When a farmer goes to harvest some of the apples in his orchard, he finds a little man in a pointy hat who accompanies him back to his house. When they meet a woman who is willing to give them all the pumpkins the farmer wants, he listens to the little man’s advice to take as many as he can carry. Leaving the apples behind, the farmer takes a load of pumpkins home and then discovers he doesn’t like the gallons and gallons of soup he has made from the pumpkins.
The next day the scenario is repeated, except another little man in a pointy hat appears with different advice. He suggests that the farmer give away his basket of apples to a pig farmer. Fine and dandy! Now there’s nothing in the basket.
The third day the farmer heads for the orchard again and…well, I’ll stop here. You’ll see what happens when the two little guys in pointy hats confront one another.
This is an epic struggle between greed and generosity that somehow youngsters looking at this picture book are supposed to understand. Although their parents and older siblings may get it, I have a feeling the intended age group (4 – 8 year olds) will have to have this concept, as it is presented here, explained to them.
I’d be inclined to give this book to an older person who needs to balance “give” and “take” in their lives because they have trouble with the concepts. Granted, younger folks tend to take too much as well as sometimes give too much, but I doubt this book, in and of itself, will help them achieve balance.
Truthfully, the illustrations here (water color and ink) are a little “wonky” too and, although interesting, may not work that well with pre-schoolers.
A clever story of greed and goodness, and the art of finding the in-between, from two-time Caldecott Medalist Chris Raschka, creator of the" New York Times "bestselling "A Ball for Daisy." Watch the farmer's ear. Now watch the two small, clever fellows in pointy hats whispering into it, first one, then the other. Give and Take. They cannot agree. Listen now to the farmer talk back--and, in this story of apples, pumpkins, pigs, and a final surprise, he just might get the better of both of them.
Age Range: 4 - 8 years / Grade Level: Preschool - 3