Children Jan Wahl Little Johnny Buttermilk

ISBN 13: 9780874835595

Little Johnny Buttermilk

3.67 avg rating
( 12 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780874835595: Little Johnny Buttermilk

Johnny Buttermilk's work is never done. Every day he carries pails of milk to market for his mother. Every day he is set upon by the witch who wants to steal the milk. And every day he must think of some fresh plan to outwit her. Enough is enough. How can he be done with her once and for all? Johnny devises a plan to turn the witch's mischief back on herself. Jennifer Mazzucco's vibrant acrylic illustrations capture the cat-and-mouse contest contained in this traditional folktale from the British Isles.

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From School Library Journal:

PreSchool-Grade 1-In this retelling of an English folktale, Little Johnny helps his mother by selling buttermilk. He comes up against a witch, outwits her three times, and lives happily ever after. Events in this picture book are similar to Eileen Colwell's "Jack Buttermilk," found in Round about and Long Ago (Houghton, 1974; o.p.). Although the beginnings and ends of these two variations differ, the basic premise of foiling the witch remains the same. In the earlier retelling, Jack and his mother are poor. Jack begs buttermilk from a nearby farmer then sells it for money. In this version, Johnny's father tells him he's too young to help feed the pigs, yet his mother tells him that he can help by selling buttermilk in town each day. How's that for a contradiction? After being outwitted three times, Colwell's witch leaves Jack alone, but Wahl's witch angrily bursts into pieces before all ends happily. Except for the occasional odd facial expression, Mazzucco's vibrant full-page and full-spread paintings match and/or extend the text. However, Colwell's story is more satisfying.
Kathleen Simonetta, Indian Trails Public Library District, Wheeling, IL
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A felonious witch and a ingenious young boy match wits in this latest folktale from Wahl (Rosa's Parrot, p. 307, etc.). Johnny, too small yet to do chores with his father, assists his mother by bringing the buttermilk to town, earning the moniker ``Little Johnny Buttermilk.'' Danger looms in the guise of a villainous crone who covets Johnny's burden. Waylaid by the devious hag, Johnny refuses to relinquish his milk, causing the witch to decide that he will make a tasty addition to her meal. Concerned about a purchase she left in town (ironically, she's afraid someone will steal it), she leaves the sack containing Johnny and his milk by the side of the road and he promptly escapes. Due to a clever refilling of the sack, the witch doesn't discover Johnny's defection until she returns home. Relying on his ingenuity, Johnny continues to elude and eventually best the witch. Mazzucco's lively illustrations are an integral part of the story; her comical depiction of the action and sly incorporation of a cat and mouse into nearly every scene heap measures of fun into the witty retelling. (Picture book. 4-8) -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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