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

Clay Boy

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  83 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
An insatiable boy made of clay devours everything in sight until a fiesty goat ruins his appetite. Vibrant paintings invigorate this retelling of a Russian folktale.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published 1997 by Greenwillow Books (first published May 1st 1993)
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 Clay Boy, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Clay Boy

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

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Feb 27, 2018 rated it liked it
A Russian folktale about being careful about what you wish for or you will get eaten by a clay boy and a ram will save you.
“Clay Boy” is an ancient Russian folktale retold by Mirra Ginsburg and vividly illustrated by Jos. A. Smith. Even though “Clay Boy” has an interesting plot and beautiful pictures, the story and some of the images may be too scary for kids to handle.

Mirra Ginsburg creates the perfect horror/adventurous story about a greedy clay boy’s attempts to eat everything in its path until he meets a clever goat who puts an end to him. Jos. A. Smith’s illustrations are somewhat disturbing yet beautiful at th
Jul 10, 2016 rated it really liked it

A lonely old couple constructs a boy out of clay. He turns out to be very HUNGRY, and swallows all humans and livestock who cross his path . . . all but one that is.

This is a nicely illustrated take on an old folktale. I really liked that the humble goat was the hero of the story. True, it's a slightly darker fairy tale, but if your kids can handle Little Red Riding Hood and There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, they should be fine with this story of overindulgence.
Dec 17, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Grandma and Grandpa are lonely so they create a little clay boy. After he is put into the oven to dry, he comes out alive and hungry. The Clay Boy eats all the food in the house, he then eats Grandma and Grandpa, all the animals and all the villagers. It isn't until a goat with golden eyes appears that everyone is rescued.

This book is disturbing. I would definitely not recommend it for very young children. The Clay Boy is never redeemed even though all the villagers and animals are saved. The e
Corey Myers
Jan 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a very interesting/morbid Russian Folk-tale that I would feel would captivate many elementary students. However, this book would disturb many other students with the use of paintings of the Clay Boy and from most of the choices the Clay Boy. Clay Boy is a decent folk tale to implement into the classroom because it spices up this genre and provides something different for most of the classroom to enjoy.
I was attracted to this book based upon the cute pictures. Unfortunately it has a touch of scary Grimm fairy tales to it. (The clay boy eats the Grandpa and Grandma who created him.) This book may be no big deal to some, but could be frightening for other children. References to greed and handing stories down through the family are minimally made at the end that I don't see much value in reading this one. Not enough positive to outweigh the negative, in my opinion.
Joyce Munzwandi
This is a kind of weird story but quite hilarious. I think the students will not stop laughing at he level of greed displayed by the clay boy. Students can talk about quantities and measurement. Students can use this to expand their imagination by suggesting what they would have done if they were the parents of the clay boy.
Mar 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
A lonely grandma and grandpa decide to make themselves a clay boy. They feed him and he just won't stop eating. He's get so huge he begins eating everything in site, including grandma and grandpa both. This story could be used to discuss adaptations and in math to talk about measurement and the instruments used to measure with.
The illustrations are charming _except_ for the clay boy. He kind of gave me the heebeejeebees. But the story would be fine for a K-1 readaloud, as long as the pictures of the clay son eating his sweet parents didn't disturb them too much. Probably better for upper elementary grades as part of a folktale/lore genre study.
Jason Gossard
Jan 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
My favorite children's book by far. The Gingerbread Man gone wrong- horribly wrong. Instead of coming to life and running away, Clay Boy turns the tables and eats the entire village. Illustrations crack me up every time. Simple yet perfect.
Nov 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I think it was great. When the old grandpa made the clay. The clay always wanted to eat food and basically everything. When the white hero goat leaped on the fat belly of the clay. The clay started to break into pieces and everybody danced around the little goat.
Jun 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: primary
Absolutely love this book. I read it to my students every year and they never tire of it. My daughter used it in a summer art class for elementary students and they requested that she read it every day that week. It lends itself well to voices and is a good tale about greed.
Sep 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
The most random picture book.... The only reason it is getting 4 stars from me is because my kids love it!!! I also picked this book for it's pictures... Not knowing how strange the story was! Oh, well my 5 year old is getting a lot of laughs!
Apr 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
Grandpa builds a clay boy since they don't have children anymore. No matter how much they feed him, he wants more. Eventually he eats Grandma and Grandpa. The goat saves the town from this fate.
Suburban Homeschooler
Feb 22, 2014 rated it it was ok
I found the art a little off-putting.
Oct 07, 2014 rated it liked it
The Russians have some weird stories.
A Grimm fairy tale like book adapted from a Russian story. Could be disturbing to some children. One of my boys had to have this book and the other looked kind of freaked out while reading it.
Jodi Ottobre
May 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-book
A fun take on clay boy folklore. Might be a little scary for little ones.
Micah Johnson
rated it really liked it
Jan 25, 2016
rated it it was amazing
Feb 15, 2011
rated it it was ok
Mar 23, 2016
rated it it was ok
Sep 23, 2015
Vanessa Hawkins
rated it liked it
Oct 09, 2013
rated it it was ok
Sep 06, 2012
rated it really liked it
Apr 09, 2014
Mariel Camata
rated it it was amazing
Jul 25, 2013
Nick Jones
rated it liked it
Oct 30, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Jan 04, 2013
rated it really liked it
Jun 10, 2007
rated it liked it
Jan 02, 2015
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Beautiful Warrior: The Legend of the Nun's Kung Fu
  • The Holy Twins: Benedict and Scholastica
  • Three Samurai Cats: A Story from Japan
  • The Dragon Prince: A Chinese Beauty  the Beast Tale
  • The Great Wall Of China
  • The Littlest Matryoshka
  • Tales from Shakespeare
  • Fa Mulan: The Story of a Woman Warrior
  • The Three Little Pigs Book & CD
  • The Planets
  • The Everything Book
  • Liang and the Magic Paintbrush
  • The Greek News
  • Favorite Medieval Tales
  • Canterbury Tales
  • Two of Everything
  • Jabutí the Tortoise: A Trickster Tale from the Amazon
  • I Face the Wind
Mirra Ginsburg (1909-2000) was a Jewish Russian-American translator of Russian literature, collector of folk tales and children's writer.

