THE IMPUDENT ROOSTER
    Adapted by Sabina Răscol from a Romanian story by Ion Creangă
    Illustrated by Holly Berry
    Dutton Children's Books, New York, 2004
    ISBN 0-525-47179-0


Curcurigu, my great lord! Give back the pennies you stole!

The rooster is telling the truth—the greedy nobleman stole the bright little purse the rooster intended for his hungry master. But the nobleman hears only impudence—that a rooster should call him a thief! Well, he knows what to do about that!

And so does the rooster. Whether tossed down a well or into an oven, left to starve in the money room or be trampled by cattle, the faithful rooster prevails to reverse the nobleman’s fortunes and bring the little purse—and much morel—to his beloved master.

Children will relish Sabina I. Răscol’s retelling of this classic Romanian story, with its energetic language, crowing refrain, and cumulative, valiant deeds, each greater than the one before. Holly Berry's brilliantly stylized illustrations, inspired by Romanian folk art designs, burst with humor, wisdom, and power. This is an altogether marvelous blend of magic, justice, and love, perfect for the read-aloud audience.

The Impudent Rooster is based on a story by Ion Creangă. titled "Punguța cu doi bani" ["The Pouch with Two Coins"], first published in the January 1876 issue of the Romanian literary journal Convorbiri literare [Literary Conversations]. Romania's most esteemed and beloved storyteller, as well as a teacher and for a time a deacon in the Romanian Orthodox Church, Creangă wrote many stories and some autobiographical works, chief of which is his Amintiri din copilărie [Memories from Childhood]. He was friends with Mihai Eminescu, Romania's foremost poet; it was Eminescu who encouraged him to write. Creangă's works are appreciated for their humor and realism, and he is credited with raising Romanian folklore to the level of literature. "His masterpieces are the epic of the Romanian people," one critic said. "Creangă is our Homer." He was born March 1, 1837 (some say June 10, 1839), and died on December 31, 1889. While readers of Creangă's original tale will find here the story they love, they will encounter a kinder interpretation of the old man and old woman, a few new plot twists, and wordplay made possible by the English language. I hope this version will be as enjoyable to read as it was to write.          —S. I. R.

SABINA I. RĂSCOL was born in Romania and grew up in Los Angeles. She received her bachelor's degree in English from Bryn Mawr College and her master's degree in Romanian literature from the University Bucharest. She loves to experience life in different places in the world and has lived in five states, four countries, and on two continents. Ms. Răscol wrote her first poem in second grade and has been writing ever since. She says she adapted Ion Creanga s original story because all Romanian children grow up knowing this amazing rooster, and she wanted English-speaking children to have that privilege, too. This is her first book. Ms. Răscol lives in Los Angeles.

HOLLY BERRY, a native of Kennebunk, Maine, and a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, is the illustrator of many award-winning children's books. About The Impudent Rooster she says: "With all its high drama and comic imagery, this tale was great fun to illustrate. I was enchanted by the rooster’s focused determination and forgiving nature. I tried to use the color and richness of design in Romanian folk art to create a world in which the far-fetched situations encountered by the rooster could truly seem to happen. Ms. Berry lives on a blueberry farm in Waldoboro, Maine, with her husband and two growing daughters.

http://sabinairascol.com