Rating: 1- 5 (5 is excellent or a Starred review) 4
Genre: Picture Book
What did you like about the book? Fans of twisted fairy tales will enjoy this western take on Rumpelstiltskin, with some other fairytales added in as well. When Pa and Gracie Pearl are unable to find any gold in their mine, the dastardly Mr. Bigglebottom demands Gracie’s hand in marriage. Determined to find the gold to pay him off, Gracie sets off and runs into a bunch of fairytale characters. Goldilocks, the Three pigs, the goose from Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel and Rumpelstiltskin have all come afoul of Mr. Bigglebottom. Unfortunately, Gracie is unable to find a way to pay back Mr. Bigglebottom. When he arrives to take her as his bride, she fights and stomps so hard that the ground opens up and a geyser of oil shoots Mr. Bigglebottom away. It turns out that she has found gold, “black gold,” and she and her Pa live happily ever after. The book invites the reader to join in the melodrama by taking action whenever they come across one of four icons in the text. “When you see the mustache, put your index finger across your upper lip and say ‘Boo! Hiss.’ When you see the teardrop put the back of your hand on your forehead and say ‘Oh, Dear.” When you see the hand, point your finger in the air and say, ‘Aha!’ When you see the balloons, clap your hands and say, ‘Hooray!” This is sure to engage the readers even more in the story. The illustrations, rendered in oil, lend a fitting old-fashioned flavor to the story. This will make for a very dramatic read aloud.
Anything you didn’t like about it? No
To whom would you recommend this book? This is one that readers who enjoy new versions of classic tales will like. The participatory part lends itself to little actors.
Who should buy this book? Public Libraries and elementary school libraries
Where would you shelve it? Picture Books
Should we (librarians/readers) put this at the top of our “to read” piles? No
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA
Date of review: 12/28 /2020