The Gold Miner's Daughter: A Melodramatic Fairy Tale

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Framed within a live theater setting, this tale contains the elements of humor and pathos expected in the best of melodramas. Gracie Pearl, however, does not sit around waiting for a hero to rescue her from the clutches of Mr. Bigglebottom. Not only are her home and her father's land at stake if they cannot pay the mortgage, she will be obliged to marry the villain banker. Gracie Pearl immediately jumps on the pack mule and heads into town. She spots a blonde girl running from some bears, unties three pigs from the railroad tracks, discovers that the restaurant proprietor's goose no longer lays golden eggs, and searches unsuccessfully for Rumplestiltskin, finding Rapunzel instead. Throughout this trek she discovers that Mr. Bigglebottom has been at the bottom of all these characters' problems. Interesting as that may be, she does not find any gold. Returning dejectedly home, she sees her father and the dastardly banker talking. Mr. Bigglebottom grabs one of Gracie Pearl's arms and her pa grabs the other. In the ensuing frenzy, she kicks and stomps so frantically that her boots sink into the earth. A huge gush of black stuff shoots up, catapulting the banker high into the clouds. Gracie Pearl has found black gold. She and her pa live happily ever after. Rebus directions appear just before the title page and then throughout the book to encourage readers to join in the fun of the story with the traditional exclamations for the villain, the heroine, the aha moments, and the concluding "Hooray!" Brightly colored illustrations cover most of the space of each double-page spread and add to the overall enjoyment. A good choice for adults to share with children in introducing this old fashionedtype of drama. 2006, Peachtree, Ages 5 to 9.
—Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-The cover and endpapers set the stage for a theater production, and rebuslike icons appear throughout to indicate places for audience participation. The story starts off with a scenario reminiscent of the old camp routine: "I can't pay the rent! You must pay the rent!" As the heroine searches for gold to pay the mustache-twirling villain, she comes across Goldilocks, the Three Little Pigs, the former owner of the Golden Goose, Sleeping Beauty's spinning wheel, Rapunzel, and Rumplestiltskin's sister. When she is still unable to pay him, Mr. Bigglebottom claims her hand in marriage, but Gracie Pearl digs her heels in-literally. This results in an oil gusher that carries the villain far away and enables the heroine and her father to live happily ever after. Goodell's delightful and action-packed illustrations feature expressive characters and plenty of visual humor. Large collections and those in which fractured fairy tales are popular will want to consider this performance.-Elaine Lesh Morgan, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
With folktale characters crowding the supporting cast, a sturdy heroine sets out to rustle up some gold to save her mine, house and hand from an oily banker in this elaborately staged-if not particularly well-knit-potboiler. Opening and closing in a lavishly appointed theatre before an all-animal audience, but otherwise set amidst dusty western hills, the play sends intrepid Gracie Pearl to town in a desperate search. There she finds that evil Bigglebottom, the banker, has seized the Golden Goose, tricked Rumpelstiltskin into a violent departure, sicced his trio of bears onto Goldilocks and for good measure tied three pigs to the railroad tracks for nonpayment of housing loans. None of these figures play any significant role, however; they just act as filler until, when the banker returns to claim his due, Gracie Pearl fights back so hard that the ground cracks and up comes a "black gold" gusher. Rebuses in the text provide visual cues for hissing and cheering, but Goodell's elaborately detailed scenes will likely be a stronger draw for young readers. A good try nonetheless, and a natural for fans of the likes of Lisa Wheeler's operetta Seadogs (2004), "staged" by Mark Siegel. (Picture book. 7-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781561453627
  • Publisher: Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 2/28/2006
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 966,809
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD740L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

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