Title: The Farmer’s Wife
Author: Idries Shah
Illustrator: Rose Mary Santiago
Publisher: Hooppe Books, June 2005
Suitable for: 3 and up
Themes/Topics: Culture: Afghanistan, Folktale/lore, Problem-solving,
Once upon a time there was a farmer’s wife. One day when she was picking apples from a tree, one of the apples fell into a hole in the ground and she couldn’t get it out.
This is a cumulative tale about a woman's efforts to retrieve an apple from a hole in the ground. Children will enjoy learning the highly predictable lines by heart. But when a surprise event changes the direction of the tale, their expectations will be jolted in a most amusing way, and they will have learned its valuable lessons about the nature of problem solving and discovery. Rose Mary Santiago’s striking illustrations evoke the story’s origins and, at the same time, add a uniquely playful atmosphere to this funny tale.
Links to resources:
Activity and discussion ideas.
*What was the moral of the story? Have your child(ren) discuss what they got out of the book.
*This story can be used to talk about problem solving. Let your child(ren) discuss alternative ways the farmer’s wife could have retrieved the apple from the hole.
*Talk about the importance of treating animals with kindness. Is it ever okay to have one animal hurt another?
*Notice the dress of the farmer’s wife? Where is she from? Have your child(ren) guess where she is from. This story is an Afghani folktale. Where is Afghanistan? Have your child(ren) look up the country and research the culture.
*Afghani girl cultural dress coloring page.
*Read the story online.
Why I like this book:
This was a really cute tale that reminded me of the stories I grew up reading like the Old lady who swallowed the fly, the napping house, etc. I always loved a story that started off, “Once Upon A Time.” :D Those are the classics. There is always a lesson to be learned in a ‘once upon a time’ tale! In this story children learn that being persistent will sometime lead to remarkable outcomes. For young children, it helps to have the repetition in the story. It helps them anticipate the rest of the story and encourage early literacy skills. The illustrations were playful and hilarious! I loved them. Another neat thing about the books is that it is translated into Spanish as well. I took Spanish in college and tried reading and well let’s just say I need to go re-learn the language! :(
I like books about flok tales. I've never heard of this one and it sounds like a great story. Thanks for telling us about it!
I love once upon a time books! And this one sounds like fun. I always like books about different cultures. This will be a great addition to our list. Thanks!
Excellent activities. Thank you for the recommendation!
Now we want to know the twist! I always enjoy folk tales from other nations.
We love "The Napping House" and the "Old Lady." I also love to teach the boys about geography. I hope our library has this one. Thanks for the recommendation!
Ooh..sounds like my kind of book. And I'd never heard of this publisher before. Thanks for sharing!
Saba, love that this is a cultural tale that has no limitations. I always enjoyed the "Once upon a time..." themes I grew up with as a child. Always something magical about it. So this is certainly a classic. Really enjoyed your actvity suggestions! Nice pick today.
Sounds like a good introduction to cultural awareness and sensitivity. With a fun storyline too! Thanks for the recommendation.
I think it's allowed...
Love the book. I also used to love the "Once upon a time...." books. This books has some great messages and multicultural theme.... Nice.
I also love this type of story...part fable part fairy tale and 100% enjoyable. :)
Little ones love repetition...and it's great that it is available in Spanish as well.
The activities are great...thank you so much for adding this to PPBF!
Yay!! I'm not the only one who loves 'Once upon a time' folktales :D
Sounds like a great book--where did you get hold of it?
---Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2012
Thanks Damyanti, I found it online actually. I was looking for another book and came across this and got to read it online and loved it :) I included the link where I read it online but I am pretty sure you can get hold of it at your local library.
"Once Upon A Time" tales always grab me, too. Thanks for adding it to the list.
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