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The Legend of the Jersey Devil Hardcover – July 1, 2013


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Product Details

  • Grade Level: 2 - 5
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press (July 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585368377
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585368372
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 9.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #255,867 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 2-4–Legend has it that Mother Leeds gave birth to the Jersey Devil, her monstrous 13th child, on a Halloweeen night some 300 years ago. The Devil, complete with a forked tail, the hooves of a goat, horns growing out of its head, bat's wings, and glowing eyes, is said to haunt the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey, frightening lone travelers and livestock, souring milk, and stealing pies. Noble does a capable job of capturing the atmosphere of the setting, with its black swamps and murky bogs. She conveys enough of the details of the Devil's alleged activities to make the tale deliciously spooky, omitting some of the more grisly possibilities. Kelley reinforces the spookiness with effective use of light and shadow, although his people too often verge on cartoon caricature, so that facial expressions that are supposed to reflect fear and terror seem laughable instead. There is little available for this age group on this folklore character, making this is a serviceable addition for those feeling the need to have him represented in their collections. There are no source notes.–Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

The source of countless stories, movies, and TV show episodes, the Jersey Devil is one of those creatures cryptozoologists can never quite pin down—though few of its origin stories are as delectable as this one, supposedly told in the Pine Barrens area for nearly 300 years. It’s 1735, almost Halloween, and rumored witch Mother Leeds is giving birth to her thirteenth child. “Oh let it be a devil!” she screams. Like that, a hideous creature with a forked tail is born and goes darting up the chimney. Soon it is being blamed for all sorts of local misfortune, and breathless sightings of a flying, horse-headed beast become rampant. “Devil hunters” arrive to make the bounty offered for the monster and are only dispatched by the Devil when the townsfolk agree to accept the abomination as their own. Much like the story of Sleepy Hollow, the folktale’s plotlessness contributes to its authenticity and spookiness, and Kelley’s scarily exaggerated, underlit, and perpetually frightened villagers make nicely fearful foes for our fire-breathing beast. Ideal for Halloween. Grades 2-4. --Daniel Kraus

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The windows in the little cottages twinkled with light as the darkened sky sparkled with lightning bolts. Boom! Soon it would be time, time for Mother Leeds to give birth to her thirteenth child. It was 1835 and the British Crown still ruled over New Jersey, the place where the new baby would be born on that dark and stormy night. Essie Turnbuckle and Hattie Higbee were on their way to Mother Leeds's, but they were frightened. "'Tis rumored she dabbles in witchcraft," Essie exclaimed, "but we must help." Halloween would soon be upon them, but a nightmarish creature would arrive even sooner.

Mother Leeds began to howl, "Oh, let it be a devil!" The skies lit up with lighting once again and with "a clap of thunder, Mother Leeds's thirteenth child was born ... but it was no ordinary child!" A hideous critter circled the room and escaped up the chimney. The prophecy had come true and a devil was among the people. The Jersey Devil sat in a tree overlooking the village as he "surveyed his new lair with its black swamps, dark woods, and murky bogs." Ah, what kind of mischief lay in store for the villagers when the Jersey Devil would make himself known?

This is an amazingly fun and spooky folklore tale of the infamous Jersey Devil that youngsters will love. This tale has just the right amount of spookiness to it without being scary. The stunning artwork carries with it a touch of humor with the caricatures of the Jersey Devil and those villagers he wants to scare. This folktale is of Native American origin and Trinka Hakes Noble gives it a nice breath of fresh air that young people will enjoy. If you need a new, fascinating folktale for your shelves just in time for Halloween, this is a good one!

Ages 6 - 10

This book courtesy of the publisher.
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By Russell White on January 12, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was purchased as a party favor for a group of people who share a fanatical interest in all things Jersey Devil.While they all seemed to enjoy recieving said book, I did not find it to be of significant interest to the general reading public.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I got sick of checking this book out at the library for my four year old son so I decided it was time to buy it, great quality & delivery time.
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By Bonnie on December 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The pictures are awesome! We live in the pine barrens and collect jersey devil things. This is a great addition to our book collection!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Camille Griffin on January 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If I were rating this book based solely on my own reactions, I would have given it a four- or five-star rating. The artwork is breathtaking and the story well told. But I bought three copies for three families of grandchildren, and their reactions were mixed. My daughter told me that both the pictures and the narrative were too frightening for her eight-year-old, though her six-year-old might like it. My son didn't say how his daughters (5 and 8) reacted. We spent Christmas with our youngest son, and his six-year-old was just not interested. I attempted on several occasions to read it to her, but her other gifts were too fascinating to put them down for a book.
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