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10 thoughts on “Heckedy Peg

  1. Calista Calista says:

    This feels like either a Grimm fairytale or an Anderson fairytale, but maybe Audrey just wrote it to be that way.

    The artwork is beautiful. It looks like Renaissance artwork with light/dark contrasts and it reminds me of her King Biggood book, which is amazing and you need to read that story.

    A mother has 7 children and she names them after days of the week, why not right. The mother goes to the market with a warning not to touch fire or let in strangers, but strangers are crafty, especially old witches, so the children let them in and this starts the story. Heckedy Peg is an evil witch, because why not make witches evil, right? (I really don't like an evil witch archetype, it's so patriarchal)

    The witch turns them into food and whisks them away to eat them at her cave home. The mother gets help from a bird and goes after them. She is able to rescue her children and I love how she does that. It's a great story device and that one piece could have been drawn out just a little bit more. It's over fast, but it's a great moment. It makes the story worth it.

    Nephew thought this was a little spooky. He thought it was good and he was glad the children were saved. He thought the witch should have paid more. He gave this 3 stars.

  2. J.K. Grice J.K. Grice says:

    HECKEDY PEG is one of the most beautifully illustrated story books that I have ever seen. Aubrey Wood has crafted a deliciously imaginative fairy tale for children, straight out of the Brothers Grimm tradition. Just an unbelievable book!

  3. Ronyell Ronyell says:

    Revised Review:

    “Heckedy Peg” is another early book of Audrey Wood and Don Wood and is the winner of the Irma Simonton Black Award. With Audrey Wood’s masterful storytelling and Don Wood’s exotic illustrations, “Heckedy Peg” is sure to be an instant classic.

    Audrey Wood’s masterful storytelling is both exciting and intense as she narrates the story of a mother who risks her life to find her seven children before Heckedy Peg eats them up. The scene that really stood out the most in this book was the scene where the mother knew which food item was her child by remembering what they had requested before she went to the market. I always thought that while reading this book, whether or not the mother had an excellent memory of what her children wanted or that it was the power of love that broke the spell over the children, but I believe that the power of love is a good theme in this book because the reader can easily see that the mother was distraught when her children were kidnapped and she had the courage to go rescue her children even after they were transformed into food. Don Wood’s illustrations are beautiful and haunting at the same time especially of the scene of Heckedy Peg’s hut being gloomy and frightening as the colors are mainly gray and blue and the trees twist in a monstrous way.

    Parents should know that Heckedy Peg, the evil witch, might scare small due to her wanting to eat the mother’s seven children. Also, some parents might be upset by the use of witchcraft in this story as Heckedy Peg uses dark magic to transform the children into various food items and they might want to talk to their children about the controversial topic about witchcraft. Also, Heckedy Peg looks extremely frightening as she dresses in a tattered old dress and has a twisted and insane looking expression on her face. The scene that will probably frighten children the most would be the scene where Heckedy Peg transforms the seven children into different food items and you can see the malicious grin on Heckedy Peg’s face as the children seem like ghostly apparitions of themselves when they transform into food. Parents may want to comfort their children that a mother’s love for their children usually conquers any frightful situation and also discuss about the dangers of letting in strangers that they do not know that well.

    “Heckedy Peg” is one of Audrey Wood’s and Don Wood’s most dramatic books and is also the most beautiful book from their collection, other than “The Napping House.” Children who love books filled with adventure and tension will definitely enjoy this book and the mother’s clever resolution in finding out which child is hers. I would strongly recommend this book to children ages six and older since it does deal with the subject matter of witchcraft and small children might be frighten by Heckedy Peg’s desire to eat the seven children.

    Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

  4. Lisa Vegan Lisa Vegan says:

    The illustrations here are truly magnificent. The paintings would not be out of place in an art museum. They’re amazing.

    The story is both scary and funny. I’d have been terrified as a young child, but as an adult I really enjoyed the story.

    It’s about a clever and loving mother and her seven children. (Given the children’s names, I did get a chuckle from wondering what she’d have done had she had eight children. ha ha) I guess this is a reassurance story since the mother outwits the witch but it’s a very scary story, in my opinion. What’s fun is for the reader/listener to guess, along with the mother, which child is which, in order to save them.

