“Let’s Read,” Friend, May 1971, 15
No one will have difficulty in discerning the thread of this story. The illustrations are representative rather than literal, yet they are fitting. This book will send you to the Old Testament to read the great tale of Jonah in its original form.
“Once there was and twice there wasn’t a Turkish sultan who loved to eat. …” And so the story unwinds as you read of the gluttonous sultan who eats soup and rice and yogurt and bread and who daily weighs himself. He finds that he is “finally growing to be a fine figure of a ruler.” Soon the sultan doesn’t fit into his clothing and finally can’t fit into his bathtub. He diets. As the physicians try to cure the sultan of fatness, each fails and is sent to prison. Then the hamal arrives. (A hamal in Turkey, even today, is a public porter who can carry incredible loads.) In this Turkish folk tale it is the hamal who has straightforward answers to the sultan’s problems, and these make the story delightful!
This book is a “scratch and sniff” book to be enjoyed as you read and follow the adventures of Little Bunny. Little Bunny wants to know the answer to the age-old question, “What can I do?” He is given the answer, “Just follow your nose.” The story is pleasing and the full-color illustrations are charming.
The manuscript for this book was found among Laura Wilder’s papers following her death in 1957. The story follows the last volume of her series These Happy Golden Years. Those readers who enjoy reading the “Little House” books will certainly want to read this book of the first four years following Laura and Almanzo Wilder’s marriage. The illustrations, which are just right, are by the same illustrator of the nine other books of Laura’s life.