Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
Precious and the Boo Hag

Precious and the Boo Hag

Spring 2005 Picture Books
Ages: 4 - 8 yrs.
Author: Patricia C. McKissack
Author: Onawumi Jean Moss
Illustrator: Kyrsten Brooker
A young girl matches wits with a formidable Boo Hag in this rendition of an African-American folk tale. Left home alone while her family works in the cornfields, Precious ignores Mama's instructions not to "ramble" in her things and entertains herself by dressing up in her mother's clothes and playing with Mama's jewelry. However, when she sees Pruella the Boo Hag sweep across the sky during a thunderstorm, Precious wisely heeds her brother's warning not to let anyone into the house, lest they be the Boo Hag in disguise. Knowing that the shape-shifting Pruella can't enter a house without being let in, Precious refuses to be deceived by the Boo Hag's various guises, even that of a shiny coin sitting on the farmhouse doorstep. When Pruella flies away in defeat, Precious triumphantly tells her Mama and brother of her victorious battles with the Boo Hag. Brooker's primitive warm-toned folk-art illustrations convey a lively interpretation of the Boo Hag tale. With its melodic language, repetitions, and rhythms, this story lends itself well to being read aloud.
Toni Rowden   ©2005 Parents' Choice

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