Rootabaga Stories

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Harcourt, Brace, 1922 - Children's stories - 228 pages
Forty-nine whimsical and humorous stories that introduce such characters as the Potato Face Blind Man, Henry Hagglyhoagly, The Green Rat, The Blue Wind Boy, and many others.
 

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This book by Carl Sandburg is engaging and entertaining, and a great way to introduce children to more complex ways of understanding language without them even knowing they are learning something. These stories make an indelible mark, and even years after listening to my father read them night after night (because I begged without mercy), I can still remember how much fun it was for both of us to spend a night with this book.  

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Page 10 - It is a long slick yellow leather slab ticket with a blue spanch across it.
Page 3 - We wish a ticket to ride where the railroad tracks run off into the sky and never come back...
Page 45 - who pass by here going into the post office and coming out, they have eyes— but they see nothing with their eyes. They look where they are going and they get where they wish to get, but they forget why they came and they do not know how to come away. They are my blind brothers. It is for them I have the sign that reads, "I Am Blind Too.
Page 3 - DO you wish a ticket to go away and come back, or do you wish a ticket to go away and never come back?" If Carl Sandburg's sleepy eyed ticket agent had been sitting in a window of The Bookman office in New York in the year 1918 and had asked me that question, I should have snatched WH Hudson's "Little Boy Lost" and Hendrik Van Loon's "Short History of Discovery
Page 200 - How can we tell corn fairies if we see 'em? If we meet a corn fairy how will we know it?" And this is the explanation the man gave to Spink who is older than Skabootch, and to Skabootch who is younger than Spink: — All corn fairies wear overalls. They work hard, the corn fairies, and they are proud. The reason they are proud is...
Page 97 - Eaters, and all the others who were in the wedding procession of the Rag Doll and the Broom Handle.
Page 218 - The train jumped off the tracks down into the valley and cut across in a straight line on a cut-off, jumped on the tracks again and went on toward Ohio. The conductor said, "If you are going to jump the train off the tracks, tell us about it beforehand.
Page 131 - It must not be a child standing still all its life on a street corner. Yes, if we have a child she must be free to run across the prairie, to the mountains, to the sea. Yes, it must be a free child.

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