WHO TOOK MY HAIRY TOE? by Shutta Crum

WHO TOOK MY HAIRY TOE?

adapted by , illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 8

KIRKUS REVIEW

This folktale has been a favorite for many storytellers and Crum, a storyteller herself, provides a smooth and lively retelling that will send shivers down the listener’s spine. Old Tar Pockets is a truly greedy man who steals warm, soft tar from a neighbor’s bucket and sticks it in his pocket as it is the only thing he has to carry it back home. He also digs up “sweet taters” for supper—but in the process he finds a big, hairy toe. He sticks the toe in the same pocket as the tar, and it sticks tight. That night, he hears a voice crying, “WHO TOOK MY HAIRY TOE?” so he crawls under the quilt to escape, but the voice keeps asking the question. At last, he answers, begging the beast to take it, but, since it is stuck in his pocket, the beast carries Old Tar Pockets away. The tale ends with the folk saying, “ ‘Pay that no nevermind! It’s just Old Tar Pockets getting his due.’ I say, ‘Just as long as what’s in your pocket is yours . . . I wouldn’t worry about it.’ ” Illustrations begin with bright and sunny rural landscapes, but soon become somber, dark, and scary as the telling gets progressively scarier. The beast is suitably ghostly until the last two spreads, where he is depicted as huge and furry as he carts Tar Pockets off. An author’s note cites sources for the tale and the variants, which include the British “Teeny Tiny Bone” and the Midwestern “Tailipoo.” (Folktale. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-8075-5972-5
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Whitman
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2001




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