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*****= An all-time favorite
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*        = Good,with reservations


***Three Good Deeds

by Vivian Vande Velde

Reviewed October 31, 2005.
Harcourt, Orlando, 2005.  147 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (J MCN F VAN).

“Though all the children of the village of Dunphrey’s Mill called the woman whose little house sat at the edge of Goose Pond ‘the old witch,’ Howard never suspected till too late that she truly was a witch.”

So begins Three Good Deeds, Vivian Vande Velde’s humorous and light-hearted tale about a prankster who learns his lesson.

When the witch catches Howard stealing her goose’s eggs, she comes up with an appropriate punishment.  She turns him into a goose.  He will stay a goose until he has performed three good deeds.

How can a goose do a good deed?  The first one actually comes pretty easily when Howard is kind to a goose embarrassed because Howard’s human friend threw red dye on her.  But the rest are not so simple.  The geese don’t like Howard because he doesn’t know their ways.  When he tries to communicate with people, they try to catch him for dinner.  Worst of all, the good deeds have to come from his heart.

This book is short and makes fun reading.  I especially enjoyed the goose names, like Can’t-See-As-Well-Out-of-Her-Right-Eye-As-Her-Left and Almost-Eaten-by-a-Fox and Mighty-Beak/Bone-Crusher.  My sixth grade son laughed over it.  I think it would be a good choice for a kid who’s ready for chapter books without pictures.

Reviews of other books by Vivian Vande Velde:
Heir Apparent
The Rumpelstiltskin Problem
Cloaked in Red
User Unfriendly
Wizard at Work
A Hidden Magic
A Well-Timed Enchantment
Dragon's Bait
23 Minutes

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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