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The Brave Little Seamstress

"Goodness!" the little seamstress said. "I've killed seven flies with one blow." And to mark the event, she took out her favorite coat and stitched on the back: SEVEN WITH ONE BLOW!

Proud of her amazing feat, the brave little seamstress sets off to tell the world. It's not her fault if, along the way, a giant sees her coat and thinks she slayed seven giants, now is it?

Based on the classic fairy tale "The Brave Little Tailor," Mary Pope Osborne's spirited retelling -- this time starring a gutsy seamstress -- and Giselle Potter's charming illustrations take you to a magical world where a little heroine meets even the biggest challenges with wit and imagination.

"This briskly imaginative romp will sew up fans' allegiance and gear them up for this pair's next Grimm makeover." -- Publisher's Weekly

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Description Review

"Seven with one blow!" Well, that's quite a brave little seamstress, isn't it? To characterize Mary Pope Osborne and Giselle Potter's fairy tale as a mere Grimm Brothers' rehash is to miss the point entirely. Although the pair has repurposed Grimm's The Brave Little Tailor to more feminist ends, they've hung onto the story's most grisly details while seamlessly slipping in a plucky heroine to brilliant effect.

As in Grimm, the action begins when our sweet seamster takes down a passel of houseflies with a well-aimed swat. She then commemorates that action in delicate embroidered script on her walking coat. ("Seven with one blow!") Buoyed by confidence and cleverness, the seamstress then almost accidentally makes short work of a giant, then two giants, then a unicorn, and even a wild boar, all just by "following her nose."

"'Amazing!' the king exclaimed. 'Could you possibly do just one more thing for my kingdom?' The little seamstress sighed. She'd begun to fear the king was taking advantage of her helpful nature." But not to worry; despite her good nature, this seamstress is much too smart to be taken advantage of by such a clumsy king.

Potter's thoughtful, funny work in ink and animated gouache complements Osborne to a tee, with segues and interludes nothing short of genius. The big payoff comes when our girl becomes a legend: "Out of a seamstress a great queen was made, as kind and wise as she was strong and brave." -- Paul Hughes

Product Details

Recommended Age 4 - 8
Author Mary Pope Osborne
Illustrator Giselle Potter
ISBN 0689844867
Publication Date May 1, 2002
Publisher Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Language English