Clever Beatrice

by Margaret Willey and Heather Solomon

This lively retelling of a French-Canadian conte tale from the Upper Peninsula of... read more

This lively retelling of a French-Canadian conte tale from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan offers a twist on tradition by casting a young girl as its hero. When Beatrice and her mother run out of food and money, Beatrice sets off to the other side of the woods to challenge the rich giant “who loves to gamble on his own strength.” Three times, Beatrice bets the giant that she can beat him in contests of physical strength. She succeeds each time by using her strongest assets: a quick tongue and a nimble mind. Beatrice never has to lift a finger, but she convinces the giant he’s lucky to have gotten off so cheaply with the gold she wins. Beatrice’s straight-faced besting of the giant in Margaret Willey’s richly textured story is truly a delight. Heather Solomon’s graceful illustrations extend the spirit of this wonderful tale with understated humor by capturing both the physical contrast between Beatrice and the giant and the interplay of giants with the human world. Winner, 2002 Charlotte Zolotow Award; Honor Book, CCBC Caldecott Award Discussion (Ages 4–8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2002

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