THE OLD WOMAN AND THE RICE THIEF by Betsy--Adapt. Bang

THE OLD WOMAN AND THE RICE THIEF

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

En route to complain to the Raja of the thief who nightly steals her rice (it's a mouse, as the pictures reveal), Bang's old Indian woman meets in turn a scorpion-fish, a wood-apple, a razor, a cowpat, and an alligator. Each one, in the same words, asks her where she is going, and to each she repeats her story; all five exchanges end with the unlikely interlocutor saying ""On your way home, take me with you and you will be glad that you did."" Well, she does and she is, for when the mouse-thief returns he is stung by the scorpion-fish and the oven-heated wood-apple, then he slips on the cowpat, lands on the razor, and is bitten by the alligator. Perhaps readers will consider all this commotion reward enough for sitting through the five identical conversations, but it's so obviously, mechanically a put-up job that this old woman's journey hasn't the bounce of the Bangs' earlier Bengali folk tale, The Old Woman and the Red Pumpkin. To brighten the way, Molly Garret Bang fills the pages with Indian sights and motifs, but here her intense hues and unfocused compositions are more distracting than supportive.

Pub Date: Feb. 27th, 1978
Publisher: Greenwillow