Two sisters lived down Louisiana way long ago: Rose, who was unpleasant, mean, and the older of the two; and her younger sister, Blanche, who was "sweet and kind and sharp as forty crickets." Guess who has to do all the work for Rose and their mother? Blanche's kind and obedient nature finally pays off when she helps an old woman who has magical powers--and a chicken house full of talking eggs containing treasures for those who do as they're told: gold and silver, jewels, silk dresses, satin shoes, "even a handsome carriage that grew in a wink from the size of a matchbox...." Robert D. San Souci's lively, humorous retelling of this Creole folktale abounds with colorful expressions, and Jerry Pinkney's full-page illustrations make us believe in the marvels that Blanche finds, even the two-headed cow, square-dancing rabbits, and rainbow-colored chickens! This inspired collaboration, a 1989 Caldecott Honor Book, will delight young readers who like a captivating story with a strong heroine and a dash of mystery. (Ages 5 to 10) --Marcie Bovetz --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From 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.
Great story with a WONDERFUL lesson!
Caldecott Honor Book for illustrations by Jerry Pinkney.
A Reading Rainbow folktale from the American South