Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Clever Beatrice” as Want to Read:
Clever Beatrice
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Clever Beatrice (Clever Beatrice)

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  149 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
What happens when a very little girl makes a bet with a very LARGE giant?

"Good afternoon, Mister Giant, Sir. I have come to make a bet with you."

Can a very little girl beat a very large giant in feats of strength? That's what clever Beatrice bets on when she marches through the north woods to the home of the giant, hoping to win some of his gold to help her mother buy porr

Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 1st 2001 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published 2001)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Clever Beatrice, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Clever Beatrice

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Christine Jensen
Approximate Interest Level/Reading Level: Early Elementary

Format: Picture Book

Awards: ALA Notable Books for Children (2002), Charlotte Zolotow Award (2002), Horn Book Fanfare (2002)

In this “Upper Peninsula Conte,” a young heroine outsmarts a giant, conning him out of his fortune, in a quintessential brains vs. brawn tale. The author’s note on the opening pages offers an introduction into the history and traditions relating to the story, noting her choice to make the protagonist a “clever, persis
Tanner Markle
Title: Clever Beatrice
Author: Margaret Willey
Illustrator: (Heather Solomon)
Genre: European Folktale
Theme(s): Family, Cleverness
Opening line/sentence: Sure, she was little, but Beatrice loved riddles and tricks and she could think fast on her feet.
Brief Book Summary: Beatrice and her mother have run out of money to buy food. Beatrice, being the clever girl she is, heads out to challenge a giant to gamble on feats of strength. On three different occasions Beatrice outwits the giant and earns money
Maggie Cook
Title: Clever Beatrice

Author: Margret Wiley

Illustrator: Heather Solomon

Type of Book (format and literary genre): Picture Book/ Fiction

Awards the book has received (national): Charlotte Zolotow Award

Short original summary of the main plot, describe the content and themes of the book: There was a little girl who lived in the woods with her mom. They were very poor and could no longer afford food. But there were only two ways to make money in her village: cutting down trees with the lumber jacks or
Sarah Schwartz
Genre: Folklore
Awards: 2002 Charlotte Zolotow Award
Age Group: Nursery - Primary

Summary: After hearing that her family had eaten the last of their food, clever Beatrice comes up with a way to make some money. She challenges a giant to several physical challenges that the giant obviously believes he is capable of winning. Each time, Beatrice finds a way to outwit the giant without even having to engage in physical activity. In the end, Beatrice comes home with a large pouch of silver coins and a
Oct 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Clever Beatrice was an easy read. I really enjoyed it. Beatrice was a clever character and I was on pins and needles waiting to see how she would trick the giant. I liked that there was a little bit of background for the character. She wanted to support her family, but she was too young to chop lumber. Her mother said that they only other way to get money would be to trick the giant.

Beatrice is desperate, so she goes to the top of the hill and finds the giant. He likes to bet on his strength,
Sep 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-lit
This is a cute folklore book for primary readers. It’s been awarded the Horn Book Fanfare in 2002. It’s a cute story about a little girl who tricks a giant, thereby having brains win over brawn. I think children would love it because it reminds them that they don’t need to be the biggest or the strongest, sometimes being the smartest is the best thing to be. The one drawback I have with it is the simple fact that I feel like I’ve read it before, when I know I haven’t. It didn’t bore me, but it h ...more
Jun 05, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beatrice really is clever. And poor, of course (they're always poor, have you noticed?), at least, she is until she heads up to bet her strength against a giant.

Let's see... little girl... big giant - yeah, the giant thinks this is really funny too. Pity he's not as clever as she is. Through intelligence and plain old chutzpah, Beatrice convinces the giant three times that if she competes she's bound to destroy his property, so she wins her bets three times and goes home relatively wealthy. Not
This book is a winner of the Charlotte Zolotow Award. It is a very cute story about a little girl named Beatrice who outsmarts a giant. You've got to love a story where a little girl is the "hero". I love the illustrations. I think that this book could be used in combination with teaching map skills as it is set in the Northern Country of the USA and refers to the Giants brothers to the North, South, East, and West. The book may also be useful in teaching story prediction skills....(How will Bea ...more
Rebecca Ann
This is a "conte", or tall tale from Michigan. The book tells us that these tend to have rhythmic repetition, and over-exaggeration. In this story a little girl outsmarts a giant (just a really tall man not a monster) three times is increasingly hilarious and unbelievable ways. She wins enough gold to help her family survive. This book would be good for any child past toddler age and could be told with or without the picture book. I was partial to the gorgeous, colorful illustrations, though.
Dundee Library
Dec 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tall-tales
Like Paul Bunyon stories, this is a good read aloud for Michigan students. Beatrice, a small girl in the Great Lakes area turns the table on tall tales. She uses her wit and outsmarts a rich giant in order to get his gold. This book is more understandable to young children if they are given a short map lesson on some of the areas around the Great Lakes including Michigan's upper peninsula and Wisconsin. It's a funny read and works well to illustrate that tall tales don't always require physical ...more
Jun 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
loved this story & pictures. girl beats the giant with her wit. only thing i never figured out was how to say 'you' at the end of the phrase. i think its a northern accent kind of thing. love the pictures, fav line "when you are a rich giant, you do not have to be smart" maggie likes that' beatrice didnt care that the giant would get in trouble with his brothers, she just wanted to win the bet and the coins'."she bet three times against the strength of a giant and three times won". this is l ...more
After Beatrice's mother feeds her the last of the porridge in their home, Beatrice decides it's time to go out into the north woods and get some money. Her mother warns her that there are only two ways for little girls to earn money up there: as a lumberjack, or to gamble against a giant who lives on the other side of the woods. Clever Beatrice decides to take her chances with the giant. Good thing he's a chucklehead, because she tricks that big ol' guy out of all his gold. Clever Beatrice, inde ...more
Ms. Kelly
Classic tale of outsmarting a big strong giant of a person. I love that the main character is a girl, I love her spunk, I love the excuses she uses to trick the giant.

