Don't Count Your Chicks
D'Aulaire, Edgar Parin
. Doubleday Doran, . Garden City, N.Y. ,
PZ7.A914 Do 1943 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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This is a large-format children's book with a canvas binding. It seems a rare wartime production. A pre-title-page announces that the book will put together the American proverb, which has no story attached, with a Scandinavian story put into verse by Hans Christian Andersen, which has no proverb. The story is not that different from the one associated with Aesop. In this case, the woman is carrying a basket of eggs to town to sell them and is figuring up the profits all the way. She looked neither to the right nor to the left until she had finished counting. She looks forward to buying two more hens and starts multiplying the results using her present output as a basis. Oh, dear me, will I be rich! she soon exclaims. Next she will buy two geese and a little lamb -- and then two pigs and a milking cow. She will hire a maid and a man. A suitor will come. I will marry him for sure, for he has a farm still bigger than mine. And now I'm a lady. She will then be able to turn up her nose at everything. Turning up her nose has her losing the basket of eggs, which for some reason she has just put on top of her head. The last page has her reflecting on the good things she still has and being satisfied with them, including her hen who is so good she lays an egg a day. This version seems to me weak in motivating getting the eggs -- here at the last minute -- onto the woman's head. Whether with a pitcher of milk or a basket of eggs, does that action of getting them onto the woman's head not need to happen near the beginning of the story? Simple but pleasant large black-and-white and pastel illustrations alternate. This copy has an old-book smell.