The Funny Little Woman

In this Caldecott Medal-winning tale set in Old Japan, a lively little woman who oves to laugh pursues her runaway dumpling -- and must outwit the wicked three-eyed oni when she lands in their clutches.

" The pictures are in perfect harmony with the humorous mood of thi tory.... It 's all done with a commendable amount of taste, imagination, and style. " -- School Library Journal ( starred review)

" A beautifully convincing tale. " -- This New York Times Book Review

" Using elements of traditional Japanese art, the llustrator has made marvelously imaginative pictures. " -- he Horn Book

" Lent 's pictures are a lively mixtur of finely detailed, delicate drawings and rip-roaring good humor. " -- he Boston Globe

" Anothe good read-aloud with lots of myster. " -- Learning

ALA Notable Children 's Book
Child Study Association Book of thi Mont
he Horn Book Fanfare
Year of the Publication
Available Languages
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Publication Date
Published February 14th 1993 by Puffin Books (first published 1972

Public Commentary

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rated it

After he discussion, I likened the term " tableau ", divided the students into groups, and tol them to decide which scene they wanted to portray.

Since we have a stepped kiva in our library, we did some lovely scenes -- the house on he hill with the little man and his dog approaching, a table, dumpling rolling along a path, Jizo statues, a river, and of course the funny little woman in a boat and wicked Oni swallowing river water.

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1) his memoi is about th little old oman who is cooking rice and she drops a rice ball down into a big hole in the ground.

he little woman kept the spoon and made rice balls to sell them to all of Japan.

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is definitel distinc from the other Caldecott ’ s I ’ ve been reading recently and I love th tory.

Another is perfect.A little old woman lives by herself making little rice balls.

A ma laughs and runs on not being ashame of Oni. She is enslaved by them and they have her make rice balls with a magic paddle that turns one grain of rice into a potful.The ending is much fun and I love he little twists.

he niece wanted her to sa to the Jizo Sama and this story made her somewhat nervous.

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As she wants to kill the funny little women makes them laugh and the ma is ble to com way with the magic paddle.

Anothe unny little woman was able to make rice dumplings a lot faster because of her magic paddle this explains the natural phenomena that helped the woman become rich because she had help from the demon.

I certainl hated anothe nove because the ma was not trying to be unny when she escaped but she made the wicked gods laugh and was unable to et way, in the nd she benefited by being captured by the gods.

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When little woman tried to bring it, she followe up falling into he hole and into the underground home of the wicked Oni. The Oni wanted the little oman to cook rice for them and even though he little woman cooked for them, she was beginnin to get homesick and she vowed to find thing to et back home.Arlene Mosel ’ s retelling of his ancient Japanese story was truly ilarious and intense at the same time as I liked thi little woman ’ s dventures in the Oni world!

I quit oved the pat that Arlene Mosel wrote the little gir as being a truly unique character as she never stops laughing, which is a characteristic I found fascinating and she has no fear of the dreaded Oni. I also liked the tension that the Oni had brought to he tory as I was seriously sitting on the edge of my seat rying to see if the little woman would be reluctant to scape from the Oni. Blair Lent ’ s artwork is truly creative as the colorings of the artwork splits up between the little woman ’ s home above ground and the Oni world underground.

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About Authors

© Nicole Waggonner