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THE GOAT-FACED GIRL by Leah Marinsky Sharpe


A Classic Italian Folktale

adapted by Leah Marinsky Sharpe & illustrated by Jane Marinsky

Age Range: 8 - 11

Pub Date: Dec. 3rd, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-56792-393-3
Publisher: Godine

Though Marinsky dresses the cast in traditional fairy-tale hose and flowing gowns, there’s a distinctly modern cast to this arch rendition of an old tale. When a beautiful but indolent young woman named Isabella accepts the proposal of equally lazy Prince Rupert, the doting sorceress who raised her in luxury, deciding that she needs to mend her ways first, endows her with a goat’s head. The horrified prince tries to fob her off by assigning tasks like preparing a royal feast alone and creating her own luxurious gown—for which the sorceress provides cookbooks, pots and other tools. Eventually Isabella grows fond of doing for herself, regains her human topper and sends Rupert packing when he frankly admits that he only cared about her looks: “You mean to tell me … [y]ou only care about how I look? Not who I am?” Sharpe has made changes in theme (that goat’s head was originally punishment for being ungrateful) and language, but this version, the story’s first separate appearance in this country, will make a popular gift from parents and caregivers afflicted with similarly slothful younglings. (Picture book/folktale. 8-11)