Book Review: The Old Woman Who Lived in a Vinegar Bottle (MacDonald)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

This is a very different version of the fairy tale told by Rumer Godden about an old woman who lives in a vinegar bottle.  In this version, it is a fairy rather than a fish who offers the woman better and better gifts, until she finally asks for too much and is returned to her former condition.

While many of the plot elements are similar, this one is clearly intended for younger readers; there is some verbal repetition (“What a pity, pity, pity”) as opposed to the more lyrical style in Godden.  The artwork is brash and colorful, and the moral lesson is much less subtle.  If Godden’s version didn’t exist this one might make a good library checkout, but I’m afraid it might spoil readers for Godden’s most excellent story.

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Publication Information: MacDonald, Margaret Read. Old Woman Who Lived in a Vinegar Bottle, The. Fowlkes, Nancy Dunaway. . 1997. ISBN: 0874834155.
Categories: 2 Stars, Age 00-04
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Posted on June 2, 2009


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