HUGH CAN DO by Jennifer Armstrong


Age Range: 4 - 9
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 In an original tale with a folkloric lilt, a persistent orphan in need of a toll for the bridge to what he hopes will be good fortune goes on an ``Old Woman and Her Pig''-style quest: the Toll Man requests a loaf of bread; the baker asks Hugh to get his grain ground; the miller needs his apron mended; and so forth. Finally getting the bread, Hugh finds a new Toll Man who won't accept it, but the rest of the characters (except for the lonely old witch who turned Hugh's fortunes by accepting his friendship in return for a love potion) turn up in a wagon and take Hugh with them over the bridge. Armstrong is the author of the well-received Steal Away (p. 111); her first picture-book, with its contemporary use of well-established images, is a little contrived, but her rhythmically cadenced telling and deft play with sound and sense are unusually felicitous. In rather dark art defined by delicate pen lines, Root contrasts deep watercolor tones with the luminous glow of the sky (it always seems to be either sunrise or sunset in her illustrations). An attractive book that will be fun to share aloud. (Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-517-58218-X
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Crown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1992


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