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The Sweetest Fig

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  2,275 Ratings  ·  265 Reviews
"These figs are very special," the woman whispered. "They can make your dreams come true." -- Thus Monsieur Bibot, the cold-hearted dentist, was given two ordinary-looking figs as payment for extracting a tooth from an old woman's mouth. Monsieur Bibot refused to believe such nonsense and proceeded to eat one of the figs for a bedtime snack. Although it was possibly the fi ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published 1993 by Houghton Mifflin Company
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Community Reviews

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“The Sweetest Fig” is a mysterious children’s book from the brilliant mind of Chris Van Allsburg which is about how a picky man named Monsieur Bibot who receives two mysterious figs from an old woman and after he learns the magic of the two figs, he suddenly gets unexpected consequences. “The Sweetest Fig” is truly a brilliant book about the consequences of treating others unkindly that many children will love for many years.

Chris Van Allsburg has done an excellent job with illustrating this boo
Elizabeth Menchaca
Nov 05, 2014 Elizabeth Menchaca rated it it was amazing
Bibot the dentist is a fussy greedy man, he lives in an apartment in Paris France with his small white dog Marcel, who he constantly mistreats. One day an old woman walks into Monsieur Bibot’s office complaining of a toothache, hoping to make some extra francs he agrees to help her regardless of the fact that she does not have an appointment. After gladly removing her tooth with some pliers the old woman tells the dentist that she does not have any money to pay for her procedure but that she ha ...more
Jodie Greene
Mar 28, 2014 Jodie Greene rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
This is a magic realism picture book about a Parisian dentist who is paid by one of his patients with magic two figs. He eats one of the figs and the next day, he realizes that the dream he had the night before came true. He sees the Eiffel Tower turned into rubber. He decides to train himself to dream that he is a rich man. After a few nights of dreaming about being rich, he decides it’s time to eat the last fig. When he has his back turned, his dog (who he mistreats earlier in the book) eats t ...more
May 01, 2014 Eve rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2014
I've been working my way through the "1001 Children's Books to Read Before You Grow Up" list, and this particular title caught my eye. It was a fun story, set in Paris (winning). The illustrations were amazing, and I loved the fantasy aspects of the plot.
Richard Ward
Jul 22, 2016 Richard Ward rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone of any age.
A picture storybook for small children, though they will need an adult's help in understanding it. (Unless your toddler understands hypnotism and is familiar with the Eiffel Tower.) Beautifully illustrated by the author/illustrator of Jumanji and Polar Express.
A selfish French dentist pulls a woman's tooth and is paid with a pair of figs, magic figs that will make the eater's dreams come true. His dog is sick of how the dentist treats him. Will the dog see to it that the mean dentist gets his j
The Docta
Jul 03, 2016 The Docta rated it did not like it
Very unsettling and creepy. I wondered where it is going with the story at first then it ends up just giving me the willies when I finished. I am not sure I was so unsettled by this book upon first reading and a little child. Something made me not like it but I was not so unerved I don't think.
Nov 23, 2014 Jessica rated it really liked it
After reading a picture book, I try to guess what inspired the author/artist. Today's question is, why would someone write such a snarky little kid's book with such soft and lovely art?

A small cafe with an outdoor section.

VAN ALLSBURG sits in the sunshine with a coffee and his sketchbook, waiting for inspiration to strike. He rubs his jaw, still throbbing from a trip to the dentist.

A nattily dressed man crosses the sidewalk, dragging his dog and yanking the leash.

