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The Goat-Faced Girl: A Classic Italian Folktale
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The Goat-Faced Girl: A Classic Italian Folktale

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  86 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Like many good fables, this story opens with a found-ling left rather inconveniently, if not surprisingly in the woods. A large lizard, ever conscious of tripping hazards, picks up the infant and takes her home, where she soon grows into a pretty, pampered, and generally useless young woman named Isabella. Despite her adoptive mother's efforts (for the lizard is really a w ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 15th 2009 by David R. Godine (first published 2009)
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(showing 1-30)
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Beth Trumper
Mar 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Author: Leah Sharpe
Title: The Goat-faced girl
Publisher: David R. Godine
Edition: Trade
13 digit ISBN: 978-1-56792-393-3
Price: $16.95
Number of pages: 32
K - 5
**** (4 stars)

Using modern language and a comical tone, Leah Marinsky Sharpe retells an old Italian folktale about laziness. After saving an abandoned baby that no one knew what to do with in fairy tale land (she is “even too young to interest the witch in the gingerbread house”) the lizard-lady realizes she has raised a smart, beautiful, but v
Mar 04, 2010 rated it liked it
The classic Italian folktale (no sources given)about a lazy young woman who has the good luck to be adopted by a very smart witch has an updated, tongue-in-cheek feel, with such details as illustrated cookbooks and chocolate-frosted cupcakes, but the language manages to keep the somewhat formal flavor of old-fashioned fairytales. The just-right ending will please lovers of fairy tales with spunky heroines.
Aug 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
AWESOME for read aloud, great illustrations, and a smart, funny retelling of a folktale.
Alyson Mahony
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: edli-200
Genre: Picture Book of a classic folktale
Copyright: 2009
Age level of interest: 6-9 years old
Reading level: 1st - 4th grade

Brief Description:
A traditional Italian fable with richly colored paintings tells the story of a lazy girl who meets a lazy prince. Through her three trials to win the prince she discovers her own empowerement and a desire to not be judged by beauty alone.

Two Characteristics:

Theme and Style: The messages around laziness, female passivity and appearance is a modern twist in pr
David R. Godine
Oct 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
"Rich storytelling and intricately imagined artwork make this debut a standout. Marinsky's paintings, in the chalky, sun-bleached colors of the Italian renaissance, contain many small pleasures: the woods and flowers of medieval tapestries, the goat-headed princess licking cupcake batter off her goat nose, and a portrait of the shallow prince's just fate. A must for anyone who would rather be a sorceress than a princess."
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Sharpe has made changes in theme (that
1) No awards received.

2) Appropriate for 2nd through 4th grade.

3) Isabella was abandoned as a baby and was found in the forest to fend for herself. Luckily a sorcerers found Isabella and raised her as her own. She is beautiful and smart but extremely lazy. A Prince one day stumbles to their home in request for food and water. The Prince himself is just as lazy as Isabella. Both agree their the perfect match and are off to be wed. Isabella's mother does not want her daughter to be lazy forever,
Maddie Shell
Jun 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: edrd-614
Initially, I immediately thought of Beauty and the Beast when reading this Italian folktale. The tale begins with a father who meets a serpent who says he needs to give her his youngest child or he will have misfortune. He does, and the little girl is then raised by a fairy who gives her everything she could ever want or dream. Once she is grown up, she runs into the king who immediately falls in love with her beauty and asks for her hand in marriage. The fairy allows the marriage and gives them ...more
Jennifer Lanman
This book was not like any fairytale I have seen or read before. It was an unpredictable story which made it really enjoyable to read. This is an Italian folktale and categorized as a trickster tale. I believe it is a trickster tale because the prince tricks the goat faced girl to do unnecessary tasks in order to become a princess. In reality he didn't want to marry a goat faced girl. You could use this story for learning plot structure. This is more appropriate for 2nd-4th graders. Teaching the ...more
Lillian Cristina Loys
Oct 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fab-40-final
Genre: Traditional Literature

