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Clever Beatrice: An Upper Peninsula Conte…
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Clever Beatrice: An Upper Peninsula Conte (2001. Auflage)

von Margaret Willey (Autor), Heather M. Solomon (Illustrator)

Reihen: Clever Beatrice (1)

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2272495,020 (3.78)1
A small, but clever young girl outwits a rich giant and wins all his gold.
Titel:Clever Beatrice: An Upper Peninsula Conte
Autoren:Margaret Willey (Autor)
Weitere Autoren:Heather M. Solomon (Illustrator)
Info:Atheneum Books for Young Readers (2001), Edition: 1st, 40 pages
Sammlungen:Updated Shelflist
Tags:Picture, Fiction


Clever Beatrice von Margaret Willey

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The subtitle of this picture book characterizes this story as “an Upper Peninsula conte”[emphasis mine]. A “conte” is defined as “a short tale of adventure” and sometimes as a “medieval” or “fanciful tale”. Well, Clever Beatrice certainly isn’t medieval, but it is set over a hundred years back in time—when Michigan’s forested northernmost peninsula was still being settled and tamed by people of European extraction, mostly Finns, Swedes, Irish, and French Canadians. To the north of this strip of land is Lake Superior; on its east is the St. Mary’s River, and to the south are Lake Michigan, the Straits of Mackinac, and Lake Huron.

In the author’s note that prefaces her book, Margaret Willey notes that French Canadians were attracted to Michigan in the 1800s by a lumber boom, and that they regaled the men of the lumber camps and iron mines with their “contes”—tales of wild exaggeration, comic detail, and rhyming dialect. The author writes that Clever Beatrice is an amalgam of several stories about voyageurs (boatmen employed by companies involved in Canada’s fur trade). The twist is that it’s got a whip-smart girl as its heroine

Beatrice, who is known for her ability to “think fast on her feet” lives with her mother in impoverished circumstances. When she learns that food is running out, she resolves that she’ll get the money that’s needed to buy food. But there are really only two ways to do so: work with the lumberjacks, cutting down trees, or challenge the rich giant who lives on the other side of the woods. He can’t resist gambling on his own strength, but he’s known to be none too sharp. “When you’re a rich giant,” Beatrice’s mother tells her, “you don’t have to be smart.”

The next day, Beatrice walks deep into the woods, deeper than she’s ever been before, encountering lumberjacks felling a mighty tree just before she reaches the giant’s house. She rouses him from his nap in the late afternoon sun to challenge him to a contest. “Who can strike a harder blow?” she’d like to know.

Beatrice’s powers of observation and suggestion are enough for her to win ten gold coins from the giant, who then proposes a second challenge as to who can carry the most water from the well to the house. The giant fills a dozen buckets, but when Beatrice prepares to lasso the well itself, planning to pull the whole darned thing to the house, the giant is alarmed: Where will he get his water in the future? He’d rather relent and cough up the coins than have his well moved.

A final challenge revolves around the throwing of a heavy iron bar. When it’s Beatrice’s turn to throw, another of her ideas frightens the highly suggestible giant. In no time at all, her foreknowledge of the big man’s stupidity and her perceptiveness about what makes him tick—fearfulness and a desire to preserve what he’s got—earn her a fortune: thirty gold coins. When she leaves, he’s relieved to still have his well and a house with a door.

Willey’s telling is lively with dialogue and detail. Heather M. Solomon’s attractive art complements and amplifies the tale. She is particularly good at emphasizing the size difference between the two main characters: Beatrice, with her walnut-sized fist, and the giant, with two mighty arms that can hold hold six buckets each.

Possessing the flavour of both French Canada and the northern-Michigan woods, this is a terrific picture book that would make for a great read-aloud. ( )
  fountainoverflows | Dec 29, 2019 |
This book is about a little girl named Beatrice who tricks a giant three times into giving her 30 gold coins. The giant likes to make bets on strength and Beatrice, who is out of luck at home, decides to make three bets with the giant.
  arilove808 | Jan 29, 2018 |
Beatrice is a clever girl. She and her mother are poor and Beatrice wants to help bring some money in. There are only two ways to earn money in this village, cutting down trees and making bets with the giant. Beatrice tricks the giant with her clever wit three times and earns 30 gold coins. She runs home to her mother to rejoice in her success.
This book could encourage the idea that being smart and goal oriented are two of the best virtues. It can also teach the lesson of helping in times of need. It also shows a powerful young girl as the main character and that is a very positive thing to see in a picture book as a young girl growing up. ( )
1 abstimmen JuliaTrinchero | Mar 5, 2017 |
Clever Beatrice was an easy read. I really enjoyed it. Beatrice was a clever character and I was on pins and needles waiting to see how she would trick the giant. I liked that there was a little bit of background for the character. She wanted to support her family, but she was too young to chop lumber. Her mother said that they only other way to get money would be to trick the giant.

Beatrice is desperate, so she goes to the top of the hill and finds the giant. He likes to bet on his strength, so she allows him the opportunity. She never even has to do any of the tasks because she makes him believe that he will be at a loss if she is successful, so he just gives her the money.

Once she has left him high and dry, she returns home.

I loved the illustrations for the book and the book was easy to follow along. I like how creative the author was will the bets and this is the kind of book that I would read to children. However, I think it would be good to point out that lying to get things is not a good thing.
( )
  ZetherBooks | Jun 15, 2016 |
"Good afternoon, Mister Giant, Sir. I have come to make a bet with you." Can a very little girl beat a very large giant in feats of strength? That's what clever Beatrice bets on when she marches through the north woods to the home of the giant, hoping to win some of his gold to help her mother buy porridge. The giant heartily agrees to a contest, never imagining the wisp of a girl could out-muscle him. But what he hasn't counted on is how clever Beatrice is...and that brains beat brawn every time. This tall tale from Michigan's upper peninsula is told in delicious dialect, and introduces a heroine who's as irrepressible as Eloise.
  wichitafriendsschool | Mar 25, 2016 |
keine Rezensionen | Rezension hinzufügen

» Andere Autoren hinzufügen

AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
Margaret WilleyHauptautoralle Ausgabenberechnet
Solomon, HeatherIllustratorCo-Autoralle Ausgabenbestätigt

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A small, but clever young girl outwits a rich giant and wins all his gold.

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