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The Three Sillies
     

The Three Sillies

5.0 1
by Steven Kellogg
 

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Inspired by an 1890s folktale, THE THREE SILLIES has been reinvented by popular author-artist Steven Kellogg as a deliriously outrageous comedy.

Once upon a time, a gentleman set out to court a farmer's daughter. But, as this gentleman soon discovers, the farmer, his wife, and their daughter are all hopelessly silly. The three of them cry a roomful of tears

Overview

Inspired by an 1890s folktale, THE THREE SILLIES has been reinvented by popular author-artist Steven Kellogg as a deliriously outrageous comedy.

Once upon a time, a gentleman set out to court a farmer's daughter. But, as this gentleman soon discovers, the farmer, his wife, and their daughter are all hopelessly silly. The three of them cry a roomful of tears one day, all because they start a-thinking that the gentleman and the daughter may get married and have a baby boy, and that boy might one day be donked on the head by a falling mallet. Indeed, the gentleman is flabbergasted by their silliness. "I shall set out traveling," he announces, "and when I can find three sillies who are even sillier than you three, I¹ll come back and marry your daughter." Could three sillier sillies exist in all the land? Will the gentleman find them? Is it possible that the gentleman himself is the sillier silly he seeks?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Kellogg (Paul Bunyan; Johnny Appleseed) here serves up a rollicking farce inspired by a selection from Joseph Jacobs's 19th-century English Fairy Tales, with roots in the Brothers Grimm's "Clever Else." The narrative tells of a gentleman who is courting a farmer's daughter. When first the suitor's sweetheart, then her parents, disappear into the cellar one by one, he discovers the trio "A-sobbing and a-screeching and a-swimming in the cellar full of cider" (for quite a silly reason). He then sets out on horseback to "find three sillies who are even sillier than you three," and after he does, he returns to marry the daughter. Kellogg exploits the oddball scenarios to the fullest as he portrays an old woman trying to boost her cow onto her cottage roof ("to eat the weeds that were a-growing there") and a group of "a-whining, a-whimpering, and a-wailing" villagers who, spying the moon's reflection in a pond, believe it has tumbled from the sky. His riotous ink and watercolor illustrations spill over with preposterous particulars, including the antics and wisecracks of assorted opinionated animals. Presented in balloons, rhyming commentary from a boisterous chorus of townsfolk adds to the cheerful mayhem. Ages 5-10. (Nov.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
Inspired by a 19th-century fairy tale, this story features a gentleman who sets out to find three sillies even sillier than the family whose daughter he is courting. PW called it "a rollicking farce." Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Carolyn Mott Ford
The author credits a classic English fairy tale and folklore with inspiring his retelling of this story about a silly farmer, his silly wife and their silly daughter. A wealthy gentleman comes a-courting and the daughter thinks he is quite handsome. The daughter is sent to the cellar to draw cider for the guest and as she turns on the tap, she begins to imagine that a disaster may occur if she marries. As she is a-thinking, she forgets about the cider. Her parents come down to the cellar and, when she tells them her fears, they join her in a-crying. Soon the cellar is a-wash in cider and tears. The gentleman comes down to check on the family and he laughs at their far-fetched notions. He declares that they are silly, but he will set out to find three sillies even sillier and, when he does, he will return and marry the daughter. The illustrations are captioned in cartoon style and will probably provoke laughter from youngsters as they read of the silly shenanigans of the various characters encountered in the quest for the silliest of the silly.
Library Journal - Library Journal
K-Gr 3-In this zany retelling of a familiar folktale, a suitor discovers that his potential betrothed and her family suffer from a severe affliction of the sillies. He sets out on a journey, promising to return only if he can find three people sillier than they are. In rapid succession, he meets an old woman who insists on grazing her cow on the roof, a man with a highly unusual way of donning his trousers, and an entire village of moonstruck fools. He returns to marry and suffers a near (but predictable) tragedy; a resultant pint-sized silly promises a lifetime of outrageous adventures. Kellogg's ink-and-watercolor illustrations are wonderfully suited to the goofy goings-on. From full-page spreads to small boxed action sequences, the bumptious characters and talking animals engage in glorious mayhem. The many visual references to previous stories by Kellogg will delight fans. While the telling itself is simple and straightforward, the dialogue balloons and plentiful asides add greatly to the humor. Kathryn Hewitt's porcine version (Harcourt, 1989) and Paul Galdone's classic (Clarion, 1981) are sedate compared to this rollicking good time. Best shared one-on-one so the myriad details will not be missed.-Carol Ann Wilson, Westfield Memorial Library, NJ Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763610562
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
08/09/2004
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
8.12(w) x 11.75(h) x 0.20(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Steven Kellogg has illustrated more than 90 picture books. Among his most recent awards are: the Regina Medal and the New England Book Award for humor in children's literature, and the New England Booksellers Award. About THE THREE SILLIES, Steven Kellogg says, "This is a story that mischievously illuminates human pomposity and folly. In both literature and life, a dash of humor provides perspective and delight. It was a pleasure to retell and illustrate this bizarre and insightful tale with its welcome invitation to laughter." Steven Kellogg lives in Essex, New York, and Sandy Hook, Connecticut.

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The Three Sillies 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
LADYJCF More than 1 year ago
My son enjoys reading this book over an over sometimes he will fall asleep with the book in his hand.