Lisa Vegan's Reviews > Heckedy Peg

Heckedy Peg by Audrey Wood
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Jun 08, 11

really liked it
bookshelves: childrens, fiction, picture-books, reviewed, fairy-folktales
Recommended for: those who enjoy wonderful illustrations & who don’t frighten easily
Read on June 08, 2011

The illustrations here are truly magnificent. The paintings would not be out of place in an art museum. They’re amazing.

The story is both scary and funny. I’d have been terrified as a young child, but as an adult I really enjoyed the story.

It’s about a clever and loving mother and her seven children. (Given the children’s names, I did get a chuckle from wondering what she’d have done had she had eight children. ha ha) I guess this is a reassurance story since the mother outwits the witch but it’s a very scary story, in my opinion. What’s fun is for the reader/listener to guess, along with the mother, which child is which, in order to save them.

This is an original fairy tale like story. The inside cover says it’s inspired by a sixteenth-century game still played by children today. (That’s all that’s said about that. I don’t know anything about the game. I’m curious enough that I’ll probably go try to look it up.)

4 ½ stars
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Comments (showing 1-14 of 14) (14 new)

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Jackie "the Librarian" I love Don and Audrey Wood's collaborative work.

Yes, the story is quite scary! Just like a traditional, unDisneyfied, fairy tale.


Lisa Vegan Yep. I was traumatized by Hansel and Gretel when I was 3 or 4!!! Sometimes don't like 'em. Fairy tales. I'm sure I got a sanitized version too, not the full force version, but even so, I was terrified and it effected me for year. Abandonment and all. At risk of being eaten too, but mostly the abandonment, I'm sure.


message 3: by Gundula (new) - added it

Gundula Sounds like a tale with reminiscences of both Hänsel and Gretel and the Wolf and the Seven Little Kids. I need to read this.


Lisa Vegan Oh no, Gundula. I wasn't associating this particular story with Hansel and Gretel, other than them both being scary. Well, and a witch wanting to eat kids. But this one doesn't seem as scary to me, but I assume I'd have been frightened of this one too.


Lisa Vegan Yes, the mom does rock!


message 6: by Gundula (new) - added it

Gundula Chandra wrote: "I think there's also a bit of the Baba Yaga legend going on here too. But I also love that the mom gets to play such a strong/brave role - different from some fairy tales where mom is the antagonist."

Yeah, so often in fairy tales, the mother (or a mother type figure) either dies, is neglectful or downright nasty. I think that's what also sort of reminded me of the Wolf and the Seven Little Kids story. Not only are there seven young ones who let in a dangerous entity in both stories, but in both stories it is the mother who ends up saving her children and destroying the danger (the wolf in Grimm's fairy tale, the witch in this story).


Lisa Vegan Oh, okay, I wasn't familiar with that tale. Yes, this one does have elements of both those stories.


message 8: by Gundula (new) - added it

Gundula Lisa wrote: "Oh, okay, I wasn't familiar with that tale. Yes, this one does have elements of both those stories."

I used to like the story about the wolf and the seven little kids, but I hate it now, just another tale where "evil" is in the form of a big bad wolf.


Lisa Vegan Gundula wrote: "but I hate it now, just another tale where "evil" is in the form of a big bad wolf. "

Skipping it.


message 10: by Gundula (new) - added it

Gundula Lisa wrote: "Gundula wrote: "but I hate it now, just another tale where "evil" is in the form of a big bad wolf. "

Skipping it."


You're not missing much.


Crystal Marcos The story was scary, definitely not for the very young or for a child who spends time alone without parents.


message 12: by Lisa (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lisa Vegan Crystal wrote: "The story was scary, definitely not for the very young or for a child who spends time alone without parents."

I'd have been too scared of this as a child, even if read by a trusted adult to me.


Crystal Marcos Lisa wrote: "Crystal wrote: "The story was scary, definitely not for the very young or for a child who spends time alone without parents."

I'd have been too scared of this as a child, even if read by a trusted..."


Me too, I should add that to my review.


Ronyell I've often wondered about what would happened if the mother had 8 children also! That would be hilarious to see!


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