Aunt Isabel Tells a Good One

( 3 )


Penelope and her Aunt Isabel make up an exciting bedtime story about the adventures of Prince Augustus and Lady Penelope.

Penelope and her Aunt Isabel make up an exciting bedtime story about the adventures of Prince Augustus and Lady Penelope.

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Penelope and her Aunt Isabel make up an exciting bedtime story about the adventures of Prince Augustus and Lady Penelope.

Penelope and her Aunt Isabel make up an exciting bedtime story about the adventures of Prince Augustus and Lady Penelope.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
When Penelope asks her Aunt Isabel (both are mice) to tell her a story, Aunt Isabel agrees, but only if Penelope helps her. What developes is a wonderful collaboration between the two: they tell a story with all the required ingredients--a prince, a heroine, some villians, an adventure, and romance. Readers will be touched by the special bond between niece and aunt.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Aunt Isabel is delighted to have her niece Penelope spend the night, and a made-to-order story is part of the package. Asking for guidance from Penelope along the way, Isabel weaves a story of a handsome prince and the enigmatic Lady Nell who can ``fiddle like a cricket, sing like a dove and wiggle her ears.'' Isabel may ask for help, but she is clearly in charge here, insisting on ``a little Danger'' and ``Villains'' to flesh out her tale. No passive heroine awaiting the prince's marriage proposal, Nell tackles adversity in fine fashion. In a stylistic departure for the gifted artist ( The Guinea Pig ABC ; Roseberry's Great Escape ), fanciful mice--somewhat reminiscent of Helen Craig's illustrations for the Angelina books--take the spotlight here, and the delicate watercolors brim with fairy-tale characters and atmosphere. Especially appealing are the artwork's winsome borders, adorned with tiny, appropriate decorative touches--sandwiches in the frame's corners when Nell is following a trail of crumbs, for example. Though the running conversation between narrator and Penelope at times detracts from the action, the diverting story-within-a-story is an inviting opportunity for youngsters to double their fun. Ages 4-7. (Feb.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-- When Aunt Isabel makes up a story for her niece Penelope, the tale she tells of Lady Nell and Prince Augustus is occasionally cliched but redeemed by a clever ending. As the young mouse helps her aunt weave the plot, Isabel provides a gentle lesson in story-making. The story within a story works mainly because of Duke's exuberant portrayal of her endearing mice. Children will identify with bright-eyed, feisty Penelope and will wish that they had a quirky aunt like Isabel (she's dressed in a 1920s flapper dress and sports a feathered headband). Because of the switches in narrative, the book would be best shared one-on-one or used as a language-arts supplement. An entertaining way to introduce children to the elements of storytelling while providing an impetus for their own creative endeavors. --Lori A. Janick, Parkwood Elementary School, Pasadena, TX
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140505344
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/28/1994
  • Series: Puffin Unicorn Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 174,156
  • Age range: 5 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.04 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 0.08 (d)

Meet the Author

Kate Duke is the author-illustrator of The Guinea Pig ABC, which The Horn Book hailed as "destined to become a classic," and One Guinea Pig Is Not Enough, as well as many other books for children. She lives in New Haven, Connecticut.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2011

    Turns cliches on their heads

    I've loved this book since I was a small child, and now as an adult I can really examine the reasons why. The writing and illustrations are both wonderful, and the story itself really touches your heart. It encourages the reader to believe that everyone is valuable, and that everyone has talents. (Not to mention feeding my love of strong female protagonists rather than damsels in distress) It helps to empower children by showing them how to channel their creativity. This will always be a favorite of mine.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2010

    great for teaching story elements

    I have used this book in my classroom for 15 years to teach the elements of a good story. My students literally hold their breath in the middle as the characters encounter danger and villains and cheer at the end when the heroine rescues her prince. It is a great read aloud and provides many discussion points from how to tell a good story to making predictions to creating your own bedtime stories!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2014

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