Cover image for Easy work! : an old tale
Easy work! : an old tale
Kimmel, Eric A.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Holiday House, [1998]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 cm
Thinking his work in the fields is harder than his wife's work in the house, Mr. McTeague trades places with her for one day.
General Note:
Based on P.C. Asbjørnsen's Manden som skulde stelle hjemme.
Reading Level:
AD 530 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.5 0.5 28135.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 2.8 2 Quiz: 16401 Guided reading level: K.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PZ8.1.K567 EAS 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Switching roles, a husband thinks life will be easy. Thinking his work in the fields is harder than his wife's work in the house, Mr. McTeague trades places with her for one day.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Ages 4-8. Kimmel pours a classic Norwegian folktale into an American pot, and Glass brings it to a rolling boil with dappled scenes of domestic chaos. After a hard day clearing land on their new farm, Mr. McTeague is surprised to find that his wife is tired, too: "'You don't do anything but sit around the house all day. That's easy work!'" He laughingly accepts Mrs. McTeague's invitation to switch. A chain of disasters ensues: Mrs. McTeague returns at day's end, axe on shoulder, to find the house burned down, the cow gone, the baby hysterical, and Mr. McTeague dressed in the rags of her Sunday dress, "covered from the top of his head to the heels of his boots with flour, curdled milk, bacon grease . . . mud, leaves, and poison ivy. `Easy work, eh?'" She shows more mild amusement than animosity in making her point, and the young couple work together to set everything to rights. Kimmel's version of a story that has become a staple of feminist folktale collections will be a cheery alternative to, say, P. C. Asbjornsen and J. E. Moe's The Man Who Kept House (1992) and a good replacement for Wanda Gag's out-of-print Gone Is Gone. Afterword. (Reviewed April 15, 1998)0823413497John Peters

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3ÄHere, the well-known Norwegian folktale, "The Man Who Was to Mind the House," is set in Oregon. Mr. McTeague thinks that his wife has it easy at home all day, so the couple agrees to trade places, with disastrous results, including setting the cabin on fire. A more appreciative husband and a rebuilt cabin bring the story to a happy conclusion. The down-home language is filled with humor; e.g., Mr. McTeague's smug phrase, "Easy work," changes to "Golly Neds!" when things begin to go wrong. Glass's lively illustrations are done in a scratchy, folksy style and suit the text perfectly. An author's note explains Kimmel's decision to use Oregon for his locale. Previous versions have hewed closer to the tale collected by Peter Christen Asbjírnsen, including The Man Who Kept House (McElderry, 1992), set in Norway and with attractive illustrations by Svend S. Otto, and Michael Hague's The Man Who Kept House (Harcourt, 1981), which is more literary in tone. While not replacing either of these versions, Easy Work would make an enjoyable addition to most collections.ÄPam Gosner, formerly at Maplewood Memorial Library, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.