cover image The Badger and the Magic Fan

The Badger and the Magic Fan

Tony Johnston. Putnam Publishing Group, $13.95 (30pp) ISBN 978-0-399-21945-0

Johnston contributes a lively text and dePaola performs his customary artistry in this retelling of a cheerful Japanese folktale. A badger comes across three tengu (goblin) children playing with a magic fan that can make noses lengthen and then shrink. Disguising himself, the animal steals the fan and tests its powers on the daughter of a rich man. Sure enough, her nose grows to an embarrassing length, and her ``vastly vexed'' father summons doctors, a witch and wise thinkers to try to solve the problem. Finally, the distraught man offers his daughter's hand and half his fortune to anyone who can reduce the nose to its original size. Enter the crafty badger, who waves his fan and makes the girl beautiful again. He gets his reward--as well as a big surprise--when the tengu children appear to reclaim the fan. One of two books inaugurating a line of folktales from around the world, this is filled with magic and mischief--a winning combination sure to delight readers. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)