Education Resource Center

The Five Forms





by Barbara McClintock
Farrar Straus Giroux





As she is returning a book in the library book drop, a little girl finds a mysterious book with a sign “Free to a good home.” Who can resist a free book?  The girl takes the book home and discovers it is a book of martial arts poses.  However, it comes with a warning that it be used under supervision of an experienced teacher. Ignoring the warning, the girl attempts the first pose – a crane. Suddenly, a huge crane appears and begins to create havoc. To subdue the crane, the girl tries the next pose – a leopard.  This only makes matters worse, so she continues in the poses doing a snake to subdue the leopard and a dragon to subdue the snake. There is total chaos until the girl does the final pose and everything returns to normal, except for the house. The girl gets the house back in order just as her mother returns with a surprise – tickets to the zoo!

The bold drawings that hint of Chinese style drawings perfectly illustrate the utter chaos in the room and the girl’s exuberance as she performs the poses.

Expect little martial arts enthusiasts to try the poses to conjure up the power of the animals. You never know where you will go when you open a book!

Grades PreK-3.

This entry was posted in Book Review 2017.