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THE OLD WOMAN AND HER PIG by Margaret Read MacDonald


An Appalachian Folktale

by Margaret Read MacDonald & illustrated by John Kanzler

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 0-06-028089-1
Publisher: HarperCollins

When the old woman who lives in a little house on the hill finds a copper penny, she goes to town to buy a fat pig. “Goin’ to town, gonna buy a little pig. Jig jog jig jog Jiggety-jig!” MacDonald’s retelling of the classic story stirs in mountain flavor to the folksy fun of the cumulative tale. Kanzler’s textured paintings play up the expressions and sauciness of the old woman, her little boy and the animals (cat, rat, dog, pig) as the page composition cunningly stages each refusal to cross the bridge and bold type emphasizes sounds and phrases. Few versions of the story have matched the mettle of Paul Galdone’s since 1960; Rosanne Litzinger’s (1993) borders on sweetness and Eric Kimmel’s (1992), in which ten things buck the bridge, lacks charm. In contrast, this rendition is in fine fettle with its down-home cadence, rustic setting and spunky characterizations that resemble Marcia Sewell’s style. (author’s note, music for two songs) (Picture book/folktale. 3-6)