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The Sweetest Fig

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  1,734 ratings  ·  225 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 October 25th 1993 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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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
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.
Elizabeth Menchaca
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Jessica Navarrete
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
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
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.
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.

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.
Selene Vasquez
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
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
I read this story aloud to my fifth grade students and we all loved it. I hadn't read it before and one of my colleagues loaned it to me. So I was giving it a first read right along with the kids. I love it when that happens, so I can be surprised right along with them. The kids were very engaged, and at first seemed upset by the abrupt ending (they wanted more). We had a discuss about why the author chose to end the book that way, and they all agreed that it's better to come up with your own id ...more
I don't believe that I've ever finished a Chris Van Allsburg book with any initial response other than "Wow!" He truly is one of the most consistently excellent picture book creators whose work I have ever experienced.

The Sweetest Fig is a tale of subtle foreshadowing, done so elegantly and with such skill that the seemingly innocuous story carries an undercurrent of tangible suspense. How rare is real suspense in a picture book, I ask you?

Bibot, a French dentist who is used to rigid order in
This is my Author Study book.

This book is about a greedy dentist who sees a patient who cannot pay for her visit. since she cannot give money, she pays with a fig. The dentist's dog who he occasionally mistreats, by accidentally eats the fig that makes all your "dreams come true". The dog's dream comes true, and his owner is turned into a dog. Though Chris Van Allsburg did not win the Caldecott award for this book, I still think he did a nice job illustrating this story. He did an excellent job
In Chris Van Allsburg's world, people--and sometimes dogs--get their just desserts, and this picture book is no exception. When Monsieur Bibot helps an elderly woman with a toothache, she pays him with two figs that will make his dreams come true. Disappointed that she gave him no money, he refuses to give her pills for the pain. After eating one fig, he has a most extraordinary day as his crazy dreams from the night before have improbably come true. He hypnotizes himself so that when he sleeps, ...more
The Sweetest Fig is a wickedly funny fable about greed and kindness. Monsieur Bibot is a dentist--a tad fussy in both his personal and professional life. He is more concerned with his own needs and wants than with those of his pet dog, Marcel, or his clients.

When an old woman, unable to pay for his dental services offers him magic figs instead, M. Bibot rushes her out of his office--without the pain medication he has promised, since she has no money to pay for it. The old woman has told M. Bibot
The Sweetest Fig is yet another Chris Van Allsburg book that I loved! The ending has a sort of twist to it, like most of his books.

Before I even opened the book, I noticed that the font of the title was done in a "fancy cursive" writing. That coupled with the way he was eating the fig and how he was dressed on the cover made me think that this character was going to be snooty and maybe trying put on a facade that he was better than other people.

The illustrations in this book are done in a very s
Brittany Young
I am really becoming hooked on Van Allsberg’s writing. The illustrations and story are absolutely captivating. This book is a bit smaller than the other books are. It is also composed in a vertical fashion like “The widow’s broom” is. The illustrator chose dot illustration again, but this time with dark mauve, brown, cream, and dark colors in a lighter hue. I think the dot illustrations would be interesting for a young reader to look at, I think they would want to scan the picture and see how al ...more
I absolutely loved this book! The twist at the end was entertaining. Starting off with the dentist who seems to be all about perfection, helps a lady who is pain. After removing her tooth, he said he would give her pain killers. However the lady is unable to pay with money but instead pays him with two figs. The lady claims that they will make his dreams come true. The dentist was furious and did not give her the pain killers. After the dentist went home he ate one of the figs, it was one of the ...more
Spencer Gold

I really enjoyed looking at Allsburg's illustrations as I feel like I am taking a trip to a museum. His pictures are so realistic looking as if they were photographs. I feel his illustrations have this strong white borders to give more of the impression of looking at a picture. His vivid drawings bring the characters to life. I feel as if they are almost real people I am looking at. I wonder if he uses anyone as inspiration for the characters he draws.

This is a story of a greedy man who only
The Sweetest Fig tells the story of a dentist who took in a final client for the day and pulled her rotten. She did not have any money but only the sweetest two figs that she told the dentist could make your dreams come true. The dentist did not pay her any attention but rather grew increasinly angry at her lack of being a "paying customer." Nonetheless, he threw her out. Subsequently, he decided to eat one of the figs as a snack and sure enough, his dreams from the previous night were beginnin ...more
Nov 09, 2007 Josephine rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: all fans of picture books
Shelves: picture-books
Of course I love The Polar Express and Jumanji and all the other stunning, breathtaking books that Mr. Van Allsburg has created. And people may think I'm crazy to even name a favorite (and especially a favorite that is not The Polar Express). But The Sweetest Fig is so charming and funny and surprising, I just can't help it.

The story takes place in Paris and begins in the office of Monsieur Bibot, a very unsympathetic, unkind dentist. An old woman comes in with a toothache, and after Bibot extra
Emily H.
Book type: Picture storybook (fantasy)
Intended Audience: Can be read by five year olds, and can also be used for writing activities in fourth grade

Although some people perhaps feel that their enjoyment of Van Allsburg was taken away when his two Caldecott illustration winners, Jumanji and Polar Express, were turned into children's movies, I cannot say the same for myself. I'd seen both movies and had not read the books and was blown away by the writing and the illustrations. I really enjoyed th
Additional choice book:

The Sweetest Fig by Chris Van Allsburg is about a dentist, Monsieur Bibot, who worked on a woman’s tooth one day. The woman did not have any money, so she paid him in figs. She gave him two figs and said they could make his dreams come true. One night he ate a fig for a bedtime snack and the next day the dream he had came true! He realized he needed to use the second fig wisely. Every night before he went to sleep he told himself he was the richest man on earth. He starte
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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
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