One Fine Trade

( 1 )


Based on an old folktale from the American South, this rollicking picture book full of endearing characters will have children eagerly joining in on the refrain: "And one fine trade it is!"

How-do! How-do! Georgy Piney Woods wants to trade a horse for a shiny silver dollar so that his daughter can buy a wedding dress. First he trades the horse for a fat brown cow. Then he trades the cow for an old hound dog. He makes one fine trade after ...
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Based on an old folktale from the American South, this rollicking picture book full of endearing characters will have children eagerly joining in on the refrain: "And one fine trade it is!"

How-do! How-do! Georgy Piney Woods wants to trade a horse for a shiny silver dollar so that his daughter can buy a wedding dress. First he trades the horse for a fat brown cow. Then he trades the cow for an old hound dog. He makes one fine trade after another, but will the peddler ever trade for a silver dollar so that his daughter can have her wedding?
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Taking her inspiration from an old folk song, Miller's debut is a jaunty story about "the finest peddler who ever lived," one Georgy Piney Woods. When Georgy's daughter, Georgianne, asks him for his expertise to obtain money for her wedding dress, he shows his talents indeed. Georgy aims to trade a "rail-skinny horse" for a "shiny silver dollar," but, in classic folklore fashion, he ends up trading for a brown cow, a hound dog and a cypress stick along the way, though he eventually comes through for his daughter. Miller leads readers through the adventure with drama (by way of "a giant snake, a-shaking his rattle"), humor and plenty of backwoods vernacular ("Wouldn't ya know, then Georgianne asked, 'Dadaw, I surely do need a pretty new veil to go with my pretty new dress for my wedding day'"). Hillenbrand's (Baby Dragon) energetic mixed media compositions keep pace with Georgy's enthusiastic salesmanship. His weathered top hat, patchwork britches and polite demeanor make him fun to follow as he travels the evocative landscape, from the bucolic meadow to the "deep deep" woods. Ages 4-8.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
In this folktale based on an old folk song, a peddler named Georgy Piney Woods is asked by his daughter Georgianne to trade her skinny horse for a silver dollar. She wants to buy a new dress for the forthcoming wedding. The folksy text has Georgy "a-riding" as the catbirds are "a-mewing" and the herons "a-squawking, until he meets a farmer. The farmer has no silver dollar, but will trade his cow. And so the trading goes: the cow for a hound dog, the dog for a stick, and then, when meeting a threatening snake, the stick for nothing. But when the snake sinks his fangs into the stick, he gets stuck and flung away by Georgy. What happens to the stick, and then how Georgianne gets her dress, a veil, and a ring, makes an amusing conclusion. Hillenbrand sets the comic tone on the jacket; on the front is the wedding scene of barefoot bride and groom, while on the back is a wheelbarrow filled with a beehive and a toilet. The double-page scenes are visualized with charming landscapes, fine settings for the comic characters. The artist has scanned and digitally manipulated his ink and pencil illustrations on vellum to create his solid folks and engaging creatures, all produced with conviction based on both a command of drawing and an engaging sense of humor. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Children's Literature - Margaret Orto
Lively backwoods vernacular and amusing illustrations characterize this fresh retelling of an old folk song from the American South. Georgy Piney Woods, "a fine peddler, the finest who ever lived!" sets off to trade, at his daughter's request, her "rail-skinny horse for a shiny silver dollar," so that she might buy a new dress for her upcoming wedding. Before he succeeds, however, readers are entertained by his trade of the horse for a "fat brown cow," which he trades for "an old hound dog," that he trades for a cypress stick that is poisoned by a snake and grows to an enormous size so that when a railroad man comes along, he is interested in the giant stick to make railroad ties. The railroad ties shrink to miniature size in the rain, but fortunately for Georgy Piney Woods, the railroad man's wife comes along and thinks the tiny sticks will make wonderful toothpicks, which she needs, and she gives him the sought after shiny silver dollar. All seems to be resolved until Georgy Piney Woods' daughter asks her father to obtain "a pretty new veil to go with my pretty new dress for my wedding day." Georgy Piney Woods good-naturedly sets off again to help his daughter. Packed with rhythmic humor, colloquial speech, and droll mixed-media illustrations, this book works especially well as a story time read-a loud. Children are unwittingly exposed to lessons in bartering. Reviewer: Margaret Orto
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 3

With origins in a Southern folk song, this entertaining romp follows the journey of a jaunty peddler named Georgy Piney Woods. Daughter Georgianne has her eye on a wedding dress, so she asks "Dadaw" to trade her "rail-skinny horse for a shiny silver dollar." Woods sets off down the road, making a series of exchanges in which he seems to be getting the short end of the stick (literally, as it turns out). After accepting and relinquishing a fat brown cow and an old hound dog, he winds up with a cypress stick that swells to an enormous height after an encounter with a rattlesnake. The happy-go-lucky trader's final deal involves a railroad man who chops that cypress into 303 railroad ties, a rainstorm that reduces their size drastically, and the man's spouse-who is in the market for a large quantity of toothpicks. The dress is purchased and all is well-until the daughter requests a veil. The ink and pencil scenes were scanned and digitally manipulated, with colored pencil and gouache additions to the final work. This creates a convincing depth. The backgrounds are soft and muted, with increasing saturation and detail as one moves forward through the layers. The outlandish events and droll caricatures are supported by lively language that is full of rhythm and fun to read aloud. A traditional tale, freshly fashioned.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library

Kirkus Reviews
In this sprightly Southern rendition of a familiar folktale, Georgy Piney Woods sets out to trade a "rail-skinny horse" for a "shiny silver dollar" to buy his daughter Georgianne a wedding dress. He does get that dollar in the end-but not before he swaps the horse for a cow, the cow for a hound dog and so on through a few more seemingly bad bargains. Miller employs a down-home diction that revels in its orality: " ‘Got no silver dollar,' said the old woman. Her old hound dog hooowled. ‘I can surely use a cow.' " Brisk pacing and cliffhanger page turns make this a natural for either telling or reading, and Hillenbrand's bright scenes of a smiling peddler in rustic dress striding through field, forest and swamp in search of the next transaction add plenty of color and spirit. Consider as a fresh and funny alternative to George Shannon's Piney Woods Peddler (1981) or the various singleton versions of "Hans in Luck." (Picture book/folktale. 6-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823418367
  • Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/15/2009
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,495,197
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD700L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Bobbi Miller has always enjoyed American folklore. Paul Bunyan is one of her favorite folktale characters. She lives in Connecticut, where she teaches writing. This is her first book for Holiday House.

Will Hillenbrand has illustrated a number of books including Calendar, Down on the Farm, and What a Treasure. He lives in Ohio. Visit him online at
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 5, 2011

    What'll You Trade Me?

    ONE FINE TRADE, based on a folk song and retold by Bobbi Miller and illustrated by Will Hillenbrand, starts out with a daughter's simple wish. Through whimsical twists and hilarious detours, this tale turns out to be anything but simple! A repeated pattern will engage children while the unexpected will make them cheer for the quirky characters. The illustrations are funny, bright, and clever-a perfect match for this fanciful story. Join Georgy Piney Woods ("a fine peddler, the finest who ever lived!") as he sets out on a quest to make "one fine trade" for his daughter Georgianne.

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