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THE PORRIDGE POT by Carl Colshorn


by Carl Colshorn and Theodore Colshorn & translated by Anthea Bell & illustrated by Claudia Carls

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-698-40073-3
Publisher: Minedition/Penguin

A newly translated 19th-century German tale features intriguing illustrations. Carls uses a richly detailed palette and clay sculptures for her figures. This makes for a surreal hyper-reality and dreamy textures for both color and form. In the story, a miller’s wife makes the last of their food into porridge, but when her husband tries to steal a taste, she runs from him with the full pot. Their daughter chases after them but loses a shoe. An old woman comforts the girl and sends her to a palace and tells her what to choose from the clothing offered. When she and the young prince (both are about 12) are about to wed, the old woman appears again and supplies the girl with a palace of her own. Into the merrymaking come the girl’s parents, still running, but they join the feast and all the guests eat a spoonful from the porridge pot and get a wish, as it turns out to be magic. The prince and princess have each other, however, and “that was all they could wish for.” It’s all a bit strange, but very traditional and the pictures will attract older readers who will enjoy the Puss-in-Boots overtones. (Folktale. 7-10)