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Young Blanche meets an old woman in the woods and gives her water and kindness. Her mom gets mad at Blanche for warm water and Blanche runs off. The old woman invites her home, but makes her promise not to laugh at what she sees. Blanche gets home and of course mom and Rose get greedy of all the beautiful things Blanche has and mom forces Rose to go look for that farm. Rose finds the lady and her inner nature comes out. She laughs at everything. There is a wonderful wrap up at the end. I enjoyed this story very much.

It was a great new story, with lots of imagination and a tale asking for the reader to have faith in humanity and not think everyone is out to get you like Rose does. The niece thought this was a crazy story. She liked this a lot and she gave this 5 stars. The nephew laughed at the cows and both kids went crazy when the old woman took off her head. He liked this crazy story too. He gave it 4 stars.

Jan 18, Manybooks rated it liked it Shelves: fairy-tales-fantasy , picture-books , book-reviews , childrens-literature , folklore-americas. Now yes, I do realise and understand that Robert D. However and that all being said, while I have definitely appreciated Pinkney's accompanying illustrations, I have also never really been able to truly love them as I tend to find his pictorial renderings rather too detailed and involved for my own personal tastes, leaving nothing much to and for my imagination, and the busyness of the visual det Now yes, I do realise and understand that Robert D.

However and that all being said, while I have definitely appreciated Pinkney's accompanying illustrations, I have also never really been able to truly love them as I tend to find his pictorial renderings rather too detailed and involved for my own personal tastes, leaving nothing much to and for my imagination, and the busyness of the visual detail even a trifle too stimulating at times, to the point of actually taking my attention, my eyes, away from what I personally think and believe ought to be the absolute star of the Talking Eggs and really of ANY type of folk or fairy tale, namely the actual text, the written and printed words.

But even with regard to Robert D. San Souci's presented narrative, his adapted and retold text, although it is both gently and in my opinion even at times humorously recounted, and while it most certainly and definitely captures both the flair and colour of Louisiana, of the American South alongside of also and importantly bringing forth the standard but oh so essentially true and important folk and fairy tale messages of being kind to strangers, of following both cultural and general rules of acceptable human behaviour, of simply being sweet and with an accepting and tolerant temperament all character traits very obviously and glowingly epitomised in and by the character of Blanche and shown as the cracked and in all ways horrid, nasty mirror image in spoiled and coddled older sister Rose and the mother , I do also and very much wish that Robert D.

San Souci had presented a more detailed author's note than just the few words at the beginning stating that The Talking Eggs is an adapted Creole folktale originally included in a collection by Alcee Fortier for while that source acknowledgment is indeed appreciated, why is the actual title of the collection not mentioned, why is only Alcee Fortier's name pointed out.

Still even with my personal frustrations at the lack of a detailed folkloric and academic author's note and I guess I am partially so vexed because so many of Robert D. San Souci's later folktale adaptions do contain meticulously researched and detailed author's notes that are an intellectual joy and as important to and for me as the actual presented texts are , I do highly recommend The Talking Eggs as a wonderful and readable Creole American folktale retelling and yes, even Jerry Pinkney's accompanying illustrations very much suit the author's narrative, it is just that in and of themselves, they just are not really all that much to my personal aesthetic tastes, as they simply are a bit too overly detailed and therefore somewhat visually distracting to and for me.

Sep 29, Laima rated it it was amazing Shelves: reading-challenge , caldecott , kids , magic. This is a spellbinding tale of two sisters, their mother, an old witch- woman, some very odd animals and a whole lot of talking eggs. It is based on a Creole folktale and captures the flavour of the American South. The illustrations are beautiful and can be enjoyed by readers of all ages. It is a story which highlights the virtues of kindness and generosity and the dangers of greed; A wonderful moral teaching lesson for everyone.

