Easy Work!: An Old Taleby Eric A. Kimmel, Peter Christen Asbjornsen, Andrew Glass
Thinking his work in the fields is harder than his wife's work in the house, Mr. McTeague trades places with her for one day.
Children's Literature - Judy SilvermanEric Kimmel is brilliant! This old story is given new life, and Andrew Glass' pictures create an unforgettable farmer and his wife who change roles for one day. I feel sorriest for the cow. The farmer learns his lesson, although why he felt he had to dress in his wife's best Sunday dress is beyond me. After all, he was just going to do the housework.
School Library Journal - School Library JournalK-Gr 3Here, the well-known Norwegian folktale, "The Man Who Was to Mind the House," is set in Oregon. Mr. McTeague thinks that his wife has it easy at home all day, so the couple agrees to trade places, with disastrous results, including setting the cabin on fire. A more appreciative husband and a rebuilt cabin bring the story to a happy conclusion. The down-home language is filled with humor; e.g., Mr. McTeague's smug phrase, "Easy work," changes to "Golly Neds!" when things begin to go wrong. Glass's lively illustrations are done in a scratchy, folksy style and suit the text perfectly. An author's note explains Kimmel's decision to use Oregon for his locale. Previous versions have hewed closer to the tale collected by Peter Christen Asbjrnsen, including The Man Who Kept House (McElderry, 1992), set in Norway and with attractive illustrations by Svend S. Otto, and Michael Hague's The Man Who Kept House (Harcourt, 1981), which is more literary in tone. While not replacing either of these versions, Easy Work would make an enjoyable addition to most collections.Pam Gosner, formerly at Maplewood Memorial Library, NJ
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