MY MOTHER SENDS HER WISDOM by Louise McClenathan

MY MOTHER SENDS HER WISDOM

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Here's how the widow outsmarts the moneylender: in lieu of cash she sends her daughter to the man with a goose find a gander one month, two pigs the next, and a sack of wheat the third--each payment accompanied by her ""wisdom"" in the form of a riddle the daughter recites. And when the moneylender sues for a final payment he claims is still due, the widow explains to the judge that if the man had followed her ""wisdom"" and kept the payments instead of selling them off, he would now have more geese, pigs, and (through planting) wheat--and thus more money than she is said to owe him. If you accept that the judge would go along with this reasoning, it's a mildly clever folk-type anecdote. But Hoffman's pictures--often enclosed in, or spilling out of, circular or semi-circular frames--are tricky in a far less earthy way, peasant costumes and decorated Easter eggs notwithstanding. Whereas the story badly needs some folksy fleshing out, Hoffman makes it a stilted showpiece.

Pub Date: Sept. 12th, 1979
Publisher: Morrow