THE FULL BELLY BOWL by Jim Aylesworth


Age Range: 4 - 8
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A concise and covertly cautionary original folktale is complemented by precise and charming colored-pencil illustrations in this wholly delightful book. When a very old man, who lives in a tiny house at the edge of a forest with his cat, Angelina, rescues a very small man from the jaws of a fox, he is rewarded with a full belly bowl. “You need never know hunger again,” says the tiny note beneath the gift. “Use it wisely or it will be a burden.” Wise use of magical objects isn’t as easy as it sounds. The bowl recreates its contents in quantity, and at first that’s enough stew to sate man and cat; readers see it in a sequence of stills atop a spread of man and cat happily sleeping it off. The very old man neglects to turn over the bowl, however, and a spider that creeps in overnight is duplicated in spades. The man realizes that the bowl duplicates whatever is in it: his single copper penny, then an errant mouse, then cats to catch the mice, until the bowl is knocked to the floor where it shatters. The magic is gone, but the regrets are few in this thoroughly realized, easy-to-cherish tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-689-81033-4
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 1999