Nabo Gigante (The Gigantic Turnip)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Up-to-the-minute illustrations and graphic design serve as the new-fangled foil to the well-known Russian folktale. The text has a familiar, classic cadence; the publisher says that Tolstoy was the first to record the story, in the 19th century. The eponymous turnip, as many readers will already know, grows to colossal size and won't budge from the ground, forcing an elderly farmer couple to seek assistance from a succession of barn animals in order to pull it out. Working in a style reminiscent of Yumi Heo's for its flatness and angularity, Sharkey (Tales of Wisdom and Wonder) produces figures with beady eyes, spindly limbs and small, delineated smiles. They toil against a stark, elemental landscape that is mostly sky. The text itself takes on visual prominence, displayed centrally in large type, sometimes curving, sometimes magnified for effect. The animals (e.g., the two pot-bellied pigs, the three black cats, the four speckled hens) caper acrobatically, while the turnip itself is depicted as monumentally spherical as a planet. Two recent versions of this tale, Jan Peck and Barry Root's The Giant Carrot and Vladimir Vagin's The Enormous Carrot, build momentum right up to the ending, when all the animals share in a boisterous feast; here, the climactic moment comes earlier, when the turnip is finally dislodged. Sharkey's pacing creates a circular balance: the story begins calmly and ends calmly, with plenty of fun in between. Ages 2-5. (Feb.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-There is no shortage of versions of this popular Russian folktale, including Jan Peck's recent variant, The Giant Carrot (Dial, 1998). However, this retelling is more complex, so it won't work with very young audiences. The cumulative action centers on an old man and old woman and all of the animals who try to help them uproot a gigantic turnip. In the end, it is a tiny mouse that swings the balance, and all enjoy a hearty turnip supper. Sharkey's illustrations call to mind Brian Karas's work, offering a lot of quirky visual details shown in earthy browns, greens, and yellows on scratchy solid backgrounds. The round old man has spectacles precariously perched on his nose, the old woman sports elfish shoes and striped stockings, the rounded rectangle of a cow chomps on delicate flowers, and the potbellied pigs trod on tiny hooves. The pictures are big enough for a small storytime and kids will find plenty to look at in one-to-one sharing.-Sally Bates Goodroe, Harris County Public Library, Houston, TX
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781841483962
  • Publisher: Barefoot Books
  • Publication date: 1/28/2000
  • Language: Spanish
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 1,357,574
  • Age range: 3 months - 7 years
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 10.65 (h) x 0.20 (d)

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