(from Wikipedia)
More about Mirra Ginsburg

Fiction Deals

  • Daughter of Sand and Stone
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen
    $6.24 $1.99
  • The Silver Suitcase
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Burying the Honeysuckle Girls
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Ilsa: A Novel
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Into the Free
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Persian Boy (Alexander the Great, #2)
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Get It Together, Delilah!
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Mademoiselle Chanel
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette (P.S.)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • If I Ever Get Out of Here
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Chasing Fireflies: A Novel of Discovery
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Fatal
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Woman on the Orient Express
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Whisper Beach
    $8.49 $1.99
  • Isabella: Braveheart of France
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Queen of Swords (Wilderness, #5)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Whiskey Sea
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Bette Davis Club
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Stop Pretending: Poems About When My Big Sister Went Craz
    $5.74 $1.99
  • Get in Trouble: Stories
    $11.99 $1.99
  • A Life Intercepted: A Novel
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Beneath a Scarlet Sky
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Epitaph
    $9.74 $1.99
  • How Should a Person Be?: A Novel from Life
    $9.99 $3.99
  • Bergdorf Blondes
    $8.24 $1.99
  • Bendigo Shafter (Louis L'Amour's Lost Treasures): A Novel
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Two Old Women: An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival
    $10.49 $1.99
  • Invisible Emmie
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Something Like Family
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Orphan Master's Son
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Sisters One, Two, Three
    $4.99 $1.99
  • This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance!
    $15.95 $1.99
  • The Island
    $11.74 $1.99
  • The Financial Lives of the Poets: A Novel
    $8.24 $1.99
  • Tenth of December: Stories
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Daughters of the Night Sky
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Baltasar and Blimunda: A Novel
    $9.99 $2.99
  • New York
    $10.99 $2.99
  • The Bean Trees
    $6.99 $2.99
  • Yellow Star
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Miramont's Ghost
    $4.99 $1.99
  • I Am Livia
    $3.49 $0.99
  • In Love & Trouble: Stories of Black Women
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Play of Death (The Hangman's Daughter, #6)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Requiem for a Dream: A Novel
    $17.99 $1.99

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »