"A library book, I imagine, is a happy book." Cornelia Funke

"Everything puts me in mind of a story." Ben Franklin

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Clay Boy by Mirra Ginsberg

Clay Boy adapted by Mirra Ginsburg. Illus. by Jos. A. Smith, 1997.

In this bizarre folktale, an old couple desires another child, and so Grandpa makes a boy out of clay. When their son comes to life he is incredibly hungry. He eats all of the food in Grandpa and Grandma’s house, then swallows down his new parents and gradually eats up the whole village! Luckily, for all, Clay Boy meets a clever white goat. Smith’s aquarelle and goache paintings show Clay Boy as round and cute like a gingerbread cookie, but as he grows the pictures become pretty grotesque, such as when he dangles grandma into his toothless, open mouth. I think that the story and pictures are creepy, but some people might just see it as funny. I prefer Margaret Read MacDonald's Danish Folktale  The Fat Cat because although the cat also devours everything, there is a little more humor involved, and the feline is redeemed.

Fat Cat: A Danish Folktale

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