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THREE GOOD DEEDS by Vivian Vande Velde


by Vivian Vande Velde

Age Range: 9 - 11

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-15-205382-4
Publisher: Harcourt

Village children call the old lady living by the pond a witch, and the moniker turns out to be dead on, as young Howard discovers when she catches him trying to steal goose eggs. Suddenly, he’s transformed into a goose himself—doomed to stay that way until he performs three good deeds. That turns out to be not so easy as he supposes: Not only is he regarded with suspicion by the pond’s other feathered residents, and as potential dinner by his former friends and neighbors, but, as he learns, even brave deeds like battling an egg-eating rat don’t count if they’re motivated by self-interest. Like Donna Jo Napoli’s classic Prince of the Pond (1992), this is as much about inner change as outer. Having gone through sometimes-hilarious struggles getting used to his new body and social standing, Howard ultimately learns how to do good selflessly, and walks away in the end a relieved and wiser lad. Another funny and thought-provoking tale in folkloric dress from Vande Velde. (Fantasy. 9-11)