The Funny Little Woman

Author: Arlene Mosel
Illustrator: Blair Lent
Publisher: Dutton Children’s Books
Publication Date: 1972
Awards: The Caldecott Medal
Genre: folk tale
Audience: Gr. K-3

Overview: This story is about an older woman from Japan who is captured and brought underground by the “Onis" who make her cook them dumplings every day for months. They give her a special spoon that turns one grain of rice into thousands in a matter of minutes. She cooks for them day in and day out, until one day she decides to escape with the spoon. Despite the Onis' efforts to keep her underground, she manages to make it home safely with the magic spoon. She continues to make dumplings and starts her own restaurant and becomes the richest woman in all of Japan.

Activity: After reading the book, the children could write a dual-entry diary about a specific event or illustration that intrigued them in the story. On the left-hand side of the page, they should write about the event, or picture they liked the most. On the right-hand side, they should write why they chose the picture, what they liked about it etc. They could share once with a partner, then as a class.

Reviewer’s Name: Laura Rickus