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The Talking Pot: A Danish Folktale by…

The Talking Pot: A Danish Folktale

by Virginia Haviland

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I really enjoyed this Danish folktale. The talking pot helps out a poor family by "skipping" away from the rich. There does not seem to be a lesson that is learned after reading this story, but it is good nonetheless. It is an easy read and the illustrations fit well with the upbeat theme of the book. ( )
  klmontgomery | Sep 26, 2013 |
The Talking Pot retold by Virginia Haviland is retelling of a Danish folktale. It is the story about a very poor family. When the father heads in to town to sell their only cow, he comes across a stranger who offers to trade his black pot for the cow. The father refuses at first pointing out that a pot is useless to a man who has nothing to put in it. Just then the pot talks and says, "Just take me." The father thought that if the pot can speak it could probably do more than that. When the father returns home his wife is not happy with the exchange he made, but then the pot speaks again and says, "Clean me and put me on the fire." It is now the wife's turn to believe that the pot can do more than talk so she cleans it and puts it over the fire. The pot then says, "I skip, I skip," and proceeds to the rich man's house. The wife of the rich man is busy baking bread when the pot shows up and she decides to use the pot for her pudding. But when the pot is filled with pudding it hops away heading back to the poor family. The next morning the pot hops to the rich man's barn where some men use it to fill it with wheat. The pot hops back to the poor family leaving the men empty handed. The following day the pot hops back to the rich man's house where the pot tricks the old man into putting gold coins in it. When the pot tries to return to the rich man's house the next day the rich man flings himself onto the pot and finds that he is unable to let go. The pot shouts, "I skip, I skip," and the old man tells it to skip to the North Pole if it likes. The poor couple are now rich and the pot is never seen again.
There is no mention or citation of the original tale. The plot is simple and direct and can be enjoyed by children of all ages. The language is lively and engaging and in keeping with the oral tradition. There isn't much of a moral here but it is a fun story. The illustrations are cheery and the happy face on the black pot is adorable. The illustrations of the setting are reminiscent of that the Danish countryside. I would recommend this book to students in grades K-5. ( )
  shillson | Nov 20, 2011 |
Is being rich and ungenerous enough of a reason to lose your fortune and life? I don't think the punishment fits the crime. The rich doesn't lose his life, but it does appear that he is forced---admittedly by his own statement---to follow the magic pot to the North Pole. The story starts out like Jack and the Beanstalk: a poor man trying to sell his cow ends up trading it for a talking pot. It turns out the pot can skip, particularly to the rich man's house, where different people put things into it. The pot then returns to the poor man's house with the stuff and his family becomes rich.
  raizel | Oct 25, 2010 |
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A man and his wife were once living in a very small cottage - the smallest and poorest hut in the whole village.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316350605, Library Binding)

A retelling of a Danish tale in which a magical talking pot causes a poor family to triumph over a rich couple.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:50 -0400)

A retelling of a Danish tale in which a magical talking pot causes a poor family to triumph over a rich couple.

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