Doctor All-Knowing: A Folk Tale from the Brothers Grimm

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9781416912460: Doctor All-Knowing: A Folk Tale from the Brothers Grimm
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How clever are you?

And how sharp-sighted?

Are you as clever as Doctor All-Knowing -- keen to change his sad life (and feed his poor daughter, Maggie)?

Are you, like Doctor All-Knowing, sharp-eyed enough to search out the thieves who've been stealing a rich man's money from right under his nose?

Good!

You are just the one to watch Maggie as she cleverly, sharp-sightedly helps her father earn a four-course reward.

The Brothers Grimm rarely told so dross a tale as this little-known one, briskly retold here by Doris Orgel and animated to perfection by Alexandra Boiger.

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About the Author:

Doris Orgel's own novel of the Nazi period, The Devil in Vienne, is considered a classic. She has translated many books from German, including a recent volume of the Grimm fairy tales. She lives in New York City.

From School Library Journal:

PreSchool-Grade 3—In this retelling of a Grimm tale, the peasant Crayfish and his scrawny young daughter, Maggie, face another supper of watery porridge. The scene contrasts with the smorgasbord being consumed by a doctor to whom they deliver a load of wood. Envious of this lifestyle, Crayfish follows the man's advice to purchase an alphabet book, a suit, and a sign that reads, "Doctor All-Knowing." He and Maggie are soon invited to dinner by an even wealthier man who asks Crayfish to reveal the identity of the thief who had stolen his money. As happens in the mayhem of fairy tales, a parade of guilty servants and a sequence of misinterpreted comments by the clueless Crayfish lead to the recovery of the treasure and just rewards. Boiger's expressive caricatures register a range of emotions from paternal concern to melodramatic groveling. Her carefully designed compositions and varying perspectives cue viewers to subtle meanings, as when father and daughter appear as long, thin shadows in a patch of sunlight near the rotund doctor's bounty. Orgel's balance of descriptive language, humor, and clarity perfectly suits the intended audience. A note explains that she changed the original by replacing the protagonist's wife with a daughter, a wise decision that causes the drama to be more about hunger than money and allows for a food-filled happy ending. Children will revel in this little-known story in which everyone wins.—Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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