Cover image for The tale of the turnip
The tale of the turnip
Alderson, Brian.
Personal Author:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
Cambridge, MA : Candlewick Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 19 x 21 cm
When a poor farmer grows a gigantic turnip and the king pays him handsomely for it, the envious town squire tries to get an even bigger reward for one of his horses.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Clarence Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Fairy Tales
Clearfield Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Fairy Tales
Kenmore Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Little Books
Audubon Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Lancaster Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

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When a humble old farmer plants turnips in his field, one of them grows and grows ... and grows ... and Grows. The king rewards the farmer handsomely for his efforts -- much to the dismay of the arrogant squire who lives across the way. But when the squire attempts to claim a similar reward, will he get more than he bargains for? Brain Alderson's charming text and Fritz Wegner's humorous illustrations have yielded a "champion" tale that will delight anyone who's ever cheered for the underdog.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Alderson's (The Swan's Stories) retelling of a traditional English tale is seasoned with casual, homespun phrases from its opening page: "Once, a good time ago, there was an old farmer. He lived in a ramshackle cottage, with a few chickens and suchlike, and he looked after a few fields." When the farmer grows an enormous turnip, he presents it to the thrilled king, who gives the farmer a cartload of gold for the prized crop. The wealthy squire across the way, seeing his neighbor's riches, vows to upstage the farmer. The king, impressed with the squire's gift of his best horse, presents the squire with a cherished treasure: his champion turnip. Wegner's (The Better Brown Stories) cartoon illustrations depict a bustling, leafy English countryside with thatched roofs, plenty of farm animals underfoot and a host of mild, friendly-looking farmers. The final endpapers juxtapose the farmer's modest house, bags of gold stacked out front, with the squire's spacious compound, into which the turnip is being wheeled. Kids will happily root for the farmer in this tale of vegetables and just deserts. Ages 3-7. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-A poor farmer plants a field of turnips, and when one of them grows especially large, he pulls it up (easily) and takes it to the king, who is so impressed that he rewards his subject with a wagon full of gold. The farmer's neighbor, an arrogant squire, decides that if one turnip is worth all that, then his finest horse must be worth much more. However, when the squire presents his gift, the king declares that " not even the crown jewels are a fit reward" for such a creature and gives him instead the champion turnip. Children will find the circularity and poetic justice of the tale pleasing. In a style reminiscent of the old-time picture-book makers like Leslie Brooke and Randolph Caldecott, Wegner packs his watercolor-and-ink drawings with detail. Unfortunately, the small size of the book is at odds with the expansive illustrations. In spite of this, readers will find this tale an agreeable and amusing choice.-Kathleen M. Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, Eldersburg, MD (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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