The Gold Miner’s Daughter: A Melodramatic Fairy Tale
*Picture book, fantasy (fractured fairy tales) for preschoolers through third graders
*Young girl as main character
*Rating: The Gold Miner’s Daughter is clever and adorable. One of those “I wish I would have written this” books!
Short, short summary: Jackie Mims Hopkins writes this adorable tale about Gracie Pearl, who lives in gold minin’ country with her Pa. They are in the midst of hard times, and Mr. Bigglebottom says that they need to give him some gold or else he’ll take Gracie Pearl as his wife. That’s the last thing she wants, of course, and so she goes out to find gold. Instead of finding gold, she finds several fairy tale creatures (imagine an almost Shrek-like romp through fairy tale land), such as Goldilocks who is too busy to help her because she’s got some bears hot on her trail. Gracie Pearl also finds the three pigs tied to railroad tracks and Rapunzel in her castle tower, just to name a few. In the end, Gracie Pearl finds BLACK GOLD and that dastardly Mr. Bigglebottom gets exactly what he deserves. The illustrations by Jon Goodell make this book!
So, what do I do with this book?
1. I love books that have activities built in, and this is one of those. At the beginning of the book, a “key” is shown to students. This key tells them what to do when they see certain symbols throughout the book. So, for example when they see a hand with a finger pointing up, they are supposed to say, “Aha!” Students are involved with the book and having fun while acting out the storyline.
2. There are several fairy tales represented in this book. Ask students to make a list of the characters from fairy tales and then discuss how each of them is being true to their character and playing a role in the plot of this book.
3. Discuss with students what melodramatic means. If possible, show them some footage of a melodramatic movie or scene.