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As Luck Would Have It

As Luck Would Have It

5.0 2
by Robert D. San Souci, Daniel San Souci (Illustrator)

When Mama and Papa Bear go to look after Grandmother, they leave Jonas and Juniper in charge of the household. The bear twins take their instructions a little too literally, leading to a cascade of domestic mishaps, including the theft of their family fortune. Determined to recover it before their parents return home, the endearing siblings unleash pandemonium when


When Mama and Papa Bear go to look after Grandmother, they leave Jonas and Juniper in charge of the household. The bear twins take their instructions a little too literally, leading to a cascade of domestic mishaps, including the theft of their family fortune. Determined to recover it before their parents return home, the endearing siblings unleash pandemonium when the stumble on the robbers' hideout. In this tribute to the Brothers Grimm, Robert D. San Souci recasts the characters from their story "Clever Elsie" but retains the original's celebrations of the absurd and endearing folly. Daniel San Souci's watercolor-and-pencil illustrations capture Jonas and Juniper's good intentions and flawed logic with humor and appreciation.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
The Grimm Brothers' tale of Clever Elsie is set here on a farm, where twin anthropomorphic bears Jonas and Juniper are left in charge while their parents go to care for their sick grandmother. They are warned not to touch the money hidden in the cellar. Careless Jonas leaves the oxen alone plowing the field, where they make a mess. Equally thoughtless Juniper leaves the sausages cooking while she goes to draw some cider, and then leaves the keg open to chase the dog that has run away with the meat. Meanwhile, the cider has run all over the floor. To "tidy up," the witless girl dumps flour all over it. Meanwhile, Jonas tries to rescue the oxen that have fallen into the pond. They break the barrier open, causing the fields to flood. Silly Juniper then loses all their cheeses. When peddlers arrive selling pots, she lets them "touch" the money in the cellar, which of course they steal. How the foolish pair manage to catch the thieves and fix everything before their parents return makes for a humorous ending. The front-end pages show a street scene with the story title on a theater marquee, while the ones at the end show the characters performing on the stage. San Souci's watercolors with Prismacolor pencil highlights emphasize character and dramatic action. The naive youngsters are a contrast with the scurvy villains, fox and pig, while all are naturalistically attired in a country setting. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

K-Gr 4

Lively, comical illustrations enhance the abundant droll humor in this noodle-head tale that plays off the Grimm Brothers' "Clever Elsie." It stars twin bear cubs who create one fiasco after another as they try to take care of their family farm while their parents are away. Brother Jonas tells the oxen to plow the field while he sleeps and then chastises them when they just wander around: "'What a mess!' he scolded. 'After lunch, you will have to plow the field all over again!'" When Sister Juniper forgets to close the spout to the cider barrel, she compounds the mess by trying to soak up the cider with flour. A sly fox, a pig with an eye patch, and a raccoon offer to sell Sister Juniper pots and pans, and she tells them to take the money they are owed from its hiding spot because her father told her not to touch the brick under which the money is hidden. When the thieves take all of it, the siblings follow to retrieve the family fortune, resulting in additional mishaps. The expressive, lucent watercolors highlighted with Prismacolor pencils portray the foolish escapades adeptly, and the anthropomorphized animal characters evocatively represent human characteristics and foibles. Although the text is a little lengthy, the waggish humor provides a good opportunity for a dramatic read-aloud.-Kirsten Cutler, Sonoma County Library, CA

Kirkus Reviews
The talented San Souci brothers take on the Brothers Grimm's "Clever Elsie," and the result is an entirely new story which, though it retains the folksy quality and quirky absurdity of the original, recasts the characters, adds a moral and tidies up the ambiguous ending. When twin bear cubs Jonas and Juniper are temporarily put in charge of the family farm, chaos quickly ensues. Many of the twins' problems-and, ironically, the solutions to those problems-come from taking their parents' directions too literally. For example, they are able to retrieve the family fortune only because, warned to guard the cottage door, they take it with them as they hunt down the thieves, and the door winds up knocking said thieves senseless. By story's end, the cubs have repaired all the damage they've caused and discovered in the process that things go much more smoothly when they put their heads together. Daniel San Souci's detailed watercolor illustrations contribute to the quaint feel of this effort and lend it a bit of welcome emotional depth as well. (Picture book. 5-10)

