Gracie Pearl lives with her pa deep in the heart of gold minin’ country. But the mine is empty and the two have fallen on hard times.
Now the villainous banker Mr. Bigglebottom wants Gracie Pearl and her pa to pay back the money they owe him or he plans to take Gracie Pearl as his wife. As Gracie goes in search of gold she encounters a series of characters young readers will find strangely familiar—from a blonde girl who ate Bigglebottom’s porridge and is now pursued by three bears to a very long-haired girl whom he has locked up in a tower.
Through clever plotting and charmingly drawn characters, Hopkins has crafted another first-rate fairy tale, raucously brought to life by Goodell. Humorous asides sprinkled throughout the text encourage young readers to play along with the story, and its surprise ending will please young and old alike.
“Goodell’s delightful and action-packed illustrations feature expressive characters and plenty of visual humor.” ―School Library Journal
“The expressive, action-filled oil paintings ably capture the rollicking exaggeration of rootin’, tootin’ melodrama set in the Old West. but what kids will like best are the parts they get to play as an imaginary theater audience, hootin’ and hollerin’ to beat the band.” ―Chicago Sun Times
“This book is entirely too cute…a whirlwind tale that will have you and your little reading buddies laughing out loud.” ―A Word’s Worth
“The reader joins other desert critters for the afternoon matinee of this fairy tale mash-up melodrama. The participatory elements are SO fun during a read-aloud. My boys loved this because they could help me ‘read’ the story.” ―I’ve Got a Book for That!
Read Alouds too Good to Miss ―AIME, 2008
Oklahoma Book Awards (Finalist, Design/Illustration Category) ―Oklahoma Center for the Book, 2007
Charlotte Award suggested reading list (Intermediate) ―New York State Reading Association, 2008
Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Reading List (Primary) ―Kansas National Education Association, 2007
Black-Eyed Susan Book Award (Nominee, Picture Book) ―Maryland Educational Media Organization, 2007-2008
Horned Toad Tales (Nominee) ―Cypress Fairbanks Independent School District, 2007-2008
Show Me Readers Award (Nominee) ―Missouri Association of School Librarians, 2008-2009
Washington Children’s Choice Picture Book Award (Nominee) ―Washington Library Media Association, 2008
AR Level: 3.8
F&P: GRL N, Gr 3, Genre TL
Themes: Fairy Tales, Melodrama
BISAC 1: JUV012040 JUVENILE FICTION / Fairy Tales & Folklore / Adaptations
BISAC 2: JUV019000 JUVENILE FICTION / Humorous Stories
BISAC 3: JUV030060 JUVENILE FICTION /People & Places / United States / General