Library copy. View 1 comment. Jan 08, Ronyell rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Children ages 5 and up. Shelves: fairy-tales-folktales , coretta-scott-king-honor , children-s-book , picture-book , african-american , fantasy , strong-heroine , my-blog-reviews , caldecott-honor , robert-d-san-souci. Robert D. His drawings display realistic looking people and surroundings as he masterfully gives details in the characters facial expressions and provides appropriate colors for the environment surrounding the main characters.

Even though this scene is done extremely delicately since the image does not actually show the old woman taking off her head, children might think that anyone can take off their heads and still live through the whole ordeal. However, small children need to understand that the old woman is actually a fictional character and what she does to her head does not necessarily affect the people in reality.

This book also beautifully describes the cultures of the Creole people in the olden days. Children who would like to explore the heritages of the Creole people back then would really enjoy reading this book for references. Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog Jun 16, GoldGato rated it really liked it Shelves: autumn , children , illustration , folk-tales. Two daughters and their mother live in the backwoods of Louisiana.

Of course, one child is good and one is bad, and the mother is nothing to write home about whew. As we think we're scrambling down a Grimm Cinderella path, the backwoods take over and an old woman appears. You got a spirit of do-right in your soul. God is gonna bless you. While you can anticipate where the story is headed, there are some surprises along the way.

The folktale itself is thought to have been brought over by the French Acadians Cajuns and it developed with a Gullah remix. Here is Pinkney's explanation of his amazing artwork: The full-color artwork was prepared using pencil, colored pencils, and watercolor. It was then color-separated and reproduced as red, blue, yellow, and black halftones. Dec 28, Kathryn rated it liked it. Creole origins so some great "flavor" to the story, and a few surprising twists!

I wasn't really a fan of the illustrations, despite their Caldecott nod, so overall I would give this three stars though I definitely do recommend checking it out and surely others will appreciate the art more than I did! Mar 03, Luann rated it liked it Shelves: picture-book , caldecott-honor , Is it just me? I didn't particularly like Jerry Pinkney's illustrations for John Henry and now I feel about the same for his illustrations here. Both books won Caldecott honors, so either I'm missing something or I just don't share a personal taste with those who gave the awards.

Or I'm being particularly critical for some reason right now. I did enjoy San Souci's retelling of this folktale of two sisters and Is it just me? Moral of the story: It pays to be obedient and hard-working. Nov 09, Cynda rated it really liked it Shelves: children-youth , 19th-century , read , women , short-stories , humor , folktales. Good book to give hope to those who feel under-appreciated by their families. I remember once telling my then 9-year niece that she would grow up and the disrespect of her brother would be a thing of the past--not to get too sad.

The lights blinked behind her eyes. I said just to remember from time to time that this to shall pass. Now they are much better friends. I wish I had had this story to share with her. Back to Book. Too many detailed pics. I know we live in a visual world. Some things are Good book to give hope to those who feel under-appreciated by their families. Some things are best left to imagination. At least one others has said so too. Very Good North American Literature. Impressive mix of European, Creole, and Gullah cultures. I will be reading more of this writer's work.

Feb 24, Luisa Knight rated it it was ok Shelves: picture-books , the-caldecott-medal , children.

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Here's a fairy tale styled story that teaches the moral lesson that it pays to be good. Ages: 5 - 10 Cleanliness: Fairy tale magic, two headed cow, chickens that lay magical eggs, and an old woman that takes her head off her shoulders to comb her hair. I also have hundreds of detailed reports that I offer too.

These reports give a complete break-down of everything in the book, so you'll know just how clean it is or isn Here's a fairy tale styled story that teaches the moral lesson that it pays to be good. These reports give a complete break-down of everything in the book, so you'll know just how clean it is or isn't. Visit my website: The Book Radar. Dec 25, Judy rated it really liked it Shelves: art-caldecott , fable-fairy-n-folktale. It's too bad that I didn't have a copy of this story when I was about eight or nine years old and avidly reading fairy tales. I think this would have been one of those stories that I would have read over and over again.

