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The Full Belly Bowl
Story by: Jim Aylesworth
Pictures by: Wendy Anderson Halperin

What on earth is a Full Belly Bowl?" the very old man wonders-but he soon finds out. No matter how much he eats from it, the bowl magically refills itself. For the first time, in a long time the man isn't hungry. Then he discovers the bowl can refill itself with other things-even his one copper coin- and now it looks like he'll never want for anything again! His excitement makes him careless, however, and as he hurries off to spend some of his new wealth, he leaves the bowl right side up. And who can say what might get into the full belly bowl in his absence? Fully realized in Wendy Halperin's beautiful and intricate illustrations, Jim Aylesworth's whimsical folk tale will delight readers while striking a note of caution

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 Halperin, Wendy Anderson.  The Full Belly Bowl:
Ages 5-8.  From the dainty pictures on the endpapers- where beautifully colored flora and fauna splash across the background and a cat paws at an unsuspecting mouse-to the equally charming artwork inside, this book is a feast for the eyes. There's a real story here, too, written with a folk tale feel, humor, and touches of magic and message. An old man who is always hungry lives with his cat at the edge of a forest. On day, as he's out in search of food, he stops a fox from carrying off a tiny man in its mouth. In return for the rescue, the tiny man gives his hero a present: a Full Belly Bowl, with a note that says it should be used wisely and always stored upside down. In the days that follow, the old man and his feline companion learn both the bowl's secrets and the wisdom of storing it correctly. Halperin gives both man and cat lots of character, and her intricate, homey pictures, precisely detailed and painted in soft watercolors, extend the boundaries of the wry text. The delicately layered, intricately detailed pictures, ranging from postage-stamp size to sweeping double spreads, burst with activity. The motif on the stunningly decorated bowl is repeated in boarders and backgrounds, a ribbon on color that leads children on to Aylesworth's sweet, satisfying conclusion. A wonderful book to share and a joy to pursue; this may remind some children about the story of the fisherman's wife. --Stephanie Zvirin   Booklist, November 1999

  Halperin, Wendy Anderson.  The Full Belly Bowl:
Ages 4-8. A concise and covertly cautionary original folk tale is complemented by precise and charming color-pencil illustrations in this wholly delightful book. When a very old man, who lives in a tiny house at the edge of a forest with his cat, Angelina, rescues a very small man from the jaws of a fox, he is rewarded with a full belly bowl. "You need never know hunger again," says the tiny note beneath the gift. "Use it wisely or it will be a burden." Wise use of magical objects isn't easy as it sounds. The bowl recreates its content in quality, and at first that's enough stew to sate man and cat; readers see it in a sequence of stills atop a spread of man and cat happily sleeping it off. The very old man regrets to turn over the bowl, however, and a spider in overnight duplicated in spades. The man realized it duplicates what ever is in it: his single copper penny, than a errant mouse, then cats to catch the mice, until the bowl is knocked to the floor where it shatters. The magic is gone, but the regrets are few in this thoroughly realized, easy-to-cherish tale. Kirkus, October 1999










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