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THE SIX FOOLS by Zora Neale Hurston


by Zora Neale Hurston & adapted by Joyce Carol Thomas & illustrated by Ann Tanksley

Age Range: 6 - 9

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-06-000646-3
Publisher: HarperCollins

Richly hued oil monoprints in a childlike style give this Caribbean-flavored variant on “The Three Sillies” a rural African-American setting. Collected by Hurston from a West Indian immigrant, the tale as originally published (in Every Tongue Got To Confess, 2001) features a barrel of beer in the basement; aside from changing that to cider and smoothing out some of the language, Thomas has left it as transcribed. The story is very close to European versions, except that it closes with a woman trying to haul sunshine into her kitchen in a wheelbarrow, followed by an unusual tagline from the storyteller: “By that time I left”—for which Tanksley supplies a closing view of the newlyweds departing on a cruise ship. Whatever its trappings, the tale remains one of the drollest folktales around, and even young readers already familiar with it will be heartily amused by this lively American rendition. (Picture book/folktale. 6-9)