Andiamo, Weasel!

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A weaselly weasel, a sprinkling of Italian, and a gentle message about self-esteem-all in one gorgeous, funny picture book!

Mamma mia!

Perhaps trusting a weasel was...
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A weaselly weasel, a sprinkling of Italian, and a gentle message about self-esteem-all in one gorgeous, funny picture book!

Mamma mia!

Perhaps trusting a weasel was not such a good idea.

First he weaseled his way out of helping to sow and tend the corn, and now he's stolen the entire harvest! What's a little crow to do? She's too piccola to defend herself! So she finds a wolf-a big, snarling one-to help her. But is her new fierce friend really necessary? This piccola crow may find out that her grande spirit is all she needs. . . .

Here is a playful romp through the Tuscan countryside-complete with a sprinkling of Italian and an important message about friendship and self-esteem.

After a crow is tricked by a lazy weasel, she finds that she can deal with him all by herself even though she is very small. Includes a glossary of Italian words used.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In her debut picture book, Grant serves up a trickster tale with a Mediterranean twist. "Once, on the golden fields of Tuscany, there lived a weasel and a crow," the story begins, as Goodell (Zigazak! A Magical Hanukkah Night) portrays an itinerant weasel setting eyes on the industrious crow planting corn. "This is such a grande job for such a piccola crow," the weasel points out, adding that if they share the work, they can split the harvest. The crow agrees, but when it comes to the real chores weeding, harvesting and moving the corn into the barn the weasel always finds an excuse to, well, weasel out of his end of the bargain. The crow soon uncovers his scam ("Mamma mia! What a weaselly weasel!"). The ultimate blow occurs when the weasel splits with his half of the harvest: he takes all the corn and leaves the husks for the crow. The would-be trickster is in for a surprise, however, when the crow seeks her "vendetta!" (revenge), proving she "may be piccola in size, but... grande in spirit." Grant's jaunty, lighthearted narrative brims with gusto, and she seamlessly weaves in Italian words and phrases (she ends with a glossary). Goodell's sunny, pastoral paintings reflect the beauty of the setting as well as the humor and action of the story; the crow's eyes belie her intelligence, while the weasel's swagger betrays his intent. Ages 5-8. (Aug.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Luscious endpapers featuring tall cypress trees, winding roads, and tile-roofed, stucco farmhouses amid hilly fields transport readers to Tuscany, home of crow and weasel, who are just reaching an agreement to share the planting and harvesting of a corn crop. After all, it is "such a grande job for such a piccola crow," that weasel is glad to lend a hand. But when it comes time to weed and then to gather the crop into the barn before a storm hits, he is conveniently indisposed, and the once-patient crow realizes that she's been had. Enlisting the aid of a wolf, she determines to get revenge, but in the end, it is her own resourcefulness that wins the day. The amusing text is peppered with Italian words, and although a glossary is appended, readers will readily glean their meanings in context. Goodell's large paintings move from the brilliance of a sunny Tuscan day to the menacing clouds that usher in a fierce storm. There are many humorous touches as well: a Mona Lisa look-alike picture in weasel's bedroom; crow's throwing up her wings as she catches weasel in a lie and sighs, "Mamma mia!"; and the expressive faces of the animals. While it is unfortunate that crow herself tricks and makes fun of innocent people to win the wolf's help, youngsters will relish the poetic justice and cheer for the piccola crow who outmaneuvers the much bigger weasel.-Marianne Saccardi, Norwalk Community College, CT Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Readers learn a lesson about friendship, self-esteem, and the Italian language in Grant's noteworthy debut. Set in Tuscany, the story revolves around a crow and a weasel. "This is such a grande job for a piccolo crow," the weasel says when he sees Crow preparing to plant corn. "But if I help-presto!-the job will be done, and when harvest comes we can split the crop." Soon, the two sow seeds together. But when it comes time to tend the field, Weasel flakes out. First, he complains of a broken leg. When he adds a sore back to the list of ailments, Crow gets wise. Goodell's (Zigazak!: A Magical Hannukah Night, 2001, etc.) lush, naturalistic portraiture pictures Crow rushing to save the harvest from the oncoming storm. He collects the crop overnight, but when he wakes up the next morning, only husks are left. Tones of terra cotta brown and buttery yellow warm the double-paged spread as Crow confronts Weasel. "I divided our crop," explains Weasel, kicking back against a mountain of freshly shucked corn. "And you get the husks!" Infuriated, Crow enlists the services of a snarling wolf. But when they get to Weasel's den, Crow goes ballistic, driving Weasel away without the wolf's help, proving once and for all that size doesn't count when it comes to standing up for yourself. Young readers-especially those small in stature-will appreciate Grant's positive message about self-reliance and standing up for your rights. Italian words, easily understood in context, appear throughout; a glossary is also included. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375806070
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 8/1/1902
  • Language: French
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 340L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.38 (w) x 8.36 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Meet the Author

Rose Marie Grant is a sculptor, a painter, and a writer.

Jon Goodell’s most recent picture book is Zigazak! A Magical Hanukkah Night.

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2002

    A fable comes to life in words and drawings

    IN the rolling Tuscan countryside a piccola crow goes into business with a wily weasel. And therein begins the story of Andiamo, Weasel! by Rose Marie Grant and illustrated by Jon Goodell, ($15.95 Alfred A. Knopf.) THIS charmingly illustrated children¿s book is perfect for youngsters of all ages, meaning the grown-ups who read it to the children will enjoy the tale and the telling as much as the little ones. Grown ups reading aloud may even break in to the song ¿Funiculi, funicula!¿ more than once! YOUNGSTERS accustomed to hearing parents and grandparents split their speech with words from the old country will feel right at home in this fable. Consider that all the speaking parts in this fable belong to the animals, and they all live in Italy, of course, they¿ll sprinkle their exchanges with a bit of Italian. (Won¿t the grown ups delight in translating for the little ones!) EVEN the rooster, who only has one word says it in Italian, ¿Chicchirichi!¿ Frankly, we¿ve never heard a rooster crow in another language, but if they did, we¿re sure this is how they¿d sound in Italian. (It¿s that willing-suspension-of-disbelief-thing, we ARE talking about a fable here!) But the best part of that rooster¿s cameo word is hearing Mom or Dad or a grandparent bringing the word to life, or life to the word and lighting up a child¿s face. AS the glossary at end of Andiamo, Weasel! explains, piccola is small. So the crow is small and needs the help of the weasel, who ends up being prodded by the title (Andiamo, Weasel!) and rarely succumbs to work after the corn crop is sown while they merrily sing ¿Funiculi, funicula!¿ THIS fable works on many levels, one of which for the children reading it is to learn that hard work will be rewarded, and that even though they might be small, or piccola, they probably are much stronger than they realize and should stand up for what¿s right. AS interesting and fun as is the story, I could see reading this aloud and pausing to point out the rich detail capturing the Tuscan farm country. The piccolo crow wears a flower in her straw hat; the weasel wears a neckerchief (as if he could just as easily hold up the next stage coach!) that he later wears around his broken leg when there is work to be done. In the menacing rain corn husks like vipers whirl in the wind under dark clouds. THE piccola crow enlists the help of a wolf to frighten the weasel into doing the right thing. The wolf could have been drawn to be more scary and imposing a figure ¿ but let¿s not upset the friends of the wolves in the world. And the tenor frightened off the bandstand by the piccolo crow ¿ why was he a fat, balding man with a handlebar mustache? Ooh fah! BUT these minor points are no reason that you shouldn¿t run out now and buy a copy of Andiamo, Weasel! for every tot you know, from 1 to 101 years old. It¿s the stuff of which memories are made.

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