Children's Lit Book Reviews

Thursday, February 11, 2010
























Tom Tot Tit
By: Joesph Jacobs
Ages:8-12

Summary: There was once a lady who gave her daughter away because a king, walking by, misunderstood the mother who was singing, " ...my darter ha' ate five, five pies today-m darter ha ate five pies toady." When the king came near, the mother, being too ashamed to sing the proper song, sang, " ...my darter ha spun five, five skeins today, my darter ha spun five, five skeins today." Once the king heard this, he was excited and begged the mother to let him marry her daughter. He promised that he would provide to her with everything the daughter needed for eleven months of the year. But for the twelfth month in the year she would have to spend her time spinning five skeins everyday, and if she didn't he would kill her. The mother who was thinking about the welfare of the daughter agreed to the terms, hoping that when the twelfth month arrived that the king would forget about the five skeins. Before the girl knew it, the last day of the eleventh month came and the king approached the girl saying, "Now, my dear, here you'll be shut in tomorrow with some victuals and some flax, and if you haven't spun five skeins by the night, your head'll go off." The girl became very frightened because she knew she didn't know how to spin skeins and began to cry. All of a sudden there was a knock on the door, the girl heard the door open, and a small black creature with a long tail began to inquire about her problems. After the girl had told the creature of her predicament, he agreed to spin five skeins every day, but she had to guess what his name was before the month was up. If she didn't guess it correctly, she would be his. This seemed like a good plan to the girl at the time, and agreed to the terms and off went the creature. Throughout the month the little creature would bring the flax back to the girl, spun, and each time she would try to guess his name. But she would never guess it correctly. Finally, as the last night of the month approached, the king said that he wasn't going to have to kill her because she complied with the agreement. However, she knew that she still had to guess the name of the little creature. Just as the king was about to walk out of the room, he told the girl of the most interesting thing he saw while hunting. The king professed to seeing a little creature spinning flax very fast on his tail saying, " Nimmy nimmy not, my name is Tom tit tot." When the girl heard this, she was overjoyed. When the last night arrived, the creature handed her the skeins, and she was able to guess the name correctly. The creature gave an awful shriek and ran away into the dark forever.
Who would benefit from reading this fairy tale?: I think everyone that would read this fairy tale would benefit from it. It has simple themes about bragging and consequences that follow when people lie about being greater then they are. In this case the girl was placed at hazard because of the mother's lies.
What problems/conflicts could this fairy tale potentially cause?: The one problem that seems to reoccur through all of the fairy tales during this era is death. This might be scary for young readers who don't understand that it is just a fairy tale. Therefore, certain parents might be hesitant to read this fairy tale to their children because the life of the girl is threatened many times.
My reaction: I like this fairy tale and found it quite entertaining. I liked how it followed the Grimm Brother's fairy tale very closely. It was funny to see differences in both, though. I thought it was good, and I would recommend it to those who are more mature, even though young in years.
posted by Jon Dale at 11:19 PM

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