THE STRAW MAID by Anita Lobel


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Identified on the jacket as an ""old tale"" renewed, this is the story of a poor little peasant girl who lives with her parents in a thatched-roofed cottage ""at the edge of a big forest."" When the cupboard is bare the little girl, like Jack of the beanstalk, sets off to market to sell the family cow. The girl, though, is kidnapped by robbers who lock her up in their house to clean and cook for them while they go out every day to steal. She finally escapes by covering herself with honey and feathers and jumping out the window with a pillow case of robbed treasure. The returning robbers, passing what they believe to be a strange bird, go in to demand dinner of a large straw doll the girl has dressed in her own clothing. The robbers' gullible reaction, attacking the unresponsive ""maid"" and then accusing each other of killing her as the straw files, may seem simply far-fetched in this literal easy-reading description. But Lobel's charming pictures of the little girl's bird disguise and her smartly decorative, amusingly eloquent deployment of the trio of robbers strengthen the anecdote.

Pub Date: March 14th, 1983
Publisher: Greenwillow