After an Old English Folktale
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Age Range: 4 - 8
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A felonious witch and a ingenious young boy match wits in this latest folktale from Wahl (Rosa’s Parrot, p. 307, etc.). Johnny, too small yet to do chores with his father, assists his mother by bringing the buttermilk to town, earning the moniker “Little Johnny Buttermilk.” Danger looms in the guise of a villainous crone who covets Johnny’s burden. Waylaid by the devious hag, Johnny refuses to relinquish his milk, causing the witch to decide that he will make a tasty addition to her meal. Concerned about a purchase she left in town (ironically, she’s afraid someone will steal it), she leaves the sack containing Johnny and his milk by the side of the road and he promptly escapes. Due to a clever refilling of the sack, the witch doesn’t discover Johnny’s defection until she returns home. Relying on his ingenuity, Johnny continues to elude and eventually best the witch. Mazzucco’s lively illustrations are an integral part of the story; her comical depiction of the action and sly incorporation of a cat and mouse into nearly every scene heap measures of fun into the witty retelling. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-87483-559-3
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: August House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1999