Aug 17, 2016 Dana rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
Another excellent book by Van Allsburg. An egotistical and cruel hearted man who is incredibly abusive toward his dog receives two figs from a mysterious old woman. She has only these fruits to give in payment to him for dental work he had done for her. He disdainfully takes the figs as she tells him that they make dreams come true. He finds this to indeed be the case in a fun twist of events involving his poor abused dog at the end of the story. A great book for allowing the opportunity for pre ...more
Christopher Seideman
May 02, 2015 Christopher Seideman rated it it was amazing
Monsieur Bibot is a cold-hearted dentist, detests dogs, and is generally uncouth. After performing an unscheduled dental surgery on an elderly woman right before closing, he’s paid in a truly life-changing way. The woman gives him two figs, which she says are capable of making his dreams come true. Having judged the payment as inadequate, he throws the elderly woman out on the street with no pain medication, only to return home to the dog he despises, Marcel. However, when Bibot learns that ther ...more
Marissa Horton
Feb 22, 2015 Marissa Horton rated it really liked it
In the book "The Sweetest Fig", Monsieur Bibot a dentist helped an old lady with her teeth, but the old lady did not have any money for payment. Instead she offered him two figs that she said "they can make your dreams come true". Refusing to believe the old lady, he decided to eat one fig at dinner. The next morning he realized that his dreamed had come true such as the lady said. He then decided to have the other fig that next night to make his dreams come true. That night as the he was prepar ...more
Becca Hopkins
Feb 19, 2015 Becca Hopkins rated it really liked it
The book The Sweetest Fig is about a dentist and his dog. A lady gives the dentist these two figs but he does not know what they are for or anything about them. One day the dentist eats the fig and the next day something weird happens. Because of the fig everything he dreamed of became true. The dentist then decides to use that to his advantage. He decides he going to dream of becoming rich and hope the fig works. Instead the dog eats the fig and his dream comes true. The dog dreamed that him an ...more
Alex Valenzuela
Feb 19, 2015 Alex Valenzuela rated it liked it
The Sweetest Fig is a picturebook written by author/illustrator Chirs Van Allsburg. The story tells about a very mean dentist whom after helping a begging patient begrudgingly receives two sweet figs "that make dreams come true" as payment for his service. One night before heading to bed, the dentist, Bilbot, discovers that these in fact are the sweetest figs he has ever tasted. The next morning as he drags his poor pup outside for a walk, he discovers that he's the center of attention. He's gon ...more
Dec 06, 2014 Leah added it
The Sweetest Fig is picture book about a selfish dentist, Bibot. The book started off showing just how selfish and bitter Bibot was, and how he treated his little dog Marcel. The next page we see how he treats his patients, no matter the age. His current patient did not have the money to pay for the treatment and wanted to pay with magic figs that made dreams come true. Bibot was dissatisfied with this, but still took the figs. Later that evening, Bibot had a fig for a snack. The day after he fo ...more
Dec 06, 2014 Isabel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-lit
Such a great book! Monsieur Bibot is a very selfish man and dentist. He lives alone in Paris with his dog, Marcel, whom he treats very poorly. Everything in Bibot's life is the way he likes it until one day a poor old woman walks into his office with lots of pain in one of her teeth. Bibot pulls out her teeth and even enjoys causing the old woman pain. He is about to give her some pain pills when the woman tells him that she can not pay in cash but all she has to offer are two magic figs that wi ...more
Lindsay Fischer
Nov 12, 2014 Lindsay Fischer rated it really liked it
Chris Van Allsburg has a specialty with creating very imaginative worlds. His story's are all so unique, including this one. A stuffy dentist goes about life in the proper way. Or at least he would like to think so. One day a patient pays him in magical figs that make your dreams a reality. This doesn't mean what you wish necessarily, but whatever comes to your mind. This occurs to the man when he walks outside in his underwear. As the story goes on, he experiences many odd situations. The oddes ...more
Martiah Rall
Nov 05, 2014 Martiah Rall rated it liked it
The Sweetest Fig by Chris Van Allsburg was published in 1993. The story is about a greedy dentist who takes two magical figs from a woman who can’t afford to pay for her bill. Not believing they are real, he eats the first fig as a midnight snack and wakes up to find himself walking his dog in Paris in his underwear. Not wanting to waste the second fig, he thinks carefully before eating the next one.

One of the main characters, the dog named Marcel, is actually a dog named Fritz that shows up i
Chloey Jones
Nov 05, 2014 Chloey Jones rated it really liked it
A tight wad dentist believes he is the best of the best and therefore deserves to be paid as such. When he finishes up work on an elderly lady she informs him she has no money to offer him but two of the sweetest figs he will ever taste. Disgusted he kicks her out if his office and takes the figs home. Grudgingly the dentist tries a fig when he return home and discovers the old women was right as the pig was juicy and delicious but more importantly the next day the dentist discovered the pig ma ...more
Apr 23, 2016 Patti rated it it was amazing
I read this favorite of mine to my granddaughter’s 4th grade class this week. It is one of two I like to read that perfectly presents stories “with a twist”. All that is needed is a definition of the concept – then read it! It’s so fun to watch their faces and listen to the ‘a-hah moment’ at the end! If they were listening carefully, they got it!

I am not a fan of all of Chris van Allsburg’s books, but this is the one I love reading out loud the most. (“Jumanji” I also like a lot.) He writes a cl
Nov 01, 2011 Laura rated it it was amazing
I'm starting a Chris Van Allsburg unit with my 3rd grade classes. We read this book to kick off the unit and to talk about making inferences. The kids really liked it -- the twist at the end was well done and my students enjoyed explaining how they figured out what really happened. Recommended for grades 3 and up. Younger students may also like the book but will need a bit more support to read between the lines.
Feb 25, 2015 Erin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
FANTASY- As with all Chris Van Allsburg books, The Sweetest Fig allows the reader to practice their inference skills as Monsieur Bibot and his dog, Marcel, take us on a journey few of us have ever seen. One that involves magic figs and dreams literally coming true. Monsieur Bibot is a dentist in Paris who is paid one day by an old women by two "magic figs". When Monsieur Bibot soon realizes that these figs do in fact make your dreams come true it is up to him to train his brain to use them wisel ...more
Tiffany Fox
May 30, 2015 Tiffany Fox rated it it was amazing
Title: The Sweetest Fig
Author: Chris Van Allsburg
Illustrator: Chris Van Allsburg
Publisher/Date: HMH/ 10/25/1993
Pages/Format: 32/ Hardcover
ISBN: 9780395673461

