The Golden Goose

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Title The Golden Goose

Author The Brothers Grimm, retold by Uri Shulevitz

Illustrator/Photographer Uri Shulevitz

Publisher and Year HarperCollins, 1995

Number of pages: 28

Genre: Fairy Tale

Descriptive Annotation: The Golden Goose tells the story of a young man who was called a “simpleton” and considered by his family to be worthless. One day, he went to the woods to cut down a tree and came across an elderly man who asked for food. The boy offered the man all he had and in return, the man revealed to him the location of a golden goose. This goose caught the attention of many townspeople, but when they tried to steal it from the boy, they got stuck to one another and formed a long chain. This chain came in handy when it got a very solemn princess to laugh—whoever was able to produce a chuckle was able to marry the princess. The simpleton, princess, and golden goose lived happily ever after.

Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis: This book is set in a time period in which kings, queens, and peasants still exist. Students may find the differences in that time period compared to ours interesting—how a king offered his daughter up for marriage based on certain qualifications is just one of the many things that occurred in the book that does not typically happen today. Not only is this book told in typical storybook fashion, but it also includes rhyming sequences. These rhymes would be fun for younger students to say out loud.

Interdisciplinary Connections: This book could be read in conjunction with a social studies unit on medieval times since it takes place during that time period. Reading and discussing The Golden Goose also meets SELS 2B.2b. “Demonstrate how to work effectively with those who are different from oneself.” The simpleton’s family did not IMG_3414accept him for who he was, but he maintained a positive attitude. His brothers ignored the elderly man because he did not seem important to them. The simpleton, however, treated the man with respect and offered him all the food that he had; the man, in turn, helped out the simpleton in many different ways. This book could be used as a good lesson on how to treat others, especially if they are not outwardly similar to you.

Other Information: This book was an adapted version of the original Brothers Grimm story. Although I have not read many of the original versions of their fairy tales, I suggest to most teachers, especially those who teach younger grades, to read and research the original fairy tale before reading it aloud to the class, because many of their fairy tales could be deemed inappropriate for younger audiences.

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