Stretch, Swallow and Stare


32 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 0-7737-3098-2
DDC jC813'.54




Lois Provost Turchetti is a professional children’s storyteller (in
English and Caribbean Creole), who also conducts educational workshops
in Toronto.


This story by Veronika Martenova Charles, an established children’s
author who was born in Prague, is a retelling of the Czech story “The
Tall One, the Wide One and the Sharp-eyed One.”

Stretch is “not like other people.” When some children vanish,
everyone casts looks in Stretch’s direction. She runs away and in the
forest meets Ira, an orphan who is looking for his sister. Stretch joins
Ira in his search. At a circus they meet Swallow, who eats for other
people’s entertainment. In mountains burned bare, they encounter
Stare, who burns everything (s)he looks at. Far away, Stare sees Ira’s
sister and other missing children asleep under a wizard’s spell.
Stare, Swallow, and Stretch use the very things that made them outcasts
to free the children and start them on the journey home.

Stretch, Swallow and Stare could be used in the classroom to introduce
a variety of topics, in particular alienation and rejection. For
Stretch, Swallow, and Stare, accepting their physical differences and
becoming conscious of the needs of others are the first steps to finding
(or founding) a community where they can share their exceptional talents
and truly belong. Recommended.


Charles, Veronika Martenova., “Stretch, Swallow and Stare,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 16, 2024,