The Old Woman Who Lived in a Vinegar Bottle: A British Fairy Tale

The Old Woman Who Lived in a Vinegar Bottle: A British Fairy Tale

by Margaret Read MacDonald, Nancy Dunaway Fowlkes
     
 

Oh what a pity, what a pity pity pity! With this refrain, the old woman in the vinegar bottle complains until she gets a cottage ... then a row house ... then a mansion ... How far will she move up before she's satisfied? Storyteller and children's librarian Margaret Read MacDonald pairs a whiny old woman with a no-nonsense fairy in a comical tale of ever-expanding… See more details below

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Overview

Oh what a pity, what a pity pity pity! With this refrain, the old woman in the vinegar bottle complains until she gets a cottage ... then a row house ... then a mansion ... How far will she move up before she's satisfied? Storyteller and children's librarian Margaret Read MacDonald pairs a whiny old woman with a no-nonsense fairy in a comical tale of ever-expanding greed and its natural result. Nancy Dunaway Fowlkes's expansive India ink and watercolor illustrations capture MacDonald's high-spirited rendering of this old British fairy tale.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-A kind fairy tries to improve the lot of an unhappy old woman living in a vinegar bottle, but her efforts are met with complaints and ingratitude. The fed-up fairy finally sends the woman back to her vinegar bottle. MacDonald has a gift for making stories easy to tell without sacrificing quality, and the crisp, repetitive text is as much fun for the storyteller as it is for young listeners. Children will enjoy whining along with the old woman (``Oh what a pity. What a pity pity pity'') or chiming in with the fairy (``If that's what she wants...that's what she'll get!''). The source note is impeccable and includes suggestions for telling. Fowlkes's bold, exuberant watercolor and ink paintings are clear enough for group read-alouds, yet are packed with enticing details for independent readers or one-on-one listeners. The simple lines keep the illustrations from becoming too busy, and the fairy with her spiky red hair and purple tutu is especially appealing.-Donna L. Scanlon, Lancaster County Library, PA
Susan Dove Lempke
When a kindly fairy overhears the complaints of an old woman who longs to live in a cottage instead of a vinegar bottle, she makes the woman's wish come true. However, just like her folktale cousin the fisherman's wife, the old woman isn't satisfied for long. The fairy indulges each whim for more sumptuous housing until the old woman is a queen in a palace, but finally concludes that "there's no pleasing some people" and returns her ungrateful protege to the vinegar bottle. Known for her storytelling, MacDonald presents a retelling that is so rhythmic and conversational even a first-time storyteller will be successful. Fowlkes' energetic, brightly patterned ink-and-watercolor illustrations are sized right for story time as well, with the vinegar bottle discreetly showing up in every spread. Source notes are included.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780874834154
Publisher:
August House Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
12/28/2005
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.48(w) x 11.30(h) x 0.42(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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