Product Details

August House Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.70(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.50(d)
AD770L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Robert San Souci Bio: Robert San Souci, who was born in San Francisco, raised in Berkeley and attended college at St. Mary's College in Moraga, knew at an early age he wanted to be a writer. His award-winning books were often spirited retellings of folk tales, fairy tales, myths and legends from around the world. In an interview, he confessed to his fascination of great stories, "I think I never outgrew my love of fairy tales when I was growing up. I'd save my allowance money and buy used editions of books like The Wizard of Oz and the Rainbow Colored Fairy books. I love science fiction and ghost stories."
Among the many celebrated titles, twelve books written by San Souci and illustrated by his younger brother, Daniel San Souci, stood out as his favorites. San Souci was an American Library Association notable author whose work has also been recognized by American Bookseller and the International Reading Association. He collaborated with Daniel on two award winning LittleFolk picture books: As Luck Would Have It and Sister Tricksters. His third award winning book with August House, Zigzag was illustrated by Stefan Czernecki and named to Scholastic Parent & Child magazine’s “Best New Books”.
"When we were young, my parents always said Bob would be the writer and I'd be the artist," Daniel San Souci said in an interview. "When we graduated from college, we decided kid’s books would be the perfect medium. Our first book won awards and opened the door for us. Anytime we worked together it was special."

Daniel San Souci Bio:
Daniel San Souci was born in San Francisco. The family moved across the Bay to Berkeley, where his father was working for the University of California. In the tree-lined Thousand Oaks district, Daniel spent all his waking hours running around the neighborhood with his two brothers and many friends.
It was at this time that Daniel discovered the magic of books. "There was real excitement about literature in my family," says Daniel. "When I wasn't outside playing, I could be found on the rug in my room, surrounded by my books." When Daniel started reading on his own, he went right for the "Scribner’s Adventure Classics." His favorite books were Last of the Mohicans, Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and The Boy King Arthur. It was at this time that he discovered the great illustrators, Howard Pyle and N. C. Wyeth. Daniel started drawing and painting constantly and was soon dreaming of becoming a children’s book illustrator. In high school, Daniel signed up for every available art class. He was also attending the Berkeley Adult School in the evenings. "All the other art students were much older than me," he says. "But they were serious students, very talented and very helpful." Upon graduation from high school, he enrolled at the California College of the Arts in Oakland, California. There he had the opportunity to study with many outstanding teachers.
Daniel thinks that one of the most interesting facts about his career is that he has done many books with his brother Robert. "What makes this so unique is not only the fact that brothers are creating books together, but we were both born on October 10th. I arrived on Robert's second birthday."

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As Luck Would Have It 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: As Luck Would Have It Author: Robert San Souci Illustrator: Daniel San Souci Published: 4-29-2009 Publisher: August House Pages: 32 Genre: Children's Fiction Sub Genre: Family; Animals; Bears; Siblings ISBN: 978087438336 ASIN: B009S8A744 Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley My Rating: 4 1/2 Stars . A very loose retelling of a story by the Brothers Grimm, Clever Elsie with bright, colorful illustrations. Jonas and Jennifer are twin bears that live on the very edge of the woods. They are left home alone for the first time when Momma and Poppa Bear go to check on Grandmas who has taken ill. After being told to watch the home and to complete their chores their parents leave. Being typical adolescents they do not do their chores as well as if their parents were there. Their shortcuts has unwanted results and talking with a stranger the entire family's fortune is stolen. Now with a hole in the wall and the family's savings gone, Jonas and Jennifer set out to get their money back and fix everything they have done wrong before Momma and Poppa Bear get home. Beautifully laid out with illustrations that capture the reader's attention. Suitable to readers up to third grade. I recommend it highly and believe it is a story your younger readers will enjoy again and again.
MargieS1 More than 1 year ago
Given To Me For An Honest Review As Luck Would Have It by Robert & Daniel San Souci is such a fantastic child's book.  I really is a must read.  Once you begin it you will  want to read it through and read it again.  It's a great book to read with your children or if your child is a reader they can read it theirself.   This fantastic illustrated book will help you to teach your children the importance of paying attention, responsibility, following directions, keeping promises, working together and thinking before you act.  It shows some problems that can occur because of laziness, trusting  strangers, rushing, daydreaming and not listening to your parents.  All of these lessons are taught in such a fun way.  The artwork is really  good.  The colors are beautiful.  It is a real fun book to add to your child's bookshelf.  I enjoyed reading this book a lot.  I gave it 5 stars but  it truly deserves more than that.  I highly recommend it to all.  I look forward to more from Robert and Daniel San Souci.