I can see why this was recognized by the Caldecott committee, but some of the faces felt too awkward. But I prefer this style over people who are drawn to look 'beautiful. Apr 03, Wilmarie rated it really liked it. This enchanting story wo one of the Caldecott Honor Medal in the year The story is a re-telling of a Creole folktale. In the folktale, their ate two sisters, who are as different as night and day. The eldest sister is Rose who is offensive, rude, and selfish. The youngest is Blanche who is quiet, kind, and selfless.

Their mother was partial to Rose, for they were like peas in a pod. Blanche was always sent off to do all the chores while Rose and their mother daydreamed on the porch of livi This enchanting story wo one of the Caldecott Honor Medal in the year Blanche was always sent off to do all the chores while Rose and their mother daydreamed on the porch of living in the city and having riches. One day, Blanche was on the way to the well fetching for water, when she found a thirsty old lady who asked for some water. Blanche gladly served her some, then returned home. When she got home the water was no longer cool and Rose threw the bucket and both mother and daughter started yelling and hitting her, so she ran away to the woods.

There she found the lady again who offered her home to Blanche, with the promise to not laugh at anything she saw.

Eggs by Jerry Spinelli

Blanche accepted and headed with the lady deep into the woods. Once they got to her house, Blanche saw all kinds of strange creatures, like a core with two heads that did not moo, chickens of every color that made sounds like a mockingbird, the old woman could take her dead off to brush her hair, a bone that made a whole pot of stew, and a grain of rice, that against the mortar turned into a full pot of rice.

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Once they ate, they went outside and found the entertainment were some rabbits dressed formally dancing around the backyard, while another rabbit played the banjo. Blanche was so excited for all she saw, but soon fell asleep. The next day she milked the cow with the two heads that gave her the sweetest milk for their coffee. And after breakfast, was soon sent home by the old lady.

But before she set her of the three henhouse to fetch herself a parting gift. She was told to pick some eggs, but only the eggs that told her to pick them and was strongly advised to leave those who did not want to be picked. The old lady instructed Blanche to throw the eggs over her left shoulder on her way home, and so she did. From each egg came tremendous riches, trained dresses, a carriage, a horse to drive it, among others.

When she returned home, her mother and sister wanted to know where she got all the treasure, but instead of asking, their mother treated Blanche kindly, she even cooked for her.

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And during the meal asked her, and Blanche told them all about the lady. When she fell asleep, their mother instructed Rose to sought out the old lady and house, so that she could get riches too. Rose did so, but did everything different from Blanche, she laughed at the cow and chickens. She mocked the bone and grain of rice, so they had a very light supper. Rose could not sleep, for she heard mice scurrying around.

The next morning, she fetched sour milk from the cow because she was making fun of it. And when the old lady took her head off, Rose snatched it so that she could give her all she gave to Blanche. Knowing Rose, instead of taking the plain eggs, she took the jeweled ones and as soon as she threw then from her right shoulder they turned into all kinds of pests, and even a big grey wolf.

Their mother tried to scare away the pests, but they were insistent and both ended up running away from them. When they returned home afterwards, Blanche had already left with her treasures and was living in the city with all the riches, but maintained her kindness. This story, also has a Cinderella kind of theme going on. It is completely suitable for children, for it teaches them manners and to be kind.

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It specially shows children they should not make fun of people because they are different. And it also shows to follow instructions and to not be misled by appearances, for the difference between the talking eggs with riches and pests was listening to those who asked to be picked, and picking then, even though they were not the most beautiful ones. This is my first southern folktale, so I have not read the original.


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But from the reviews I read, this version was an excellent rendition of the tale. Well, as realistic as can be when you have creatures like a two headed cow and an assortment of colored chickens. Sep 28, Kevin Evans rated it did not like it Shelves: folklore , book-awards , multicultrual. This book can teach a lot about greed and cruelty.

