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Clay Boy Hardcover – May 30, 1997
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From School Library Journal
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From The New Yorker
Top Customer Reviews
What is it about most traditional East European folk tales? They nearly always have a sinister, sometimes scary story line. "Clay Boy" is no exception.
The concept of a clay boy that comes to life is very reminiscent of Pinocchio. An elderly couple known as Grandpa and Grandma are lonely now that their children have grown up. The clay boy is to become their child substitute.
There is one big problem when he comes alive. He is insatiably hungry. He eats and eats, and he grows and grows until he ate all the food in the house. "More More" he cries.
Now things get a little macabre. He's seen gulping down whole live chickens, and then the geese, cat and dog are consumed. Then it's Grandma and Grandpa's turn to be on the menu.
By now, Clay Boy is of giant proportions. In one bite, he eats a man, a wagon, a horse and a load of hay. GULP!
He is still unsatisfied, after swallowing everybody in the village.
But then, he meets his match.
A very cunning goat (check out the face on this Billy) offers to jump straight into Clay Boy's mouth, but on one condition: Clay Boy has to close his eyes.
The goat took a great leap straight at the big fat belly. Clay Boy broke into a hundred pieces and all the people and animals that he had swallowed tumbled out. The goat was the hero of the village and had his horns painted gold. Such rejoicing!
No explicit moral is given in this story. But what does this folk tale tell us? Will insatiable greed and endless consumption lead only to annihilation?
There is also a modern message here. Now that most of us live far removed from our parent's homes, perhaps we should spend more time with our folks so they don't get lonely.Read more ›
For me though seeing the book again just brought me back to that time spent at the library with my son.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Beautiful illustrations and a well told version of a classic story. My kids love it. (5 and 2.5)Published 10 months ago by Sarah Lefton
We read this over and over. The kids are fascinated by this tale.Published 12 months ago by Joyce R.
I'm a preschool teacher and my students love this book! They need to read it atleast two times a day!Published on September 14, 2013 by Ms.V
I work with elementary school children and they absolutely love this story. The suspense quickly builds. Grandpa and grandma make a boy out of clay. Boy comes to life. Read morePublished on July 7, 2013 by Beatrice D Chris
This adapted Russian Folktale- Gingerbread man with a malicious twist!- ranks as one of my all time favorite children's stories, and having taught early elementary for 18 years,... Read morePublished on September 10, 2010 by PuroShaggy
In a way, this is a dark little fable, filled with pathos - lonely oldsters create a child for themselves, but the disruption of the natural order nearly destroys them and their... Read morePublished on June 15, 2009 by Julie G. Murray
I loved the illustrations, but I thought the overall book was kind of scary for kids, but my son (4 years old) doesn't seem to notice and loves it.Published on May 11, 2009 by Stephanie Fox