Sody Salleratus

Overview

A simple trip to the store for a box of sody salleratus (baking soda) turns into a disappearing act for a boy, a girl, an old man and an old woman. It's all up to a little squirrel -- who's determined to have biscuits for supper -- to discover their fate and rescue them. The simple plot, filled with lots of repetition and fun-to-repeat sounds, is perfect for reading aloud. Exuberant illustrations by Alan and Lea Daniel leap off the page, adding hilarious details that enhance this lively retelling of the ...
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Overview

A simple trip to the store for a box of sody salleratus (baking soda) turns into a disappearing act for a boy, a girl, an old man and an old woman. It's all up to a little squirrel -- who's determined to have biscuits for supper -- to discover their fate and rescue them. The simple plot, filled with lots of repetition and fun-to-repeat sounds, is perfect for reading aloud. Exuberant illustrations by Alan and Lea Daniel leap off the page, adding hilarious details that enhance this lively retelling of the traditional tale.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Davis (Bone Button Borscht) narrates this lackluster retelling of the mountain-home folktale, borrowed from Richard Chase's Grandfather Tales (1948), without attempting the vernacular. The plain-spoken introduction presents all the characters but one: "Once upon a time there was an old woman, an old man, a girl, a boy and a squirrel that lived on the mantelpiece." Boy goes to the general store to buy some sody salleratus, or baking soda, for making biscuits. On the way home, he disturbs a huge golden-brown grizzly, who growls, "Who's that walking on my bridge?" "It's me-Boy. Me and my Sody Salleratus," the child answers, and is promptly eaten. One by one, the family members cross the bridge (with an onomatopoeic "skumpity-skip" or "crunkity-crunk") and meet the same fate. Only the squirrel evades the bear, by enticing him to a fragile branch; the monster falls from the tree and "bust[s] wide open." In a grotesque closing image, the squirrel leans on the head of a brand-new bearskin rug, gorging itself on sody-salleratus biscuits. While the bear and especially the squirrel are closely observed, the caricaturish hillbillies have toothy yokel grins, knobby knees and dirty bare feet. Using pencil and acrylics, Alan and Leah Daniel (the Bunnicula books) note such details as wood-burning stoves and handwoven baskets, but don't create much of a hillbilly homestead. For a warmer, down-homier rendition, try Teri Sloat's picture book, Sody Sallyratus. Ages 3-7. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Carolyn Mott Ford
Aubrey Davis is a professional storyteller and this story readily lends itself to being told or read aloud. Old Woman wants to bake biscuits but she is out of baking soda (salleratus is defined as a 19th-century American word for baking soda, while in Latin it means aerated salt, which the author explains is a reference to baking soda's leavening properties). She sends Boy out to the store for sody salleratus. He "hippity-hops" and "humpity-humps" down the road and over the bridge to the grocery. As Boy "humpity-humps" back over the bridge, he and the sody salleratus are eaten by the bear. Old Woman then sends Girl down the road to find Boy. As she "skumpity-skumps" over the bridge, the bear swallows her as well. Old Man goes out to look for Boy and Girl and is eaten by the bear as is Old Woman. The only one left to save them all is Squirrel and he does. In a fairytale ending, they all pop out of the beast and go home for dinner. They enjoy the biscuits, especially Squirrel who eats his fill while perched on the new bear skin rug. (Adapted from Grandfather Tales by Richard Chase, 1948, 1976, Houghton Mifflin Company)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2This retelling of Richard Chase's well-known Jack tale (which is not indicated on the cover or title page) features a polished, shorter text that lends itself to storytime use. Children will enjoy joining in as the boy "A-Hippity-Hops," the girl "A-Skippity-Skips," the old man "A-Crickity-Cracks," the old woman "A-Limpity-Limps," and the squirrel "A-Chippity-Chips" over the bridge, all (except the squirrel) to be eaten by the bear. After the squirrel cleverly rescues them, they all go home to make and consume mass quantities of biscuits. Teri Sloat's Sody Sallyratus (Dutton, 1997) and Joanne Compton's version (Holiday, 1995) do not have the same engaging, read-aloud quality. Unfortunately, the greeting-card cheerfulness of these illustrations lack the humor and child appeal of Compton's cumulative format or the country expressiveness of Sloat's version. If your library already owns those books, you probably don't need this one; on the other hand, if you are itching to have a more "tellable" version, you may want to purchase it.Lisa Falk, Los Angeles Public Library.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781553370697
  • Publisher: Kids Can Press, Limited
  • Publication date: 8/28/2001
  • Edition description: 1st U.S. Edition
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,266,305
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Lexile: 240L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.31 (d)

Meet the Author

For more than 30 years, Aubrey Davis has told stories, performing and conducting workshops across Canada and the United States. His books have received glowing reviews and multiple awards, including the Sydney Taylor Award, the Mr. Christie Award (Silver) and the Canadian Jewish Book Awards Children's Literature Prize. Aubrey lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Together and independently, husband and wife artists Alan and Lea Daniel have illustrated scores of children's books, including The Dream Collector and Sody Salleratus. They live in Kitchener, Ontario.

Together and independently, husband and wife artists Alan and Lea Daniel have illustrated scores of children's books, including The Dream Collector and Sody Salleratus. They live in Kitchener, Ontario.

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