    This is an original fairy tale like story. The inside cover says it’s inspired by a sixteenth-century game still played by children today. (That’s all that’s said about that. I don’t know anything about the game. I’m curious enough that I’ll probably go try to look it up.)

    4 ½ stars

  5. Kathryn Kathryn says:

    Quite gorgeous illustrations and a clever story. I'm not sure I felt especially drawn to it, although I do appreciate all its merits. Best of all, I love that Mom is the HEROINE for a change. A spunky, brave and clever one at that. Woo hoo!

  6. Henry Martin Henry Martin says:

    How come I never came over this author / illustrator duo before?

    This is exactly what I asked myself while reading this little gem. The story itself is entertaining, even though elements of it remind me of multiple old European fairy tales. However, it does offer a fresh look at the age-old cautionary tale of parents telling their children to not open the door for strangers no matter what. The children, as we know, can never abide by that simple rule :)

    The illustrations in this book are simply wonderful. I love the oil paintings, the use of light, motion, the detail in every picture, in every expression. The illustrator (in this case the author's husband) is a true artist, and a very talented one indeed.

    Reading this book reminded me of how wonderful children's books used to be. Not the run-of-the-mill we get now, with photoshop images and shaky drawings. No, I'm talking about real children's books that took time to write and illustrate.


  7. Abigail Abigail says:

    When their mother, setting out to the market in town, must leave them home alone, seven rambunctious siblings - named for the seven days of the week - keep to her instructions at first, refusing to open the door for strangers, or to touch the fire. But a crafty witch named Heckedy Peg (who'd lost her leg) soon comes along, tempting them with a bag of gold, and - when they finally do admit her to the cottage - transforming them into various food items! It falls to their determined and resourceful mother, returned home with the items they requested, to rescue her children from the witch who plans to eat them...

    The third picture-book from storytelling team Audrey and Don Wood that I have read - the previous two being King Bidgood's in the Bathtub and The Napping House - this tale of a family that triumphs over the machinations of one very evil witch is an absolute delight! I enjoyed the story, appreciated the clever way in which the items each child requested from the market matched up (in various ways) with the food into which they had been transformed, and really liked the fact that it is the mother who is the hero. As for the illustrations, done by Don Wood in oil, they are simply gorgeous - a pure visual feast! All in all, Heckedy Peg is just a delightful book, one I recommend to all young fairy-tale lovers, and to fans of the Woods.

  8. Krista the Krazy Kataloguer Krista the Krazy Kataloguer says:

    This is a great pick for story time! Not only are the illustrations beautiful, but children can try to guess how the mother will figure out which food is which child. I consider this to be one of Audrey and Douglas Wood's best. Highly recommended!

  9. Crystal Marcos Crystal Marcos says:

    I really loved the illustrations in this book. When I checked it out I didn't realize it was by the married author/illustrator team who collaborated on an excellent read King Bidgood's in the Bathtub. I liked the old time feel of the story. The witch reminded me of snow white and the seven dwarfs. A mother leaves her children alone to go into town. Upon coming home, she discovers they are missing. A little blackbird tells her what happened and she is off to rescue her children from the evil witch. Not a book for the very young or a sensitive child.

    This is a Children's Picture Book Club read. This month's theme is witches and monsters:

  10. Susan Susan says:

    Paralleling the idea of The Wolf and the Seven Kids, this folktale details how a mother saves her children (named after the days of the week) from a witch after they have been tricked by her. Using quick wit and recognition of the food group matching the mother rescues her children. A fun tale to use for folktales, parellel stories and matching and prediction as well as introducing the days of the week and possibly pairing with the rhyme of the days of the week.

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Heckedy Peg ❰PDF / Epub❯ ✅ Heckedy Peg Author Audrey Wood – In this story, seven sweet children are transformed by an evil witch into specific types of food “The inherent drama of the story, combined with the haunting images the art provides, gives the pictu In this story, seven sweet children are transformed by an evil witch into specific types of food “The inherent drama of the story, combined with the haunting images the art provides, gives the picture book a timeless quality”Booklist.