"These figs are very special," the woman whispered. "They can make your dreams come true." --Thus Monsieur Bibot, the cold-hearted dentist, was given two ordinary-looking figs as payment for extracting a tooth from an old woman's mouth. Monsieur Bibot refused to believe such nonsense and proceeded to eat one of the figs for a bedtime snack.
Jessica Navarrete
Feb 18, 2014 Jessica Navarrete rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book because of the storyline. It begins with a grouchy dentist and a woman suffering a toothache. He has to remove the tooth and advises her to take some pain medication. The woman confesses she doesn’t have money, but will pay him with two of the best figs ever. She also mentions these figs have the ability to grant anything you want. He doesn’t believe her and kicks her out before handing her medication! Later that night he gets home and eat the figs. The nex ...more
Kyla Frey
Feb 18, 2014 Kyla Frey rated it really liked it
There is a dentist who does work on an old lady to remove a tooth, but the lady can not pay in money so she gives him two figs instead. He refused to give her medicine and kicked her out of his office. Later that night, he tried a fig, and it was the best fig he had ever had. The fig made his dreams come true, and he worked to use the second fig to his advantage, to make him the richest man in the world. When he was getting ready to eat the second fig, the dog got to it first and the dentist was ...more
May 05, 2016 Linda rated it really liked it
A good book to use to introduce fairness to others and behaving responsibly. When the dentist tells the old woman to leave without pain medicine one could discuss altruism and giving to people who need help. This could also be used to discuss responsible behavior towards animals.
Rachel Garcia
Apr 27, 2016 Rachel Garcia rated it really liked it
I am always a fan of Chris Val Allsburg, and I was surprised to see a title I haven't heard before. The Sweetest Fig requires a little bit more thinking as it explores the realm of fantasy versus reality with, not only words but, illustrations. It was a fun and engaging read.
Dec 04, 2014 Jerrica rated it really liked it
I really liked this book because there was humor in it towards the end. The moral of the story in my opinion is to treat people the way you want to be treated. I say this because throughout the book, the main character was very mean to almost everyone. Later in the story the main character got what he deserved. Teaching children about revenge isn't recommended but thats life and sooner or later they will experience this in life.
I liked how the illustrations were plain and straight to the point.
Dec 06, 2010 Michael rated it really liked it
A sweet and stylized look at the pitfalls of narcissism, The Sweetest Fig brings to mind the clean simplicity of certain French films and American novels and manages an artfulness in 20 pages most can't in 300.
LesLee Sanders
Oct 17, 2015 LesLee Sanders rated it it was amazing
I hated how nasty the owner was to his dental clients and dog. He was very rude and almost deserved being humiliated in public in his underwear. Subtle clues were given to move your predictions along. When you read how the author sets up the scenes of disdain and neglect to the dog you realize that the dog in the end was able to make the best use out of the fig and helps our rude owner get a taste of his own medicine. I think this book was really funny and kids would respond to it. You could use ...more
Selene Vasquez
Dec 06, 2014 Selene Vasquez rated it really liked it
This book is about a mean self centered dentist. One day he treats an old woman who then says she will pay him in "magical figs" angry Monsieur Bibot (name of the character) throws the old lady out and does not give her pain meds. These "magical figs" are suppose to make his dreams come true. That night he eats one and the next day he realizes his dream did come true, he then wants to save the last fig hoping that he will dream of being rich. That night his dog eats the fig and the very next day ...more
Taylor De La Fe
Feb 19, 2014 Taylor De La Fe rated it really liked it
This is a great story. It is about a dentist who had a rotten heart. A little old woman gave him 2 figs instead of money saying they would make his wishes come true. Bibot did not understand and throughout the story, he finds out what she means. I think this story would be great for making predictions and for students to think about what they would do with such a gift. It also can show evil and good. I think this story could be used really from kindergarten to 3rd grade depending on the lesson i ...more
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Chris was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on June 18, 1949, the second child of Doris Christiansen Van Allsburg and Richard Van Allsburg. His sister Karen was born in 1947.

Chris’s paternal grandfather, Peter, owned and operated a creamery, a place where milk was turned into butter, cream, cottage cheese, and ice cream. It was named East End Creamery and after they bottled the milk (and made the ot
More about Chris Van Allsburg...

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