The Talking Vegetables

The Talking Vegetables

3.0 1
by Won-Ldy Paye, Margaret H. Lippert, Julie Paschkis
     
 

A wonderful folktale from the award-winning authors of Mrs. Chicken and the Hungry Crocodile

 

The villagers are planting a garden, but Spider refuses to help. He has plenty of rice to eat, so why should he do all that hard work? Then one day Spider gets tired of plain rice and decides to pick some of the delicious produce.

Overview

A wonderful folktale from the award-winning authors of Mrs. Chicken and the Hungry Crocodile

 

The villagers are planting a garden, but Spider refuses to help. He has plenty of rice to eat, so why should he do all that hard work? Then one day Spider gets tired of plain rice and decides to pick some of the delicious produce. Imagine his surprise when the vegetables start talking!

The talented team that created the award-winning titles Mrs. Chicken and the Hungry Crocodile and Head, Body, Legs join together once again for a laugh-out-loud funny Liberian story.

 

The Talking Vegetables is a 2007 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Jane Harrington
This retelling of a Liberian folk story features a very lazy spider who will not help his fellow villagers create a community garden. After repeated pleas from his neighbors (all animals painted in bright gouaches), and as many refusals, the garden comes to fruition without spider lifting a...leg. So, when he decides he wants to add some fresh vegetables to his dinner one night, the spider is surprised to find the veggies physically and verbally resisting his attempts to pick them. Exhausted and frightened by the rambunctious biota, he eventually gives up and goes home to eat his usual bowl of plain rice. Paschkis' colorful, childlike illustrations will appeal to young kids, and all readers familiar with Anansi tales will enjoy the likeness to the legendary African character. An "About the Story" introduction explains the real-life community garden tradition of Liberian villages. Paye, who is a Liberian storyteller, lends authenticity to this very fun book.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-From the Dan people of northeastern Liberia comes this traditional tale of lazy Spider (a character akin to Anansi), who refuses to help his neighbors clear the land for the village farm, plant seeds, or pull weeds. Later on, when Spider decides to pick some ripe vegetables to eat with his rice, the tomatoes, cucumbers, and pumpkins turn him away. ("Why do you think you can pick me when you didn't come to clear the land or plant my seeds or pull the weeds? Get out of here!" the tomato says.) Paschkis's brightly colored folk-art illustrations, similar to those in Head, Body, Legs: A Story from Liberia (Holt, 2002), show the villagers to be an elephant, a hen, a crocodile, a leopard, a monkey, a snake, and a butterfly. Some of these animals are shown hiding among the talking vegetables, whose unfriendly faces convince Spider to run home and eat his rice plain. Read aloud, this simple but solid moralistic tale will delight youngsters and make them want to participate in the telling.-Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In a lightly buffed up version of a Dan tale first offered in their Why Leopard Has Spots (1998), a Liberian storyteller and his co-writer gently tweak a lazy trickster. Spider repeatedly refuses to join his neighbors as they band together to clear, plant and weed the collective farm. Nonetheless, he later goes out to claim a share of the harvest to supplement his diet of plain rice-and the vegetables themselves indignantly drive him away: "You didn't help make the farm. Go away!" In playful, semi-abstract illustrations, stylized figures float across monochrome backgrounds. The sinuous, deep black spider's fellow villagers are all animals decked out in bright colors and patterns (a blue elephant, a checkerboard crocodile), and Paschkis gives the garden vegetables large, comically offended expressions. There's no explicit moral, but the point's not going to escape many readers. A good choice for group sharing-along with, say, Angela Shelf Medearis's Too Much Talk (1995), illus by Stefano Vitale, or any version of "The Little Red Hen." (source note) (Picture book/folktale. 6-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780805077421
Publisher:
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date:
10/03/2006
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.24(w) x 10.24(h) x 0.35(d)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Won-Ldy Paye is a storyteller from the Dan people of northeastern Liberia. He now lives in Hartford, Connecticut.

Margaret H. Lippert is a teacher and storyteller who lives on Mercer Island, Washington.

Julie Paschkis has illustrated many books for young readers. She lives in Seattle, Washington.

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The Talking Vegetables 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
lulu1973 More than 1 year ago
We received this hardcover children's book as a gift for our then 1 year old. We didn't start reading to her until she was about 15 months old. At first she wasn't interested and we didn't really enjoy reading it either - it seems to kinda end on the stranger side (abruptly). The message, however is a great one - help out your community. Meanwhile, now she loves taking the book off the shelf and looking at the illustrations. I will see her in her room leafing thru the pages and really enjoying herself. So, in the end I am glad it is part of our children's collection.