Awards: None

Grade Level: 3-4

How to Use In Classroom:
This traditional tale tells a story about Isabella and how her laziness at times got the best of her, this she learned the hard way. In grades 3rd and 4th, students are beginning to test academic boundaries. If an assignment is boring, they don't want to do it. If it takes too long, they want to forget about it and avoid it at all costs. In this story, it is shown that Isabella's laziness only ended up making her do
Erin Ewing
Jun 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a beautifully illustrated tale of an orphaned baby who was raised by a sorceress. The baby grew to be a very beautiful but lazy young woman. Her mother believed it was so important to teach her a lesson. Just when the beautiful young woman was to wed an equally lazy prince, the sorceress gave her the head of a goat. The young woman was turned away by the prince because of her looks. The young woman realized that what's inside you and your actions matter more than looks and realizes she m ...more
Tori Schyberg
Sep 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My first impression of the book was that it was odd because I was interested how and why the girl had a goat face. The colors used on the cover were pretty vibrant and the characters were odd looking too. The story also had a deeper meaning, it in the end it presents a life lesson to be responsible.

The elements that this books presented were vibrant colors and there was a continuous difference in the illustrations. I also think that the colors choose on each page were like that on purpose to fo
Alyssa Cardinal
Oct 20, 2015 rated it liked it
A very interesting read... and a twist on the "classic beauty" fairytales that many of us grew up with due to Disney. In the book a baby is discovered in the forest and raised by a sorceress in disguise. The baby (our protagonist) is pampered, and has everything handed to her prompting her sorceress adoptive mother to transform her image. The story is interesting, but what kept me reading was the illustrations (surprise, surprise). They are unique and almost look like over dried paint, or chalk.
Dec 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011-best-books
I don't think anyone can change a lazy person and make them un-lazy for life

But the Lizard-Lady had and idea that worked well and changed the lazy pretty Isabella into active pretty Isabella...but will that help her marry Prince Rupert?...I'm not telling, read for yourself.

it's a good fairytale about how to make a lazy person active but it does not help them in real life :(
Carol Evans
Feb 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens, fairy-tale
This book is a treat. It's funny but still feels like a traditional fairy tale, just one with a more modern outlook on life. IThe young woman becomes self-sufficient in the end, partly thanks to books, I should add. She doesn't need the prince, she is capable and imaginative and powerful in her own right.
Aug 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids
Are you shocked by your child's obsession with princesses? In the tradition of The Paper Bag Princess, a lazy girl learns to do things the hard way, gains some inner beauty and some useful magic along the way. Non preachy feminist tale. Adoptive parents, italian (english) fairy tales, self esteem, you-can-be-more-than-a-princess tale.
Nicole Eschweiler
Feb 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
This story is about a girl who is raised by a lizard sorceress, and grows up to be vain and lazy. The mother sorceress gives her a goat head to try and teach her a few life lessons. This story is funny and also teaches great lessons about how looks are not everything and the importance of doing things for yourself. This story has great illustrations and will be enjoyed by young readers.
Jul 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful find! This will definitely be shared with my students as we read European folk tales. I had not heard this tale before, so it likely will be new for them, too, which means the surprise at the end will be fun to read aloud.
Jun 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrensbooks
Not only is this a beautiful story - but it is written and illustrated by a mother and daughter team from Buffalo NY. A traditional moral folk-tale. Created a good discussion after reading. We will be buying a copy of this one!
Jacquelyn Arbegast
This is a book about a young girl who is beautiful but very lazy. Her mother then gives her the head of a goat when she accepts the engagement of a very lazy prince. She then learns how to work herself.
Heather Chang
An Italian folktale about a lazy girl whose sorceress mother turns her beautiful head into a goat head to teach her a lesson about hard work. This is a very funny and clever folktale with some good lessons.
Jie Gao
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Reading Level: 4.0
Interest Level: 2-5
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.3 / points:2.0
Lexile: AD910L
Eric Toothaker
Mar 03, 2013 rated it did not like it
Apr 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The pictures are beautiful, and the ending is really quite funny and clever. Very enjoyable.
Jul 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Nice take on an old Italian folktale/fable. The moral is so apt for today's readers--the awesome transformational power of books!
Dec 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
A nice retelling of a classic Italian folktale.
Kate Westmoreland
Mar 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
So, as a mother who doesn't want to raise lazy children, I approve. If I had to give my handsome boys goat heads to convince them to work hard, I'd do it in an instant!
Aug 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A great debut book for the author and illustrator!
Lovely and slyly funny. And a fairy tale where the lady is the proactive one!
Janine Weston
rated it really liked it
Jun 06, 2010
rated it it was ok
Apr 19, 2015
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