A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Gershon behaves badly but learns the error of his ways.
Violence & Scariness
A monster attacks Gershon's children.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the creatures in this story will delight most kids, though the monster's apparition may be a bit much for smaller, more sensitive listeners. Detailed watercolors illustrate a traditional story.
Is It Any Good?
This rewarding folk tale is brought to life by Muth's witty and powerful watercolor paintings. Gershon's sins are depicted as wicked little gremlins having an uproarious time. The monster, on the other hand, is no joke -- an overwhelming, if somewhat fuzzy, apparition that dwarfs the frightened children, and that may be a bit much for more sensitive small listeners.
Eric A. Kimmel tells the story straightforwardly, but, as demonstrated by Daniel Pinkwater on NPR, the text is designed for a spirited reader to have fun hamming it up. Young readers tackling it on their own may find it more of a challenge. For the youngest listeners, the message about the importance of genuine repentance may fly over their heads, but the story holds its own as a satisfying morality tale.
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