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Doctor All-Knowing: A Folk Tale from the Brothers Grimm (Richard Jackson Books (Atheneum Hardcover)) Hardcover – October 28, 2008

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 6 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 1
  • Series: Richard Jackson Books (Atheneum Hardcover)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books (October 28, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416912460
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416912460
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 11 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,286,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 3—In this retelling of a Grimm tale, the peasant Crayfish and his scrawny young daughter, Maggie, face another supper of watery porridge. The scene contrasts with the smorgasbord being consumed by a doctor to whom they deliver a load of wood. Envious of this lifestyle, Crayfish follows the man's advice to purchase an alphabet book, a suit, and a sign that reads, "Doctor All-Knowing." He and Maggie are soon invited to dinner by an even wealthier man who asks Crayfish to reveal the identity of the thief who had stolen his money. As happens in the mayhem of fairy tales, a parade of guilty servants and a sequence of misinterpreted comments by the clueless Crayfish lead to the recovery of the treasure and just rewards. Boiger's expressive caricatures register a range of emotions from paternal concern to melodramatic groveling. Her carefully designed compositions and varying perspectives cue viewers to subtle meanings, as when father and daughter appear as long, thin shadows in a patch of sunlight near the rotund doctor's bounty. Orgel's balance of descriptive language, humor, and clarity perfectly suits the intended audience. A note explains that she changed the original by replacing the protagonist's wife with a daughter, a wise decision that causes the drama to be more about hunger than money and allows for a food-filled happy ending. Children will revel in this little-known story in which everyone wins.—Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library
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From Booklist

Adapted from the Grimms’ fairy tale sometimes called “Doctor Know-all,” this amusing story tells of Crayfish, a poor man who longs to give his daughter fine meals instead of watery porridge. Following the advice of a prosperous local doctor, he sells what little he has to buy an alphabet book, a suit, and a sign saying “Doctor All-Knowing” to place above his door. A wealthy neighbor sees the sign and asks the “doctor” to tell him who has stolen his money. Through a series of coincidences, Crayfish succeeds. In the introductory “Retellers Note,” Orgel explains why she changed the story somewhat, making the wife character into a daughter. The book’s large format gives plenty of scope for the dramatic illustrations. Consistent in style, yet varied in size, composition, and perspective, the watercolor paintings use comic exaggeration to good effect. Vivid in both the telling and art, this child-friendly edition of the tale is a fine choice for reading aloud. Preschool-Grade 2. --Carolyn Phelan

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Yana V. Rodgers on January 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Crayfish, a hard-working peasant, and his daughter Maggie were so poor that they could only eat watery porridge, nothing else. Their desire to improve their lot in life led to an opportunity for Crayfish to pose as a doctor named All-Knowing. As luck would have it, a very rich but dim-witted nobleman needed the assistance of an all-knowing advisor to tell him who had stolen his money. How would Crayfish, who could not even read, live up to the demands of his new doctoring profession and help the nobleman to recover his fortune?

With its amusing and expressive illustrations, this version of one of the Brothers Grimm lesser-known fables will hold young children spellbound as they wonder how Crayfish will get out of such a dire predicament. The book makes a good choice for parents and teachers seeking fiction-based resources to talk with children about poverty, scarcity, and work.
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By Big Book Nut on December 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Doctor All-Knowing is a must-have classic!
Doris Orgel has done a fabulous job retelling this clever and funny, but little known, Grimm's tale. Children will cheer for the poor and starving Maggie and her father, and delight in the way they save the day and win their fortune.
Alexandra Boiger's illustrations are rich, sumptuous and full of old world European charm. (Note the page showing the doctor eating a mouth-watering meal in his wood paneled room, with the long and skinny shadows of Maggie and her father framed in the doorway -- it's a masterpiece!) Boiger's characters are at times sympathetic, at times laugh-out-loud funny, and always beautifully rendered. Keep your eye on her -- she is one of the most exciting and talented new artists in the world of children's books.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sandysandsand on April 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is so cute! I would totally recommend this book to the young and old at heart. This is a must buy for any bookshelf.
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