I wish the liner notes told us what kind of art this is, because I am not always great with knowing that, and I really like the art by this first time children's book illustrator. The saturation of colors and the shapes were really nice.
Mar 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pugh-grades-k-5
"Clever Beatrice" by Margaret Willey is a cute and fun to read folktale. The story is of a young girl who takes on a giant in a bet so that she can help her mother feed her family. Using her wit and cleverness, Beverly outsmarts the giant in a test of strength. I love that the protagonist is a girl, giving the story a great girl power feel. I would use this in the classroom as a read aloud to introduce folklore or to invoke discussion of how one can overcome their size/circumstances.
Jun 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a fun folktale that demonstrates that brains can win out over brawn. The little girl, Beatrice, is precocious and tricks the giant out of his precious gold coins. Our girls enjoyed watching the story on the Tumblebooks website. ( We've also borrowed this book from the library - our girls really enjoy hearing this story.
This was recommended to me by a friend who thought my daughter would like it because her name is the same. If she did, she didn't mention that.... but I think she did like the story. She was prepared to be scared because giants freak her out, but this giant wasn't really scary -- just a good old fashioned story.
Mckenzie Quade
This book started off with a sexist comment. The mother told her little girl that she could not be a lumberjack because that was a mans work. So the little girl instead turned to gambling for cold coins with a giant. I don't like the message that the book portrays to young children but I did like the little girls imagination in the story.
This is an Upper Peninsula conte which were tall tales told in Canada full of exaggeration and rhyming dialect. This conte is about a clever little girl that tricks a rich giant out of his money in order to get money for her poor mom after they have run out of food. This is a cute story to use while teaching folktales/folklore in the classroom.
Jennifer Oaks
I really liked this book because it places value of being smart. This would be an excellent book for children because it would show them that even though you are strong and rich, it does not mean that you are better or smarter than anyone else.
Oct 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked the story of the girl who cleverly tricked the giant into giving her gold. I loved the illustrations. It was a marvel to find all the enchanting details in the pictures. I found the artwork stunning.
Love this story of Clever Beatrice, who outwits a giant to earn money to help her family. Set in the woods of Michigan, Beatrice makes good use of her wits against the giant's strength. Such fun.
A great read aloud for preschool and early elementary school children.
Picture Book: The unique illustrations add much to this clever story of a young girl who embarks on a mission to trick the big giant in order to win some money for her poor family. This would be a fun book to use when practicing to make predictions.
Mar 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book gets five stars because it is set in my home state, Michigan, and because the illustrations (by a BYU graduate) are unique and beautiful. When you get on the level of a clever little girl competing with a strong, but not so smart giant it's a fun story!
Matt Blair
Feb 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids
A fun and well-crafted story about a clever and confident young girl who uses her brains to outwit a giant. Especially fun and beneficial for young girls.
Alyssa Bashore
Dec 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beatrice is a very brave and confident girl!
Sarah Kramer
Oct 08, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: school age
Shelves: storytime-books
Read at East Garner Elementary
Cassie Olds-benton
I liked how a little GIRL uses her brain to outwit a giant and gain all of his gold for her family!
Great folktale for action storytelling.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
An old folk tale about a very clever girl who outsmarts a rich giant.
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Jabutí the Tortoise: A Trickster Tale from the Amazon
  • Maisy Goes on Vacation: A Maisy First Experience Book
  • Mole Music (Reading Rainbow Books)
  • How Chipmunk Got His Stripes
  • Fin M'Coul: The Giant of Knockmany Hill
  • Red Riding Hood
  • Epossumondas
  • Me and You: An Enchanted New Take on the Goldilocks Story
  • Brave Margaret: An Irish Adventure
  • A Story for Bear
  • My Grandfather's Coat
  • Petite Rouge: A Cajun Red Riding Hood
  • Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau
  • Sam and the Tigers: A Retelling of 'Little Black Sambo'
  • A Cool Drink of Water
  • King Arthur's Very Great Grandson
  • Huff & Puff
  • Fly Free!
I am the author of 9 Young Adult novels, 6 picture books & more on the way in both genres. I have also published reviews, essays and poetry. My best known books are the CLEVER BEATRICE picture books, for which I received many awards and prizes, including the CCBC Charlotte Zolotow award for best writing in a picture book. Recently, I was given the Gwen Frostic Award by the Michigan Reading Ass ...more
More about Margaret Willey...

Other Books in the Series

Clever Beatrice (3 books)
  • A Clever Beatrice Christmas
  • Clever Beatrice and the Best Little Pony

Share This Book