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O'Sullivan Stew

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  285 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Someone has stolen the witch of Crookhaven's horse, and there will be no peace in the village until it is returned. So bold, brassy Kate O'Sullivan takes matters into her own hands. But instead of saving the day, she manages to land herself--and her family--in trouble with the king. So Kate sets out to save their hides the only way she knows how--with a good story. Filled ...more
Paperback, 48 pages
Published January 15th 2001 by Puffin Books (first published 1999)
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Average rating 4.34  · 
Rating details
 ·  285 ratings  ·  44 reviews

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Karen Witzler
Mar 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Lively illustrations, fun story, Irish setting, lots of elements from Irish folklore. This is the sort of book that kids love to hear read aloud or that new readers love to read over and over. But... I famously have little sense of humor and it is just this side of what I would have called "twaddle" in my homeschooling days. Kate is put in a Scheherezade-like situation where she tells several fantastic tales about her family to a king who wants to hang them as horse-thieves. Of course, all ends ...more
Nov 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One of my daughter's and my favourite books, when she was still young enough to let me read to her. It's a nice long read for the evenings when they are resistant to sleeping on time. Each story the girls spins to save her brothers and father from the king's wrath is crazier than the last.
Mar 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-to-the-kids
This story has a moral and celebrates the brains of a young girl, Kate, who ends up as the hero.
The moral has to do with being kind to all people, even if they are different. Kate tries to get the townspeople to help the witch whose horse is being taken by soldiers. The townspeople say that the witch isn't one of them and don't help. Very soon their words come back to haunt them and Kate makes a plan to set things right. In a funny manner it the plan goes awry and Kate uses her wit and her stor
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing

This book is a hidden treasure. I've always loved Irish fairy tales and this one has so many elements of Irish lore that I couldn't resist. There are fantastical characters such as witches, magical stallions, ogres/giant trolls, sea serpents, woodland creatures, fairies, leprechauns, time travel, forced marriages in the land of the fae, and the like. O' Sullivan tells her tales of adventures to a king with a bored court but could there be any truth to these stories? Will she set off on more adve
Hannah Scully
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rdg291
Kate O'Sullivan is a girl living in Crookhaven, Ireland with her father and brothers when one day, the King demands the village witch's horse for taxes. The witch, angry that no one helped her, punishes the town, and so Kate and her family decide to steal back the witch's horse. As they are stealing back the horse, they are caught and brought before the King to either be pardoned or hanged. To try and keep her family from dying, Kate tells magical and seemingly unrealistic stories of times they ...more
Mar 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pbf-general
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Help, help! The king's men are stealing the witch's horse! When no one comes to her aid, the old crone makes things miserable for the villagers. To put an end to the curses, brave Kate O'Sullivan talks the men in her family into attempting to steal back the horse. But, they're caught, and sentenced to be hanged. Can Kate's magical tall tales mesmerize the king, and persuade him to release her kin?

This is wonderfully fun story, with a strong, enchanting heroine, and a surprising, you-go-girl endi
Sep 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: folklore-rec
Ages 6 and up. Kate of the O'Sullivan clan in Ireland uses her way with words to talk her family out of trouble with the king and other scrapes. The king rewards her family with a feast and offers Kate his hand in marriage. She insists that there is much of the world she has yet to see, telling him she'll reconsider if his offer is still good in five years' time before riding off on the sunset on her hard-won horse. A comical tale of a brave and quick-witted heroine.
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
The power of a good storyteller!
Loree Godcher
Jul 14, 2018 rated it liked it
How a good storyteller can set things right ... !
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fun story. A bit long for younger children, but amusing and imaginative nonetheless. My daughter especially loved the ending.
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, children-s
Fun for St. Patrick's Day an all year round. Great strong heroine!
Colona Public Library
The Illustrations are what really make this story work for me. There is a lot of care put into these graceful illustrations. The story is great on it's own about a young woman's adventures and family and then decides instead of marrying the Prince to continue on adventures for 5 years before marrying (if the Prince is waiting for her) If you like fantasy adventure or are interested in Irish culture I recommend this book. ~Ashley
Feb 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a humorous tale about a young girl named Kate who saves the day with her quick wit and storytelling ability. The narrative is fun to read aloud and our girls love that Kate is such a strong female character.

