From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Grade 2–4—This story is based on an Italian folktale by the same name, which can be found in Andrew Lang's The Grey Fairy Book
(Kessinger, 2004). In a forest where foundlings appear every third Thursday, a large lizard discovers a baby girl. Transforming herself into a beautiful woman in a hooded garment with the same markings as her lizard skin, she raises the child as her own. Isabella grows into a very beautiful, very lazy young woman and falls in love with equally lazy Prince Rupert. Knowing that such a marriage will be disastrous, the lizard-lady gives her daughter the head of a goat. Stunned at the sight of her, Prince Rupert invents three tasks to postpone their marriage. She must grow turnips, prepare a feast worthy of royalty, and make herself a gorgeous gown. Working hard at each task, she regains her former beauty and realizes that the lazy prince has only valued her appearance. She ditches him, learns a little sorcery from her mother, and gives him a chicken head under his crown. Laziness replaces ingratitude, and self-reliance becomes a virtue. Full-color paintings done in rich hues capture a long-ago-and-far-away ambiance that melds nicely with more modern sensibilities. This tale is a pleasure to read, and the illustrations are an absolute delight.—Mary Jean Smith, Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN
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Rich storytelling and intricately imagined artwork make this debut a standout. [. . .] Marinsky's paintings, in the chalky, sun-bleached colors of the Italian renaissance, contain many small pleasures: the woods and flowers of medieval tapestries, the goat-headed princess licking cupcake batter off her goat nose, and a portrait of the shallow prince's just fate. A must for anyone who would rather be a sorceress than a princess. --Publishers Weekly, starred review
The Goat-Faced Girl, a witty and richly illustrated retelling of an old Italian tale that will probably be new to most young American readers. Children ages 5-10 will relish Jane Marinsky's colorful, naïve-style paintings of Isabella learning to persevere, especially the image of her determinedly stirring a bowl of batter, unaware of the dab of chocolate on her goaty nose. --The Wall Street Journal
The Goat-Faced Girl: A Classic Italian Folktale is a spunky retelling of a traditional Italian folktale with a new emphasis on self-reliance, especially for lazy would-be princesses. Recast with a lizard-sorceress, a shallow prince, and an indolent heroine who is serenely unaware of her troubling penchant to switch heads with a goat. All turns out for the best, with some surprising twists. The Goat-Faced Girl is a refreshing new take on a sly old tale, beautifully embellished with stellar illustrations of great imagination. The Goat-Faced Girl will appeal to pre-teenagers as well as a younger audience age 6 and up. --Children's Bookwatch, Midwest Book Review