The Talking Eggs: A Folktale from the American South
The Talking Eggs: A Folktale from the American South

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Annotation: A Southern folktale in which kind Blanche, following the instructions of an old witch, gains riches, while her greedy sister makes fun of the old woman and is duly rewarded.
Genre: Fairy tales
Catalog Number: #292387
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Publisher: Dial
Copyright Date: 1989
Edition Date: 1989
Illustrator: Pinkney, Jerry,
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-8037-0619-7 Perma-Bound: 0-8000-9242-2
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-8037-0619-4 Perma-Bound: 978-0-8000-9242-9
Dewey: 398.2
LCCN: 88033469
Dimensions: 26 cm.
Subject Heading:
Folklore. United States.
Language: English
Horn Book
Adapted from a Creole folk tale, the story captures the flavor of the nineteenth-century South in its language and story line. The watercolors are chiefly responsible for the excellence of the book. Review, p. 782.
Publishers Weekly
In this adaptation of a Creole folktale, Blanche is kind, loving and patient, but her older sister Rose takes after their mean, sneaky mother. One day Blanche befriends a hideous old ``aunty'' on a path near her home and is rewarded with magic eggs. Of course, Rose and the girls' mother are beside themselves with envy, and Rose sets out to snag some eggs of her own. But greedy Rose's cruel nature gets her into trouble. She torments the old lady, grabs the wrong eggs and ends up ``angry, sore and stung.'' Pinkney's exquisitely wrought illustrations are close cousins to those in his Caldecott Honor Book Mirandy and Brother Wind , with similar woodlands and soft farmyard settings of the rural South. When the magic begins, the witch takes off her head, dressed-up rabbits do the Virginia reel and eggs begin to chatter. There are some spectacular scenes here. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-- This adaptation of a Creole folktale contains familiar European fairy tale elements, but certainly stands on its own and is a unique contribution to the American folktale repertoire. In imagistic language spiced with Southern folk flavor, San Souci tells of a cruel mother and her two daughters, Blanche and Rose. Rose is just like her mother, while Blanche is good and kind, and consequently abused. One day Blanche meets an old woman and treats her with a ``spirit of do-right.'' Soon they meet again, when Blanche runs away from mistreatment and the old woman takes her back to her house. And what marvels Blanche finds there--a two-headed cow, multi-colored chickens, abundant food from nothing, a hostess who takes off her head to comb her hair (the illustrations spare readers most of this last detail), and a glorious scene of rabbits engaged in country dancing. For being obedient, Blanche is rewarded with magic talking eggs that turn into everything she's ever wanted. As expected, her greedy family wants to get in on the action, but Rose, of course, fails to follow the old woman's instructions, and gets nothing but a plague of snakes, toads, frogs, and the like. This lesson about virtue rewarded and greed punished is illustrated with Pinkney's lush, detailed watercolor and pencil art, which literally interprets the story and provides abundant detail. The characters are black, the setting rural, and the themes universal. --Leda Schubert, Vermont Department of Education, Montpelier
Word Count: 2,277
Reading Level: 4.4
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.4 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 7697 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.5 / points:2.0 / quiz:Q11228
Lexile: AD870L
Guided Reading Level: P
Fountas & Pinnell: P

The author of such delights as The Christmas Ark and The Enchanted Tapestry joins forces with illustrator Pinkney to resurrect a colorful folktale that captures the unique flavor of the American South. A 1989 Caldecott Honor Book.

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