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Enough

Overview

This heart-warming Ukrainian folktale, set during the Great Famine of the 1930s, tells of a young girl's attempts to save her village from starvation.

When soldiers take the village's wheat, Marusia hides just enough to survive. She and her father share with the other villagers over the winter, then plant the few remaining grains in the spring. A gigantic stalk of magical wheat grows attracting the attention of an equally large and magical stork. The stork flies with Marusia on ...

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Overview

This heart-warming Ukrainian folktale, set during the Great Famine of the 1930s, tells of a young girl's attempts to save her village from starvation.

When soldiers take the village's wheat, Marusia hides just enough to survive. She and her father share with the other villagers over the winter, then plant the few remaining grains in the spring. A gigantic stalk of magical wheat grows attracting the attention of an equally large and magical stork. The stork flies with Marusia on a magical journey to the prairies, where farmers give Marusia enough wheat for her village.

Word of the magical journey reaches a greedy officer, who tricks the stork into retracing the magical journey. But the officer does not understand the meaning of "enough" and his greed leads to his doom. Back in the village, Marusia and her father know they must devise a clever plan to protect their wheat from other greedy soldiers . . . and perhaps from the dictator himself!

Led by a clever girl, the villagers of Zhitya manage to save their wheat harvest from the greedy Dictator.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This wordy fairy tale by the creators of Silver Threads is rooted in history; according to an introductory note, the setting is "during the Famine instigated by Stalin in 1930's Ukraine." But the volume suffers from the tall-tale quality of the narrative and the exaggerated characterizations. After one of "the Dictator's soldiers" appears on the farm where Marusia lives with her father, he announces, "Your wheat and your farm now belong to the People." He and his compatriots confiscate the crops of every farmer in the village. But Marusia hides one sack of grain that keeps them all alive during the hard winter, and plants seeds from which a magic stalk grows, attracting a large stork. The bird carries her on its back to a land of plenty so she can restock her village's supplies. In a predictable turn of events, another of the Dictator's soldiers makes a similar journey on the stork's back, but hordes so much grain that he and his sacks tumble off into the ocean. Unfortunately, the prose is often overblown when coupled with the oafish characters depicted (e.g., it is "the Dictator's wish that this land be filled with graves"). The villains--and even the victimized Ukrainians--appear as caricatures in the artwork, which does little to vitalize this heavy-handed narrative. Ages 6-8. (Apr.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
How much is "enough?" For many of us, it is difficult to answer that question while we live in our comfortable homes with plenty of food to eat. For Marusia and her father, "enough" is simply a few seeds of grain. Set during the famine in the Ukraine during the 1930s, this wonderful book depicts the hardship faced by one small village because of the greed of the Dictator and his officers, who think they never have "enough." The life-like illustrations help tell this story of hope and perseverance, as Marusia and her fellow villagers work to outsmart the Dictator. This is a wonderful contemporary folktale and would be a great addition to any library. 2000, Fitzhenry & Whiteside, $15.95. Ages 7 to 10. Reviewer: Sheree Van Vreede
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Marusia and her father barely survive on what they grow on their little farm in Zhitya, so, when the Dictator's soldiers claim all of their crops, the family is destitute. Luckily, resourceful Marusia has hidden a bag of grain and feeds her father and friends a thin porridge throughout the winter. When they plant the last of the wheat, one magical stalk attracts a stork that takes the child across the ocean where fellow Ukrainians give her some grain. After she plants it, soldiers take this harvest, and an officer steals seeds from the magic stalk. In the end, his greed gets the best of him. Marusia is then able to come up with a plan to foil the Dictator and assure a peaceful life in Zhitya. As appealing and universal as the theme is, the book is flawed by gaps in its internal logic. When Marusia arrives in "a new world," the expatriates say, "Times are hard, but we are happy to share," but the illustrations show them surrounded by piles of grain. When the stork approaches the officer, the man remembers what happened to Marusia-but how would he know? Martchenko's pastoral illustrations are lovely, but the faces of the characters are cartoonlike and don't suit the mood of the story. Marusia sometimes looks like a distant cousin to Tintin, and this spunky heroine deserves better.-Jeanne Clancy Watkins, Chester County Library, Exton, PA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781550418842
  • Publisher: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Limited
  • Publication date: 10/1/2003
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 7 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.88 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.16 (d)

Meet the Author

Marsha Skrypuch is the author of many books for children, including Silver Threads, The Best Gifts, Enough, The Hunger and Hope's War. Among the numerous writing awards won her novel about the Armenian genocide, Nobody's Child, was nominated for the Red Maple Award, the Alberta Rocky Mountain Book Award, the B.C. Stellar Award; and it was listed by Resource Links as a Best Book.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2002

    Reality Masterpiece and the heart of Ukraine

    Skrypuch will not disappoint any reader any age. In this tale she not only develops a wonderful story filled with the tradition and beauty of Ukraine, but flawlessly describes historical non-fiction about the secret famine of Stalin. This book can teach young and old alike about the strength of a magnificent country.

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