From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3-A bold thief has been sneaking into Old Granny's house to steal from her pot of beans. After three straight nights of pilfering, she decides to enlist the sheriff's aid. On her way into town, she crosses the path of a talking alligator, snake, cactus, pecan, and cow patty, all of which offer to help her stop the thief. Since the sheriff has gone fishing, Old Granny accepts their offer. She totes the absurd assortment of helpers back home, arranges them around the house as they ask, and bids them all good night. When the sneaky bean thief returns after dark, the fortuitously placed characters scare, smack, slip, prick, and bite him in turn, driving him away forever. DeFelice puts a Southwestern twist on an old folk motif in this tale that's reminiscent of "Jack and the Animals" or "The Nung-Gwama." The down-home narrative is folksy and fun to read aloud, particularly Granny's refrain, "In a pig's eye! My, oh, my!" Smith uses a Southwestern palette in her cartoon-style paintings, setting Granny and friends against dusty pink mesas and a slate blue sky. Each of the helpers-down to the tiny pecan-is endowed with bright eyes and a broad smile. The story is sure to be an easy sell with primary graders (what child can resist a grinning, talking cow patty?) and a welcome addition to storytimes.Eve Ortega, Cypress Library, CA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
K-Gr. 2. Old Granny lives alone, way outside of town, but she's got her beans always cooking, and she's pretty content. So, when a thief starts stealing her beans, she's mighty angry. She hightails it to the sheriff, and on the way meets an odd assortment of talkers: a snake, a pecan, a prickly pear cactus, an alligator, even a cow patty. They exhort her to take them home, but she strongly demurs, "In a pig's eye!" When she gets to town, however, and finds the sheriff gone, she picks up the group on the way home. Strategically placing themselves around the house--the alligator in the pond, the snake in the soaking beans, the cow patty on the front step, etc.--they capture the bean thief, a very surprised raccoon. Using a cheerful Southwestern palette, Bowman Smith cleverly captures the sassy tone of DeFelice's folksy telling. Children will be amused by Granny and her remarkable posse. GraceAnne DeCandidoCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved