published in 2004


Appropriate age:
Young Kid (age 5-7)
Reading level:
Grade 3
Genres: Fiction, Humor, Romance
Culture: Europe
Subjects: Fairies, Family, Parents, Romance, Siblings, Fairy Tale, Humor, Values


Buttons, buttons, who's got the buttons? When an old man eats so much he bursts his britches and loses all his buttons, it's up to his three daughters to find new ones for their silly, helpless father. The eldest daughter offers to dress in her finest clothes and make a rich man fall in love with her, at which point she will demand buttons. The second daughter plans to dress as a boy and join the army. Her uniform will have plenty of buttons to spare. The youngest daughter, who is "young and rabbity and still picked her nose when she thought no one was looking" decides to run in the meadow, holding out her apron so that if any buttons fall from the sky, she can catch them. The race for buttons is on, and readers will be as delighted as the unfastened father at the results. In spite of the hint of naughtiness in this fable--daughter number two spends a snug night in a hayloft with a young wounded soldier--the antics throughout are innocently preposterous enough to pose no threat to the sanctity of youth. Tremendously clever and delightfully understated, Brock Cole's original fairy tale and whimsical watercolors have the feel of an ancient classic, complete with happily-ever-after-ending. (Ages 5 to 9) --Emilie Coulter