Sunday, September 11, 2011

Effy versus The Little Red Hen

OK, the title's a "plot spoiler."  Effy's no "Little Red Hen."

I've received a number of children's books to review; I took Effy Does the Job by Bruriah Kugel, to the grandchildren today.

First I read it to the almost four year old.  I don't know how much he understood, since his English is very limited.  Actually the Effy series was originally written in Hebrew, so I told my daughter to try to take them out from the library.  Once the children know the plot in Hebrew, it'll be much easier to understand them in English.  The almost one year old loved the pictures, which are really gorgeous.

I must admit that I didn't read the book in advance.  I just grabbed it, because it was on top of the pile.  As I began to read, I immediately saw the similarity with my favorite "Little Red Hen."   I've read "The Little Red Hen" so many times, even blogged it a couple of times.  First Effy's mother, then Effy starts cleaning the neighborhood and nobody is willing to help.

I took for granted that it would have the same sort of ending.  I was totally wrong.  While the Little Red Hen told the other barnyard animals to "get lost" when they expected to share her bread, Effy ends up partying with his friends who promise to help him next time the neighborhood needs cleaning.

Effy (actually the author) has a point.  If Effy had gone off in a huff, he'd have lost all his friends and end up all alone.  No doubt, that was the fate of the Little Red Hen.  Teaching our children to get along with others and how to acquire friends with kindness and forgiveness is very important.

The Little Red Hen will never look the same to me after reading Effy Does the Job.  Yes, I do recommend the book.  I must admit that the lesson is good for me to learn, too.

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