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Duffy and the Devil
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Duffy and the Devil

4.2 4
by Harve Zemach, Margot Zemach (Illustrator)
 

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Duffy and the Devil was a popular play in Cornwall in the nineteenth century, performed at the Christmas season by groups of young people who went from house to house. The Zemachs have interpreted the folk tale which the play dramatized, recognizable as a version of the widespread Rumpelstiltskin story. Its main themes are familiar, but the character and

Overview

Duffy and the Devil was a popular play in Cornwall in the nineteenth century, performed at the Christmas season by groups of young people who went from house to house. The Zemachs have interpreted the folk tale which the play dramatized, recognizable as a version of the widespread Rumpelstiltskin story. Its main themes are familiar, but the character and details of this picture book are entirely Cornish, as robust and distinctive as the higgledy-piggledy, cliff-hanging villages that dot England's southwestern coast from Penzance to Land's End.

The language spoken by the Christmas players was a rich mixture of local English dialect and Old Cornish (similar to Welsh and Gaelic), and something of this flavor is preserved in Harve Zemach's retelling. Margot Zemach's pen-and-wash illustrations combine a refined sense of comedy with telling observation of character, felicitous drawing with decorative richness, to a degree that surpasses her own past accomplishments.

Duffy and the Devil is a 1973 New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of the Year and Outstanding Book of the Year, a 1974 National Book Award Finalist for Children's Books, and the winner of the 1974 Caldecott Medal.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“'The devil can make Squire Lovel's stockings for all I care!' cries Duffy the servant girl in this comical Cornish version of Rumpelstiltskin--and that of course is just what he does, with the well-known proviso that 'at the end of three years I'll take you away--unless you can tell me my name!' Trust the Zemachs to surprise us, though, with a whole new set of circumstances and an ending that is sure to set off bursts of laughter as soon as the last page is turned. And trust the artist to be both gratifyingly herself and newly inventive, surpassing our expectations with her delicately festive tones, her carousing coven of plump, frowsy witches, and her scampering sly devil.” —Starred, Kirkus Reviews

“Thanks to both author and artist the tale has gusto, richness, and class that place it far above the picture-book crowd.” —the New York Times Book Review

“Margot Zemach draws like an intoxicated angel. The lovely color washes in these pages tumble after each other, bursting with all the vitality and humor the writing contains.” —New York

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
``The Zemachs' re-creation of a 19th century Cornish entertainment retains all the robust, ribald qualities of the original, a plot based on Rumpelstiltskin,'' noted PW. ``How Duffy marries her boss and outwits a demon is at the heart of this gutsy tale.'' (5-9)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374418977
Publisher:
Square Fish
Publication date:
12/28/1986
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
8.47(w) x 10.26(h) x 0.11(d)
Lexile:
860L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Margot Zemach (1931-89) was born in Los Angeles, California. She began illustrating stories by her husband, Harve, in 1959, and their subsequent collaborations led to many enduring children's books, including The Judge: An Untrue Tale, a Caldecott Honor Book; A Penny a Look, an ALA Notable Book; and Duffy and the Devil, recipient of the Caldecott Medal.

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Duffy and the Devil 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Making promises you can't keep is just what Duffy did with Squire Lovel. She said ' I do all the work, I spin like a saint, I knit like and angel'. So the Squire took her back with him to help out his housemaid. Only problem is Duffy didn't know how do spin or knit. What is she to do. Well the devil pops in and said that he would do all the work for her if after 3 years she goes with him. The only way that she would be able to get out of the deal is if she guesses his name. Will Duffy be able to trust the Devil, or will she have to go with him for ever? Will the Squire find out that she can't do either? Read and you will find out. This book reminds me alot of rumpelstilkian. I enjoy classic tales alot and think that they are good fun reads to help teach morals. Harve has retold this story from a Cornish tale, while his wife illustrated the book. Zemach, Harve and Margot. DUFFY AND THE DEVIL. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1973.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story was delightful. I loved the pictures. This book was absolutely a Caldecott Winner. The pictures were very fun and colorful. The portrayal of the characters was marvelous. The characters in this book were similar to those in Rumplestiltskin. Duffy is a servant girl who is being thrown out on the streets because the lady of the house says that she is lazy. The devil helps her to sew and make clothes so that she can find a home. She is taken in by Squire Lovel. The devil helps her at no charge, but says that in three years if she does not know her name that he will take her away. Duffy impresses the Squire enough that he decides to marry her. The Squire learns the name of the devil and saves Duffy. The pictures that go with this story enhance it very well. The colors are vibrant and bold. The characters are shown in comical scenes. The characters seem more realistic because they are drawn as large people. They are not the typical ¿Skinny Minnie¿ characters that everyone knows do not exist. They are made to be portrayed as real people. I would recommend this book to all of my colleagues as a read aloud story. Margot had always loved to draw amusing pictures. She knew she wanted to either draw cartoons or illustrate children¿s books. Lucky for us she chose to illustrate. She would illustrate books that her husband Harve wrote. They began working together in 1959. Together they completed thirteen books. Zemach, Harve & Margot. Duffy And The Devil. New York. Farrar~Straus~Giroux, 1973. Reading Level 4.9
Guest More than 1 year ago
Duffy and the Devil is about Duffy who becomes a knitter for a famous squire. Little did the squire know that Duffy could not knit. Duffy then asks the devil to help her. He says that he will help her, but in three years if Duffy does not guess his name then he will take her away. I really enjoyed this book because it taught the reader a lesson at the end. I was not very crazy about the illustrations because they were not eye-catching for me. Harve and Margot Zemach are married to each other. Margot does the illustrations while Harve writes. They have collaborated on thirteen books and in 1974 won the Caldecott for Duffy and the Devil. Zemach, Harve and Margot. Duffy and the Devil. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Girouz. 1973.