This story opens with "There once was a man whose house was very small," and it continues, "It was cluttered with things from wall to wall." With a tiny, cluttered house, giggling children, and a snoring wife, the poor man can't get a good night's sleep. If only, he thinks, I had a big quiet house! He throws off his covers and goes to visit the wise old woman at the edge of the village. Surely she can help him solve his problem. And she does, but not without giving him some very unusual advice. Bring a chicken into your house, she suggests. And when that doesn't work, she has him add a goat, a horse, a cow, and even a sheep. The ending of the story proves, as so many ancient folktales do, that quite often, nonsense makes the best sense of all. Susan Greenstein's bold illustrations, white pencil on black surface with watercolor - carry the reader through the warm interiors and peaceful nights of the shtetls of Eastern Europe.
Have you ever heard the saying, Your eyes are bigger than your stomach? Well, Cat's stomach is bigger than a lot of things. He is always hungry, and living with culinary-inclined Mouse, who makes thirty-five pies in one day, just makes it worse. Fat Cat swallows everything in sight, including the washlady and her washtub, a troop of soldiers and their swords, even a king and his elephant! But when Cat swallows Mouse and her sewing basket, that's the last straw. Tiny Mouse cuts to the heart of the situation, taking an upside-down world and turning it right-side-up again. Greedy Cat learns his lesson and turns fat into fancy, fabulous, and fantastic. Margaret Read MacDonald's infectious energy combines with Julie Paschkis's folk-inspired gouache paintings to create a new retelling of a favorite comic cumulative tale.
In this action packed folktale from Panama, a clever little rabbit and his Tía Mónica find ways to outwit a fox, a tiger, and a lion, all of whom want to eat him for lunch.
A wise rabbi uses a pillow full of feathers to teach a gossipy villager a lesson on what happens when a person's reputation and trust are harmed by someone's negative, mean-sprited remarks.
When a rich man is rescued from thieves by a smelly, slobbery dog, the man offers the dog any treasure is his house as a reward. The treasure that the dog chooses is the rich mans daughter. With great sadness, the daughter honors her fathers promise and goes to live with the dog. Over time, a friendship grows between the girl and the dog, but she still misses her father. In this tale from Great Britain, award winning author, Margaret Read MacDonald puts a new spin on the classic story, Beauty and the Beast, reminding us all that appearances can be deceiving and that compassion can be powerful.
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According to this Scottish folktale, long ago sweet-toothed fairies flew into peoples homes and feasted on leftover cake crumbs. But the King of the Fairies was annoyed that crumbs never remained from the very best cakes baked by the talented bakerwoman so he orders the fairies to capture her and bring her down to the Fairy Kingdom. The resourceful woman requests items from her kitchen at home, where her bewildered husband looks on as utensils and ingredients float out of the window, borne by invisible fairies. Eventually she strikes a clever bargain with the impatient Fairy King to win her freedom and return home in return for sharing her tasty cakes.
In this adaptation of The Princess and the Pea, Ma Sally cooks the best black-eyed peas in Charleston County, South Carolina. Her son, John, is a highly eligible bachelor, and three local women vie for his hand in marriage by attempting to cook as well as Ma. At the last minute, a surprise contestant named Princess arrives at the door. Princess and John are well-matched, but Princess has her own ideas. When told she has won John’s hand, she asks him to scrub the pots and pans before she'll give him an answer. Her answer, it turns out, is that she wants to spend some time getting to know John first. Backmatter includes an author’s note and a recipe for Princess’s Black-eyed Peas.