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Author: Margaret Read MacDonald

Illustrator: Susan Mitchell

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Publisher: Marshall Cavendish Children's Books,

Material: hard cover

Summary: An old woman hated all of her chores - sweeping, cleaning dishes, knitting - until the fairies arrived to help her. Then she hated the racket all the helpful fairies made! She went to see the wise woman of the village who told her what to do ... it started with Stop complaining. But could she do it? This is a brightly illustrated picture book folktale.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, playtime reading, read aloud book, learning to read

Recommended Age: reda together: 2 to 6; read yourself: 5 to 8

Interest Level: 3 to 7

Reading Level: 1.3

Age of Child: Read by an 8-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: There were lots of "uh-ohs" and "oh-nos" coming from our daughter's room. Then there was lots of laughter and "Mom, listen to this ..." She loved how the hill lit up like a face.

Adult Reader Reaction: We read it AFTER our daughter because she didn't want to share it. This is an adorable story with a great lesson about being careful what you wish for. There is just enough word repetition of basic words to make it a wonderful selection for new readers (first grade). They will be drawn by the clever, colorful illustrations, too.

Pros: Humor, adorable fairies, and a dash of cleverness combine in this wonderful folktale with lessons about complaining.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is a wonderful book that will grow with your child. Toddlers will think it's funny, first graders will get the message. The illustrations are great and the lesson is one we need to remind kids of periodically.


Educational Themes: This is a fun story to read "just because," but it also has an important lesson about accepting what you have, being careful of what you wish for, and cooperation. This would be an excellent story to read and contrast with The Shoemaker and the Elves.

Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, fables and folklore, multicultural

Date(s) Reviewed: May 2010

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