look at and to hold as they are to read or have read to you.

You can find a lot more about John (including how to book him to visit your school) on his website (www.johnharris.org.uk), but in the meantime here are a few things you might not have known about him:

He once told the Interstellar Council of the Gallaphrian Galaxy that Father Christmas is his dad. (Actually he's his uncle and when they found out it caused a spot of bother.)

His favourite holiday destination is the city of Ghallphatt in the country of Ukkamarsh on the planet Sarashnakalla. He has a friend who lives there - which is just as well 'cos the hotels are outrageously expensive.

When he's bored he chews off his own feet, but they always grow back again by the morning.

He has three cats, and a Dragon in his garden.

Not everything he says is the absolute truth.

Product Description

Review

A distinctive front cover invites young readers into this delightful folktale which provokes both smiles and sighs. Simply and clearly told, it is full of courage and loyalty. The hero is Sheng, the only son of a poor Chinese widow who has to earn a pittance to keep them alive. It is a time of drought but a little good fortune comes their way. Although the ending is predictable, it is no less absorbing for that and the imaginative, stylish illustrations heighten the speed and suspense of the well-paced text. --Jenny Blanch - Carousel: The Guide to Children's Books --Carousel - The Guide to Children's Books

John Harris's skill as a professional storyteller is evident in his retelling of this Chinese folk tale.... gossiping neighbours, wicked robbers and a terrifying dragon all lead to a hugely satisfying end. --The School Librarian magazine

About the Author

John Harris is one of only a handful of full time professional storytellers in the UK, and the only one who works exclusively with children and young people. He tells stories in schools, libraries, arts centres and literary festivals all over the country, travelling thousands of miles every year to bring the excitement of live storytelling to thousands of children. He has appeared at the The Guildford Book Festival for two years running, and has also appeared at the Prince of Wales's Education Summer School at Cambridge University, on BBC Radio 4, local radio and on Planet Rock. Over the last couple of years he's matched his reputation for storytelling with his reputation for writing, with his books receiving excellent reviews in the national press and his first two books going into second editions. 'The Pearl in the Grass' is his fourth book - the others are also available on Amazon! Tom Morgan-Jones is a national award winning illustrator who has illustrated all John's books. The Head of Design at 'The Times' recently described his work as 'A triumph'; the Daily Telegraph said his illustrations for John's last book, 'The Geat', managed to be 'both frightening and comic', and his work for John's first book, 'Charlie's Key', was short-listed for the Association of Illustrators Award 2008.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful tale as told by a Master Storyteller 29 Aug 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
John Harris has a unique and wonderfully engaging style which he applies perfectly to yet another classic tale.

We first discovered John's stories with his excellent retelling of Beowulf. The Geat - the story of Beowulf and Grendel: The Story of Beowulf and Grendel so we all had some expectations of The Pearl in the Grass (The Pearl in the Grass: A Story from China).

But John does it again with another truly brilliant book!

We really enjoyed the story and would recommend it wholeheartedly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great telling of a traditional tale 9 May 2011
Format:Paperback
Beautiful story telling. Clear and engaging. A joy for children and for the adults reading alongside them. Will certainly inspire children to read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great quality, unique children's book 12 Jan 2009
By K. Wright VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This old Chinese story is a simple tale of poor village boy Sheng and his widowed mother, Xiang. They are so poor they can bearly even afford to live and when a drought happens things get even worse... Until Sheng finds a patch of lush long grass growing in the middle of the desert. This grass keeps on growing and growing so Sheng's mother asks him to bring it back and that's when they find the pearl in the grass. But the magical pearl causes even more problems than before.

This lovely book is suitable for children aged around 7-8 as it is a longer read but has distinctive cartoon-like illustrations throughout (a full colour picture on nearly every other page) and is beautifully presented on really good quality paper. I will definately be looking out for more from this author in the future. Recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great tale for storytelling... 15 Dec 2008
By pacem et amorem TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a lovely little book from a master storyteller. Indeed the storyteller in him is evident in the way the book is written because it is written to be read aloud!
A lovely traditional Chinese story with hidden meanings and lessons to learn, this book is a treasure as great as that which the boy in the tale discovers. Capturing you from the very first page, it will carry you along to its conclusion and then make you want to turn to the first page to start over again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A pearl of a story 28 Nov 2008
By Michael Watson TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book notwithstanding I'm considerably older than the target audience!

Obviously, it's an easy story to read but more imporatntly, it's means that it is easy to read out aloud for any grandchildren who may be trying to extend their bedtime minutes.

Dragons have always been popular with children - well, certainly with mine - so how a little and industrious boy manages to save his mother from starvation and, eventually, the entire village, is a lesson to be learnt at the knee, as it were. Loyalty, duty, courage and fear all go to make this a great adventure into a world where good things can happen, despite the bleakest outlook.

Thoroughly recommended for children and grandparents!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A pearl of great worth 27 Nov 2008
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
John Harris has retold a Chinese story about a boy who finds a magical pearl which transforms the life of his widowed mother and literally transforms him. A delightful traditional tale, well told in a read-out-loudable style and beautifully illustrated by Tom Morgan-Jones. After reading this, I am looking forward to reading Harris's forthcoming retelling of Beowolf.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another great read 14 Jun 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Prob my favourite book written by John Harris. My son aged 8 really enjoyed it, we would definitely recommend it .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Seems to have been a success 11 May 2013
By Taponne
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It's always difficult buying presents for child relatives you hardly ever meet. My great-niece is six and currently living in China. I fancied something with a Chinese flavour, but avoided the books explaining customs or legends or recipes, on the grounds that she might know more about these than I do. As they go to an international school in Chengdu that's probably the stuff of lessons. She wrote me a nice thank-you card saying "we are" reading it, so I imagine it is at a level for her to listen to rather than read alone.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars "A Classic in the Making"
An old Chinese folk tale beautifully written and illustrated. A young boy struggling to feed himself and his mother in time of drought, greedy robbers, nosey neighbours, something... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Scary Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely little book
This is a great looking little book. The story is drawn from Chinese legend and filled with exotic details, but perfectly accessible and compelling to boot. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Phil Symes
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good
Bought the book for my daughter, who loved it.Arrived in perfect condition and really fast. No issue with the book was so ever.
Published on 8 July 2012 by M
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing really special.
Read it - found it Ok. The plot was fairly enjoyable, but nothing particularly special and I don't think I would have missed much if I had never read it. Read more
Published on 15 Oct 2009 by E. Heckingbottom
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing special
Not memorable. When I now come to write this review a few months later. I can't remember the story at all.
Published on 27 Aug 2009 by sam
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for bedtime
"The Pearl in the Grass" is a wonderful traditional Chinese tale. John Harris is a storyteller by trade, as anyone who reads this book will be able to tell. Read more
Published on 3 Aug 2009 by S. Diment
4.0 out of 5 stars A nice fable wonderfully told.
As a student of Chinese and China I read this with some interest. The story is wonderful and would appeal to children of all ages. Read more
Published on 11 May 2009 by Mr. Darren P. Hammond
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
A classic in the making. Very special indeed - doesn't treat kids as silly but delivers a hit of magic and wonder.
Published on 26 Mar 2009 by Richard Hammond
5.0 out of 5 stars Chinese Magic in oral tradition
I have 3 daughters, the oldest is 6 and every night I read them a bed time story and this book fits perfectly. Read more
Published on 6 Mar 2009 by Gisli Jokull Gislason
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