Monday, December 21, 2009


Ferradiddledumday: An Appalachian Version of Rumpelstiltskin
By Becky Mushko
Illustrated by Bruce Rae
56 pages
32 illustrations

Ferradiddledumday, by my friend and fellow member of the Roanoke Valley Branch of the National Federation of American Pen Women (and a blogger, too!), has written an enchanting folklore read. Parents, teachers and the youngsters who get a hold of this will be delighted.

I was taken by the language, which rang so true that I thought the folks in the book could have been my own grandparents. In just a few short pages, Mushko deftly has explained what life was like in the Blue Ridge Mountains for hundreds of years.

Filled with lovely and lively details and words like redbuds, pipsissewa and maidenhair ferns, this book teaches with ease. Readers, even adults, will learn without having the slightest notion that they've been taught something new.

They may even go to the dictionary in order to figure out what "skedaddled" and other colloquial words mean. If so, then good for them and good for the author for making an educational book educate.

A handy and thorough study and discussion guide in the back makes it clear that this book offers up many good lessons. It is a worthy addition to the piece.

The illustrations by Bruce Rae add to the charm and unique feel of this charming book. Fairy tales have a great purpose and Mushko has handily taken this familiar tale and made it her own.

The author and the illustrator both should be proud of this wonderful work. I give it the highest rating I can give it.

You can learn more about this local author at her website.

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