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Rosie's Fiddle
     

Rosie's Fiddle

by Phyllis Root, Kevin O'malley, Unknown (Illustrator)
 

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A happy hullabaloo!

Folks said Rosie could fiddle the flowers out of their buds. They said she could fiddle the stones out of the ground. Folks said Rosie O'Grady could out-fiddle the devil himself, and that was a dangerous thing to say! Rosie's Fiddle swings with foot-stomping country cadences and zesty illustrations that bounce with the raucous energy of an old

Overview

A happy hullabaloo!

Folks said Rosie could fiddle the flowers out of their buds. They said she could fiddle the stones out of the ground. Folks said Rosie O'Grady could out-fiddle the devil himself, and that was a dangerous thing to say! Rosie's Fiddle swings with foot-stomping country cadences and zesty illustrations that bounce with the raucous energy of an old time hoedown.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
Dueling musicians make their fiddle strings sizzle in this cornfield showdown based on an American folktale (one popularized in the Charlie Daniels Band's "The Devil Went Down to Georgia"). Unsmiling Rosie O'Grady has a rep for being able to "out-fiddle the devil himself." So she's ready for the arrival of a guy with horns under his fedora, pitchforks on his tie and a tail poking out from under his brick-red suit. The two agree to a best-of-three musical challenge, and Rosie wagers her soul for the devil's golden fiddle. Root, whose Aunt Nancy and Old Man Trouble also featured a test of wits with the devil, provides lively colloquial narration: the devil's first tune "blew the feathers off Rosie's hens, and scattered the bare-naked chickens half across town," but Rosie's playing brings "a soft little breeze [that] gathered the chickens and shooed them home." The devil lures crows to eat Rosie's corn, and sets the townspeople to dancing "whether they wanted to or not," but Rosie triumphs with a riff that boogies the devil into a puff of smoke. O'Malley (Cinder Edna; Roller Coaster) sets the scene with roiling clouds, teeteringly tall cornstalks and flapping chickens. He gives the devil a sly "mean little smile" and Rosie a stubborn jaw. The folksy prose and stormy spreads convey the tale's intensity-the only thing missing is a bluegrass soundtrack.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Dueling musicians make their fiddle strings sizzle in this cornfield showdown based on an American folktale (one popularized in the Charlie Daniels Band's "The Devil Went Down to Georgia"). Unsmiling Rosie O'Grady has a rep for being able to "out-fiddle the devil himself." So she's ready for the arrival of a guy with horns under his fedora, pitchforks on his tie and a tail poking out from under his brick-red suit. The two agree to a best-of-three musical challenge, and Rosie wagers her soul for the devil's golden fiddle. Root, whose Aunt Nancy and Old Man Trouble also featured a test of wits with the devil, provides lively colloquial narration: the devil's first tune "blew the feathers off Rosie's hens, and scattered the bare-naked chickens half across town," but Rosie's playing brings "a soft little breeze [that] gathered the chickens and shooed them home." The devil lures crows to eat Rosie's corn, and sets the townspeople to dancing "whether they wanted to or not," but Rosie triumphs with a riff that boogies the devil into a puff of smoke. O'Malley (Cinder Edna; Roller Coaster) sets the scene with roiling clouds, teeteringly tall cornstalks and flapping chickens. He gives the devil a sly "mean little smile" and Rosie a stubborn jaw. The folksy prose and stormy spreads convey the tale's intensity-the only thing missing is a bluegrass soundtrack. Ages 5-up. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Carolyn Mott Ford
Out-fiddle the devil? Only a crazy woman would take that dare. Rosie O'Grady fills the bill. She is a prickly woman who stays to herself. The townspeople are happy to leave her be-unless she is playing the fiddle. For Rosie it was said, "could fiddle the flowers out of their buds." The author was inspired to write this book after sighting a Montana road sign: Crazy Woman Creek. Wonderfully illustrated by Kevin O'Malley, the story of Rosie's fiddling duel with the devil is a joy to read.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 2"Prickly as the roses that grew by her door," Rosie lives alone with her chickens and corn, and an old, cracked fiddle she plays on summer evenings on her porch. Her music is so beautiful that the townsfolk hide in the shadows to hear her play, saying that she "could out-fiddle the devil himself." When he comes to her door, Rosie accepts his challenge, hoping to win his shiny bright fiddle. The duel is described in lyrical language, complemented by clever, colorful illustrations. However, there is no real twist on this familiar tale other than a female heroine. This simple contest with the devil is not as intriguing as in Harve Zemach's Duffy and the Devil (Farrar, 1973) or Harold Berson's How the Devil Gets His Due (Crown, 1972; o.p.), but it is certainly authentic Americana. A careful eye will enjoy the "Buy Bonds" signs on Rosie's barn and the expressive faces on the crows and the chickens. This book will amuse children and satisfy teachers looking for something with the flavor of Midwestern cornfields, but few will find it especially memorable.Jackie Hechtkopf, Talent House School, Fairfax, VA
Kirkus Reviews
The devil does love a good contest. So when he hears through the grapevine that tough-as-nails Rosie O'Grady can out-fiddle him, he challenges her to a musical duel. During the first of three rounds the devil fiddles the feathers off the farm chickens, and the laundry off the line. But Rosie's fiddling restores order to the barnyard. The devil's second attempt drums up a storm of crows that devastates Rosie's corn crop. Rosie gets the rocks dancing, but she can't rouse the crows. The devil, smugly assuming he's going to win round three, entrances all the villagers to dance to his music against their wills. But this time Rosie's music wins the match, by sending the Evilmeister himself waltzing faster and faster through the fields until he dances himself into a puff of smoke. Root's reworking of this American folktale bursts with vitality and spunk. Its characters, portrayed by O'Malley's malleable brush, are large and energetic, with hints of WPA-mural expressiveness. A toe-tapping tall tale to read aloud.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780688128531
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/18/1997
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.67(w) x 11.36(h) x 0.43(d)
Age Range:
5 - 7 Years

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