The Goat-Faced Girl: A Classic Italian Folktale

Leah Marinsky Sharpe (Retold by) Jane Marinsky (Illustrator)
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Like many good fables, this story opens with a child left in the woods. A large lizard picks up the infant and takes her home, where she soon grows into a pretty, pampered, and generally useless young woman named Isabella. Despite her adoptive mother's efforts (for the lizard is really a witch in disguise) to shape her up, the girl prefers the alluring life offered her by the charming Prince Rupert, a world of cooks and servants, palaces and jewels, luxury and indolence. Luckily, the witch is a canny, concerned parent. She does not suffer fools lightly and is not about to let her daughter's too-easy transition to palace life go unchallenged. And so she arranges a surprise transformation for her daughter one that puts the prince's marital plans on hold and gives the witch just enough time to hammer home a few lessons about the downside of idleness.

Product Details

$16.95  $15.59
David R. Godine Publisher
Publish Date
October 01, 2009
10.1 X 0.6 X 8.2 inches | 0.9 pounds

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About the Author

Leah Marinsky Sharpe has been fascinated with fairy and folk tales since she was a child. When her mother asked her to collaborate on a children's book she thought immediately of The Goat-Faced Girl, a traditional story that left an impression on her when she came across years before.

Jane Marinsky is an illustrator whose work has appeared in many publications. Her two children's books with Godine are The Goat-Faced Girl and Just Perfect.


"Rich storytelling and intricately imagined artwork make this debut a standout... Isabella is lovely but lazy, and her lizard/sorceress mother gives her the head of a goat when she becomes engaged to Prince Rupert... Sharpe's retelling maintains a smart, modern tone throughout... A must for anyone who would rather be a sorceress than a princess." -- Starred Review "Publisher's Weekly (Dec. 09)"