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Clever Beatrice: An Upper Peninsula Conte Hardcover – September 1, 2001


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Clever Beatrice: An Upper Peninsula Conte + A Clever Beatrice Christmas + Clever Beatrice and the Best Little Pony
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 470L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers; 1st edition (September 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689832540
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689832543
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #965,502 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

He may be massive and burly, but this rich giant of the north woods is no match for tiny, whip-smart Beatrice. Determined to dupe the big guy out of his gold coins in order to put porridge on her poor mother's table, Beatrice proposes a match of strength. Amused, the giant agrees, only to be hoodwinked again and again by the wee lass.

Margaret Willey's clever version of the classic brains vs. brawn yarn rises above and beyond the garden-variety fairy tale by virtue of Heather Solomon's stunning, unusual illustrations. Incorporating photo scraps of flowers and wood grain into her watercolor, oil, and acrylic paintings, Solomon creates richly textured visions of the upper peninsula of Michigan. Especially magical are the portrayals of men fishing, mining, and logging in the densely wooded northern landscape. We can only hope that this, Solomon's first venture into picture books, is just the beginning of a long, prolific career. (Ages 5 to 9) --Emilie Coulter

From Publishers Weekly

First-time illustrator Solomon makes an impressive debut in this winning tale of a spunky girl who matches her wits against a giant's brawn to save her family from destitution. Combining detailed watercolor and collage, the artist works patches of photographed tree bark, flowers, earth and grass into her paintings, creating a world in which realism blends with fantasy images to magical effect. Slender logs frame some of the pictures; in others, Beatrice and the giant appear as silhouettes against a white background. While some readers may find the heroine's cheekiness off-putting, others will admire her confidence and creative problem-solving as she tricks the giant into conceding each bet, in spite of his superior strength. Such humorous moments as when the girl wraps a rope around the giant's well and says, "I am not going to bother carrying those buckets one by one.... I would sooner pull out the whole well," are sure to amuse readers, as will the good-natured tone of the battle, which leaves the giant "smiling to himself, feeling lucky" despite his losses. Willey's engaging tale of her sharp-witted heroine's courage, enhanced by Solomon's inspired illustrations, is clever indeed. Ages 4-8.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


More About the Author

Margaret Willey grew up in a lakeside town in Michigan, the eldest daughter in a family of eleven children. Reading stories and poems to her younger brothers and sisters led her to a life of writing stories and poems for young readers. She is the author of many young adult novels, most recently FOUR SECRETS (Carolrhoda Lab 2012)as well as picture books with an emphasis on folktales. She is the author of the CLEVER BEATRICE series, as well as THE 3 BEARS AND GOLDILOCKS (Atheneum 2008). She has received many honors for her books, including The Charlotte Zolotow Award and the Anne Izard Storytellers Choice Award. In 2010 she was given the GWEN FROSTIC AWARD from the Michigan Reading Association, an award for impacting literacy in her state. She continues to write for both teens and younger readers. Find out more about Margaret at www.margaretwilley.com

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "jharp01" on February 5, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I LOVE the beautiful illustrations in this book! They're full of rich color and details. The technique of combining watercolors and collage makes for an interesting look. I also enjoy the fun story where a little girl outwits a large giant, and yet both feel lucky at the story's end. This book is definitely a winner!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gordon McWhorter on June 12, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Childrens books are a dime a dozen, but every now and then you get one that hits home. Clever Beatrice hits home every time I get one and then give it to a friend to read and never see it again, so I get another one, and without fail I've got to share it knowing full well I'll never get it back!

That's what you do with Classics.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Blankenship HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on November 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
Beatrice outwits a not so clever giant in this tale of the North country. The story is told as a folk tale and the illustrations go right along with the simple story line are are quite able to stand alone. I enjoy this particular style of story telling and this particular style of art. The kids at school seem to enjoy not only reading it but having it read to them. It leaves great openings for discussion. All in all, recommend this one highly.
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By Heather Dowell on November 10, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Clever Beatrice was an easy read. I really enjoyed it. Beatrice was a clever character and I was on pins and needles waiting to see how she would trick the giant. I liked that there was a little bit of background for the character. She wanted to support her family, but she was too young to chop lumber. Her mother said that they only other way to get money would be to trick the giant.

Beatrice is desperate, so she goes to the top of the hill and finds the giant. He likes to bet on his strength, so she allows him the opportunity. She never even has to do any of the tasks because she makes him believe that he will be at a loss if she is successful, so he just gives her the money.

Once she has left him high and dry, she returns home.

I loved the illustrations for the book and the book was easy to follow along. I like how creative the author was will the bets and this is the kind of book that I would read to children. However, I think it would be good to point out that lying to get things is not a good thing.
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Format: Hardcover
I love trickster tales and this one, with a young girl in the starring role, is a treat. Set in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Beatrice decides she needs to help her mother by earning some money. There are only 2 options: lumbering and gambling with the giant who lives on the other side of the woods. Beatrice heads for the giant. Fortunately, she's a clever little girl; equally fortunately, the giant is not clever at all. She makes bets that she can pound on his front door harder than he can, that she can carry more water from the well than he can, that she can throw an iron bar farther than he can. And she wins! This story is going to get lots of reading in my Michigan school.
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By Ulyyf on September 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
And poor, of course (they're always poor, have you noticed?), at least, she is until she heads up to bet her strength against a giant.

Let's see... little girl... big giant - yeah, the giant thinks this is really funny too. Pity he's not as clever as she is. Through intelligence and plain old chutzpah, Beatrice convinces the giant three times that if she competes she's bound to destroy his property, so she wins her bets three times and goes home relatively wealthy. Not bad, not bad at all.
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