The Man Who Kept House

Peter Christen Asbjornsen, Author, Otto S. Svend, Illustrator, Svend Otto Sorensen, Illustrator Margaret K. McElderry Books $13.95 (1p) ISBN 978-0-689-50560-7
In this timely tale, a married couple agrees to exchange each of their daily routines when the grumbling husband criticizes his wife's housekeeping. With a scythe over her shoulder, the wife heads off with the harvesters the following morning, leaving her husband to a day of domestic calamities. As he begins to churn the butter, he grows thirsty; just as he unstops the beer keg, the family's pig drops in to the kitchen. In a scenario worthy of the Marx Brothers, one disaster follows another, until the wife returns just in time to rescue her harried spouse from a particularly awkward spot. Softly focused colored pencil drawings lend this old folktale a gemutlich charm, deftly capturing every (increasingly) farcical development. The expressions of the enraged husband and the several agitated animals will easily provoke chuckles, as a new generation of readers discovers the delights of a cautionary tale whose comedy remains as up-to-date as ever. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
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