Books by Margaret Read MacDonald

THE WISHING FOXES by Margaret Read MacDonald
Released: April 15, 2017

"Welcome wherever folk tales are popular. (Picture book/folk tale. 4-8)"
MacDonald and the Whitmans offer an Appalachian version of "The Kind and the Unkind Girls." Read full book review >
PARTY CROC! by Margaret Read MacDonald
Released: March 1, 2015

"The importance of keeping promises is delivered with a hearty dose of humor, making this a book to return to. (Picture book/folk tale. 4-8)"
A jolly Zimbabwean folk tale teaches the importance of keeping promises. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2011

"MacDonald's lively retelling of this folktale is bound to fascinate kids; after all, who can resist a tale with a snot-nosed boy? (source note) (Picture book/folktale. 4-8)"
This Japanese variant of "The Fisherman and His Wife" features a poor flower seller and a snot-nosed boy. Read full book review >
TOO MANY FAIRIES by Margaret Read MacDonald
Released: March 1, 2010

"Taken alone, master storyteller MacDonald's work shines. (Picture book/folklore. 4-6)"
The magic in this Celtic cognate to "It Could Always Be Worse," summoned by an old woman's complaints about her housework, comes in the shape of crazy-cleaning fairies, who, as soon as they have washed the dishes, swept the floor, made the bed and done the knitting, undo all their work so they can start again. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2009

"The telling is rich with a storyteller's voice and sound effects, while Valério's bright blues and yellows span the spreads with broad, brush strokes that mirror the setting of this symbiotic, ecology folktale. (source notes) (Picture book/folktale. 5-8)"
This third collaboration between author and illustrator (Conejito, 2006, and Go to Sleep, Gecko!, 2007) derives from Micronesia, specifically the Marshall Islands. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2009

"Engaging and filled with gentle humor—a solid choice for home or school use. (Picture book/folktale. 3-6)"
In this retelling of a traditional Middle Eastern folktale, silly Jouha can not understand why every time he sits on his donkey and counts the donkeys behind that are carting his figs to market, he loses one, making him a most unlucky man! Read full book review >
BAT’S BIG GAME by Margaret Read MacDonald
Released: April 1, 2008

When the Animals and the Birds square off for a soccer match, Bat decides that he wants to be on the winning side. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2007

"The endpapers depict each of the flowers along with their meanings, encouraging readers to return to the illustrations and the story in search of symbolic connections. (Picture book. 4-10)"
In this retelling of an English folktale with a Beauty and the Beast motif, a dog, having earned a reward for saving a man's life, claims the man's daughter as his prize. Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 2007

"Includes a note concerning other versions and similar folktales around the world. (Picture book. 4-7)"
In this retelling of a Hungarian folktale, an enterprising rooster discovers a diamond button while searching for food. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 1, 2007

"In contrast, this rendition is in fine fettle with its down-home cadence, rustic setting and spunky characterizations that resemble Marcia Sewell's style. (author's note, music for two songs) (Picture book/folktale. 3-6)"
When the old woman who lives in a little house on the hill finds a copper penny, she goes to town to buy a fat pig. Read full book review >
GO TO SLEEP, GECKO! by Margaret Read MacDonald
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

"Valério's bright acrylics, full of goofy grins and exaggerated noses, highlight the humor of this bouncy ecological fable. (Picture book. 3-7)"
A Balinese folktale begins one starry night when the gecko complains to the elephant, who is the village boss, that he can't sleep because of the blinking of the fireflies. Read full book review >
TEENY WEENY BOP by Margaret Read MacDonald
Released: April 1, 2006

"STOP!' (source note) (Picture book. 5-9)"
In this aptly illustrated version of a tale that folklorist/storyteller extraordinaire MacDonald has told for years, and even recorded, the title character is cast as a small woman with half-glasses, a tendency toward wide, exuberant gestures and—except for huge woolly red hair, a certain resemblance to the author. Read full book review >
CONEJITO by Margaret Read MacDonald
Released: April 1, 2006

"A lively, and less violent, variation on Betsy Bang's Bengali version, The Old Woman and the Red Pumpkin (1975), illustrated by Molly Garrett Bang. (source note) (Picture book/folktale. 6-8)"
MacDonald weaves context-translated Spanish and a simple campfire song into this easy-to-learn tale of a young rabbit who outwits three predators with some help from his canny Auntie. Read full book review >
TUNJUR! TUNJUR! TUNJUR! by Margaret Read MacDonald
Released: March 1, 2006

"The tale has an oral quality that makes it easy to read or tell with repetitive phrases and lively rhythms. (author's note) (Picture book/folktale. 6-9)"
After a childless woman prays for a child, a cooking pot (tunjara in Arabic, leading to the sound of a rolling pot, "Tunjur! Read full book review >
THE SQUEAKY DOOR by Margaret Read MacDonald
Released: Jan. 1, 2006

"A historical note on the origins of the tale is included in the end page. (Picture book. 3-6)"
An inventive grandma, a noisy door and a bevy of barnyard animals provide the perfect ingredients for a rib-tickling tale in this adaptation of a Puerto Rican folksong from MacDonald. Read full book review >
A HEN, A CHICK AND A STRING GUITAR by Margaret Read MacDonald
Released: May 1, 2005

"The colorful, folk-art style of the acrylic and pastel paintings echoes the simple, cheerful cacophony of the story. (audio CD) (Picture book. 2-6)"
Warning: This Chilean folktale-inspired read-aloud (and song) will have preschoolers oinking and mooing 'til the cows come home. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2004

A veteran tale-spinner offers about 80 retold traditional tales, with an occasional original slipped in, designed to fill the bill when times or attention spans are short. Read full book review >
FAT CAT by Margaret Read MacDonald
Released: Sept. 1, 2001

"As expected from this scholarly storyteller (The Storyteller's Sourcebook, etc.) there is a note identifying the motif of the tale and citing other variants. (Folktale. 4-7)"
Bright-color folk illustrations add zest and bounce to this tale told in many countries. Read full book review >
MABELA THE CLEVER by Margaret Read MacDonald
Released: May 1, 2001

"The tale is somewhat moralizing at the end—'Limba grandparents say, ‘If a person is clever, it is because someone has taught them their cleverness' '—but children will respond nevertheless to this plucky little heroine who saves herself by her wits. (Picture book/folktale. 4-8)"
"In the early times, some were clever and some were foolish. The Cat was one of the clever ones. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 20, 1999

"These humorous, profound, deceptively simple tales are a welcome addition to world literature collections. (Folklore. 7-9)"
paper 0-208-02426-3 Earth Care (xx pp.; $26.50; paper $17.50; Nov. 20; 0-208-02416-6; 0-20802426-3): Talkative animals and plants scheme to protect themselves, punish evildoers, and reward the compassionate in these charming folktales from around the world. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1995

"Excellent for reading aloud or alone. (Picture book/folklore. 7-10)"
This fluent British version of ``The Fisherman and His Wife'' features only two characters: a discontented old woman living in an uncommonly large vinegar bottle, and an obliging fairy who provides her with increasingly palatial housingbut sends her back where she came from when she demands to be Empress of the Universe. Read full book review >