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KNOCK! KNOCK! by Jan Wahl


by Jan Wahl & illustrated by Mary Newell DePalma

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-8050-6280-7
Publisher: Henry Holt

This take on a traditional tale promises a surprise ending but does not deliver “gotcha” that readers will expect. Witch Ella La Grimble sits at her spinning wheel wishing for company when there comes a knock knock at the door. First, great big feet arrive. “But feet are not much company.” Then, with more knocks, “teeny weeny legs,” “huge fat hips,” an “itty bitty waist” . . . all parts of a giant’s body (clad in a kilt so his hairy knees show) arrive and take their proper places. But, “a waist is not much company. . . . Shoulders are not much company.” Finally there’s a menacing and threatening person in place, but why has he come? “For YOU, witch, for you . . . to keep you company!” Watercolors portray the giant that has come as hairy and strange as one might picture, but it’s Ella, with her curly red hair, and the final picture of the giant in fuzzy pink slippers that will charm readers. And the twist will make them laugh at least once. The illustrations, with their exaggerated perspectives and spooky shadows, seal the deal. (Picture book. 4-8)