Little Johnny Buttermilk: After an Old English Folktale

Overview

Johnny Buttermilk's work is never done. Every day he carries pails of milk to market for his mother. Every day he is set upon by the witch who wants to steal the milk. And every day he must think of some fresh plan to outwit her. Enough is enough. How can he be done with her once and for all? Johnny devises a plan to turn the witch's mischief back on herself. Jennifer Mazzucco's vibrant acrylic illustrations capture the cat-and-mouse contest contained in this traditional ...

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Overview

Johnny Buttermilk's work is never done. Every day he carries pails of milk to market for his mother. Every day he is set upon by the witch who wants to steal the milk. And every day he must think of some fresh plan to outwit her. Enough is enough. How can he be done with her once and for all? Johnny devises a plan to turn the witch's mischief back on herself. Jennifer Mazzucco's vibrant acrylic illustrations capture the cat-and-mouse contest contained in this traditional folktale from the British Isles.

Little Johnny Buttermilk must escape from the witch who keeps trying to steal his pails of milk, until finally he outwits her once and for all.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Carolyn Mott Ford
Johnny lived in the country with his parents, and although he was too young to help his pa feed the hogs or to help his ma make butter, Ma decided he was old enough to sell the buttermilk in town. An evil witch lived nearby and one day she met Johnny along the path and insisted he give her the buttermilk. When Johnny refused, the witch threatened him. Johnny got the best of the witch, who then waited along the path for him every day. Johnny continued to outwit the witch until finally she burst with anger. The story is based upon an old English folktale which was a favorite childhood story of an elderly woman the author met while he was in England. The retelling is well done and the illustrations are bright and appealing.
Kirkus Reviews
A felonious witch and a ingenious young boy match wits in this latest folktale from Wahl (Rosa's Parrot, p. 307, etc.). Johnny, too small yet to do chores with his father, assists his mother by bringing the buttermilk to town, earning the moniker "Little Johnny Buttermilk." Danger looms in the guise of a villainous crone who covets Johnny's burden. Waylaid by the devious hag, Johnny refuses to relinquish his milk, causing the witch to decide that he will make a tasty addition to her meal. Concerned about a purchase she left in town (ironically, she's afraid someone will steal it), she leaves the sack containing Johnny and his milk by the side of the road and he promptly escapes. Due to a clever refilling of the sack, the witch doesn't discover Johnny's defection until she returns home. Relying on his ingenuity, Johnny continues to elude and eventually best the witch. Mazzucco's lively illustrations are an integral part of the story; her comical depiction of the action and sly incorporation of a cat and mouse into nearly every scene heap measures of fun into the witty retelling. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780874835595
  • Publisher: August House Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/28/2005
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.76 (w) x 11.38 (h) x 0.39 (d)

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