The illustrations are colorful and the characters are very expressive. The title of the book seems a bit odd, but otherwise we really enjoyed reading this story together.

This book was selected as one of the books for the March 2014 - Ireland discussion at the Picture-Book Club in th
Jan 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I read O'Sullivan stew when it first came out! Gosh, how long ago was that? I guess 1999. For years afterward I'd never forgotten the story and occasionally I'd look for it at the Barnes and Noble or the library, but I could never find it since I couldn't remember the name.

Thank you Goodreads! Without this site I'd never have found this beloved classic again!

It actually turned out perfectly because in 2009 my baby brother was born, so I was able to buy it after I'd found it and have someone to
Aug 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Carol by: Library find
Shelves: childrens
This is a wonderful tale full of unbelievable tales, twists and turns. Characters aren't exactly what they appear to be (the witch) and the ending took me by surprise the first time I read it, but I REALLY loved the ending; not so typical of your "fairy princess" ending although everyone is happy in the end.

Love the illustrations and the story. Imaginative and creative. My girls really loved it too!
Mar 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens, holidays
I loved this story! O'Sullivan Stew is a funny tale about a girl who must save her village from a witch's wrath by getting her horse back. Kate uses her wits to think of wild tales to convince the king to spare the lives of her family & to return the horse. It had a message of inclusivity, promotes cleverness & bravery, and my favorite part was where Kate turns down the king's proposal in order to have adventures. YES! ...more
Tricia Douglas
Apr 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I read this one for my GR children's picture book group - March theme of Ireland. O'Sullivan Stew reminds me of Aladdin's tales of 101 Nights. In this book Kate keeps telling stories to save her friends from the King's wrath. She must tell tales that describe her in situations worse than the one she is already in. Of course she does. The tales are entertaining and the illustrations are colorful and fun. This was a new book for me and I thought it was very imaginative.
Jun 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
The Illustrations are what really make this story work for me. There is a lot of care put into these graceful illustrations. The story is great on it's own about a young woman's adventures and family and then decides instead of marrying the Prince to continue on adventures for 5 years before marrying (if the Prince is waiting for her) If you like fantasy adventure or are interested in Irish culture I recommend this book. ~Ashley
Karen Jones
Jun 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I love this book and so do my girls. It's got wonderful, funny illustrations and a great story (or is it 5 great stories?). I bought it mostly for the illustrations. The one that sold be was the one with the seamonster with a rowboat stuck sideways in his mouth. The look of dismay on his face is priceless! The rest of the illustrations are great too, but the seamonster was the best.
Mar 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
Another winner. I've been reading fairy tales to my girls and this one was great fun. This one stars a smart young lass whose hilarious storytelling saves her family and town. We enjoyed the illustrations too.
Apr 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this to my niece & nephews (7, 5, & 2). It's a fun story with good pictures and kept the attention of the older children. The writing was fun to read out loud and it was fun to look at the cover picture with them before starting the story and have them point out things in the stew. ...more
Feb 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: st-patrick-s-day
I liked this tale of a young girl who tries to save her village from the wrath of a local witch. It was cute and a few of the illustrations made me chuckle. I liked the twist at the end and the tales Kate tells to save her family. She definitely has the gift of blarney!
May 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
this is another one of the books I picked up to read out loud to my friend Joe.
I really really loved this. it has many stories in one and they're all very good. the pictures are gorgeous and have lots of detail that takes a bit to look at.
LeAnn Forystek
Feb 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this fairy tale. It was full of enchantment and the ending was the best part. At first I thought the ending would turn out being cliche', but they had a tiny twist which I felt was fun and made me proud of the girl's decision.
Mar 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Love Kate's storytelling and how she uses it to get out of a tight spot...and love that at least one (perhaps all?) of the adventures are true. Fun story...although long... And fun, bright illustrations.
Jul 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This story is on the longer end for a picture book, but it was great fun to read. The artwork is adds a good deal of emotion to the story and the I love the way it ended. I definitely recommend this one for older children.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
A clever girl saves her brothers.
Jun 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Love the pictures in this book and it is a delightful story with a fun ending. I like to read it with a bit of an Irish brogue for my children. Very lyrical writing.
Jun 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
This was a nice light-hearted book. I enjoyed it, and the pictures.

The story reminds me somewhat of a fairy tale, although it's not exactly one. I like the Irishness.
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