This is a Caldecot winner, however, I did not really like the story let alone the pictures. I could not get into this story. Aug 31, SamZ rated it really liked it Shelves: caldecott , aty-challenge. Blanche is a sweet girl who is underappreciated and abused by her mother and sister. One day, after being fed up with their treatment, Blanche runs to the woods and finds a strange old woman there.

She goes home with the old woman and sees many strange things, but follows instructions and helps out. She is then rewarded Caldecott Honor - Favorite Illustration: I love all the fun colors and clothing that the dancing rabbits wear; that looks like such a magical place to be and party to watch! She is then rewarded with some talking eggs and many precious things. Of course, when she returns home her sister wants the same things and sets out to find the strange old woman.

What she learns is that beauty isn't always what is on the outside, and being kind matters more than all the riches in the world. I enjoyed this tale, kind of a conglomeration of many other fairy tales. The illustrations fit the tale perfectly and I loved seeing all the magical creatures. I also really appreciated that although the old woman could take her head off, the illustrations didn't make it scary or creepy in any way that might frighten a small child. Oct 13, Simone rated it it was amazing Shelves: fairy-tales-folk-tales , picture-books.

Unlike Rose, Blanche works hard around the farm and asks for nothing in return. Without thinking twice she helps an old woman in the forest. Response: This is a timeless tale that I love reading to my students. The motif of a cruel mother and older sister can be compared with many stories children are familiar with. Similar to the tale, Beauty and the Beast the old woman tests Blanche before helping her. It allows students to make text-to-text connections as well as compare and contrast the motifs in these tales. Aug 09, Jenny rated it really liked it Shelves: caldecott , folk-fairy-tales-and-adaptations , picture-books , children-s-books.

Love this folk tale!! Love the story and really, really love the illustrations. I especially love the illustration of the rabbits dancing. Rose and Blanche are sisters. Rose is mean and lazy and not very bright Blanche is kind, hard-working and intelligent. One day Blanche gives an old woman a drink. Later the old woman helps her although she is helped because Blanche continues to be kind, honest and caring. When their mother sees how the woman has helped Blanche and Love this folk tale!! When their mother sees how the woman has helped Blanche and given her riches, she tells Rose to go into the forest, find the woman and gain riches as well.

However things don't work out for the selfish, spoiled and dishonest Rose. Oct 05, Katie Fitzgerald rated it really liked it Shelves: format-picture-books , caldecott-honor.

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I think it appeals to kids because they enjoy seeing an underdog come out on top. Personally, I appreciated the fact that we never have to see the woman remove her head - the text simple alludes to it. I also absolutely loved the clothed rabbits and their different faces, outfits, and dance moves.

That page of the book has a ton of personality! Jun 11, Kiah Ballard rated it really liked it Shelves: books-about-morals. Ask students to describe the general characteristics of a folktale and to tell which parts of this specific story match those. Ask students to describe the setting of the story and to summarize the plot. Assess their understanding by allowing them to create an illustrated timeline story map of the key events in the plot. Talk about motifs in literature — those recurring and symbolic objects, persons or places that help to develop the mood or the theme of the story.

Ask students what they think the motif in The Talking Eggs might be; elicit that the magical objects — the eggs — are a common literature motif. Discuss what the magical objects usually symbolize or signal; point out, if necessary, that they usually provide extra strength, courage or reward for the protagonist, while raining chaos or disaster on the heads of the evil characters. Open the paper and fold each side to the center to make two flaps. Cut each one in thirds to make six flaps. Under the right flap, they do the same to describe Rose.

They write and illustrate what happened when Blanche and Rose broke the talking eggs they took from the hen house. Extend the writing experience by allowing them to tell what they would have done if offered magic, talking eggs. Ask students to compare and contrast the stories, either with a Venn diagram, a columnar chart or a more formal composition. Extend the story by assigning students the writing of another version of the story.


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The Talking Eggs story teacher guide offers only a few of the endless activities that can be done with this book.