The San Soucis have done a wonderful job of bringing this tale from the Brothers Grimm to life.
As often happens in fairy tales, the parents leave to take care of a ailing grandparent and the children are left at home and told to be careful. (Obviously the parents never listen to fairy tales or they would know better.) As soon as the parents leave, trouble begins. Jonas leaves the oxen to plow on their own while he naps, then is angry that they have wandered all over the field rather than making straight rows. Juniper leaves the cider keg flowing and makes a mess of the cellar. You get the idea. And then there are the peddlers selling pots and pans...
The illustrations are what we have all come to expect from a San Souci book. The beautiful watercolors provide a warmth and depth to each scene. But it is the facial expressions that bring the characters to life. The wide-eyed panic of the oxen in the pond. The greed on the peddlers' face when they see the family's gold. And the bewilderment when the forest drops biscuits on their heads. Each expression is priceless. Young readers will be laughing out loud at the action.
A great story to read when talking to children about responsibility and paying attention.
I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.