Cover image for The talking pot : a Danish folktale
The talking pot : a Danish folktale
Haviland, Virginia, 1911-1988.
First edition.
Publication Information:
Boston : Joy Street Books, [1990]

Physical Description:
32 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 24 x 27 cm
A retelling of a Danish tale in which a magical talking pot causes a poor family to triumph over a rich couple.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library PZ8.1.H315 TAL 1990 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Eden Library PZ8.1.H315 TAL 1990 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Orchard Park Library PZ8.1.H315 TAL 1990 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Julia Boyer Reinstein Library PZ8.1.H315 TAL 1990 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales

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With a simple narrative and rhythmic verse, Virginia Haviland retells the folktale of how a rambunctious pot helps a poor family triumph over the village miser. There is a recipe at the end for old-fashioned Danish pudding.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Ages 5-8. A poor man trades his last cow, not for money but for a pot that talks. Though it seems a bad bargain to his disappointed wife, the pot soon shows its worth. "I skip, I skip!" it cries, running off on several trips to the rich man's house and taking what it needs to make the poor man's family secure for life. Finally, it even disposes of the rich man, carrying him off never to be seen again. Though the story has some definite dark undertones, the illustrations are determinedly cheerful. Sweet's watercolors are peopled with cartoon-style characters in a quaint, old-world setting that's breezy and bright. The tale will entertain, and children will find its elementary social justice quite satisfying. A recipe for baked Danish apple pudding is appended. ~--Denise Wilms

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-- Forced to sell his family's last possession of value, a poor man trades their cow for a large iron cauldron, only to learn that it can talk. After it has been cleaned and put on the fire, the pot skips to a rich man's house and returns full of pudding. Twice again it rushes to the wealthy household, returning with more treasures. The fourth time, the man grabs hold of it. The pot goes off with him in tow and is never seen again. This familiar Danish folktale was retold by Haviland and included in her Favorite Fairy Tales Told in Denmark (Little, 1971; o.p.). Sweet's ink and watercolor washes illustrate the tale with stylized cartoons highlighted with cheery reds, greens, and blues. However, the pages are too often cluttered with unnecessary details and lack of recognizable focus. The overall page design is awkward and inconsistent with the typeface. Best suited for independent reading, but the mediocre illustrations don't do justice to Haviland's retelling. --Denise Anton Wright, Library Book Selection Service, Inc., Bloomington, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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