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The Goat-Faced Girl Hardcover – October 15, 2009


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"I Don't Like Koala" by Sean Ferrell and Charles Santoso
This darkly funny debut picture book celebrates imagination and bravery while addressing the dilemma: what to do about that stuffed animal who won’t stop staring. See more
$14.02 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 3 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 and up
  • Grade Level: 1 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 910L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: David R Godine; 1 edition (October 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1567923933
  • ISBN-13: 978-1567923933
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 8.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #438,789 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

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

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
5 star
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4 star
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See all 11 customer reviews
The perfect antidote to MTV!
Nesta Rovina
The book is printed on beautiful paper with elegant typography, and little painted icons add to the design.
Kathleen C. Howell
The story has a great message, but is also very entertaining (adults will enjoy it too!)
Lisa B. Goldstein

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By B.A. LeChat on November 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The Goat-Faced Girl is a gem. A clever narrative based on an Italian tale of yesteryear, this loving tale is strengthened by accompanying artwork that can be appreciated by parent and child alike. As I've read and re-read this book with my sons (ages 6 and 4) it seems that with each reading a revelation is unearthed. Unlike other books that my sons have been drawn to, I don't dread when they pull The Goat-Faced Girl from the shelf for their bedtime reading. Perhaps this endorsement rings hollow to those not engaged in the evening pre-bed book ritual. To those who know, well, you know....

As it relates to the genre of children's books, I've come to accept that while a story may be solid, the accompanying art work may not, and vice versa. This is most certainly not the case with The Goat-Faced Girl, and in fact the synergy between the written and artistic creativity that defines this book may stem from the fact that illustrator and narrator are indeed, mother and daughter. Perhaps genetics explains the visual and textual woven artistry of The Goat-Faced Girl, or, and more likely, this book is simply very good and belongs alongside children's classics such as The Giving Tree.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Elyse M. Friedman on November 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There's no stick-in-the-mud preachinness in this cleverly told and beautifully illustrated version of a venerable Italian folktale.

With gently pointed humor, Leah Marinsky Sharpe narrates the story of a strikingly attractive foundling girl whose one flaw--laziness--derails her fairy-tale progress to the royal throne. With her magically-gifted mother's not-so-subtle intervention, the girl's naturally sweet nature overcomes her blindness to reality, and like all good fairy tales, this one treats us to a surprise ending that makes us smile.

Jane Marinsky's extravagantly lush paintings and "incidental" illustrations substantiate the message of The Goat-Faced Girl, making the book a satisfyingly delicious treat for "children of all ages."
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen C. Howell on October 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book is a gem. Mother and daughter team, illustrator Jane Marinsky, and author Leah Sharp, have created a charmingly witty interpretation of "The Goat Faced Girl" for today's children. Universal themes of "lazy" and "shallow" are given a fresh, frank approach, with a twist at the end. The fact that Marinsky's glowing oil paintings are set in medieval times, makes the tale funnier, and compliments the fluid text. There are lots of design elements in the beautiful illustrations that make them intriguing to look at, and imaginative character development adds personality. The book is printed on beautiful paper with elegant typography, and little painted icons add to the design. The heroine triumphs in a way that will delight parents and amuse kids. A perfect gift book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alana Digiacomo on December 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the best children's book that has come along in years. The clever story and the striking illustrations complement each other perfectly and the story is both entertaining and thoughtful, making it a great read for children of all ages, and for the adults who are reading to children. It's memorable story and pictures are reminiscent of the classic A Chair for My Mother. That book has stayed in my head for 30 years, and I am sure that this book will do the same! I am buying it for every kid I know.

Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lisa B. Goldstein on December 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I am a youth librarian, and I would definitely recommend this book as a readaloud for younger children (pre-K - 1st grade), and an independent read for older ones (1-3 grade). The gorgeous illustrations were painted in a wide array of vivid colors, and the lively story takes the traditions of fairy tales and gives them a few sardonic and feminist twists. The story has a great message, but is also very entertaining (adults will enjoy it too!) Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nesta Rovina on March 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
What a delightful book. The illustrations and the text make for perfect companions. I find myself looking at the illustrations again and again, always finding a new delight. The fable is perfect for our times, I want to read it to all the little girls I know. The perfect antidote to MTV!

It makes the perfect gift for all girls, including those who are girls no longer, but are still young at heart!
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