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Honored by the New York Public Library

One‑Eye! Two‑Eyes! Three‑Eyes!

A Very Grimm Fairy Tale

Book illustration

Told by Aaron Shepard
Illustrated by Gary Clement

Rated “A” by Entertainment Weekly

2007 New York Public Library’s “100 Titles for Reading and Sharing”

Once there were three sisters who lived together in a cottage in the woods. The oldest sister was no different from other people. She had just one eye, right in the middle of her forehead. The middle sister was also quite ordinary. She had one eye on her forehead, and one on each side of her face. But the youngest sister was different. Her name was Two‑Eyes, and that’s just what she had.

In this playful retelling of a tale from the Brothers Grimm, a young lady with cruel sisters gets help from an old woman, a handsome knight, and some magical verses—and in the end finds out she is not so alone as she believed.

Picture book • Ages 7–12

Aaron Shepard is the award-winning author of The Baker’s Dozen, The Sea King’s Daughter, The Monkey King, and many more children’s books, while his Web site is known internationally as a prime resource for folktales, storytelling, and reader’s theater. Once a professional storyteller, Aaron specializes in lively retellings of folktales and other traditional literature, which have won him honors from the American Library Association, the New York Public Library, the Bank Street College of Education, the National Council for the Social Studies, and the American Folklore Society.

Gary Clement is a political cartoonist for Canada’s National Post, and the winner of the 1999 Canadian Governor General’s Literary Award for Children’s Literature, Illustration.

Simon & Schuster/Atheneum

Hardcover ~ 2007

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Book cover


“Scrappy little Two‑Eyes is an especially appealing character. . . . Many classic Grimm tales are downright frightening, but this modern retelling manages to stay very close to the original while making it completely accessible to today's kids.”—Tina Jordan, Entertainment Weekly, Jan. 18, 2007, “A” rating

“Shepard proves that updating a classic can be a treat for a new generation of readers.”—Publishers Weekly, Nov. 13, 2006

“Wry fun for the early grades.”—Kirkus Reviews, Nov. 15, 2006

“An old tale gets a facelift in this lively version. . . . On the way to happily-ever-after, a good time will be had by all.”—Ilene Cooper, Booklist, Jan. 1 & 15, 2007

“Children will enjoy the humor in this reincarnation. . . . Will make excellent fodder for reader’s theater, with a script available on the author’s Web site.”—Grace Oliff, School Library Journal, Jan. 2007

“Crisply magical.”—Sunwolf, storyteller and professor, Santa Clara University

“This may be a Grimm tale, but it is not a grim one. . . . The broad comedy of Gary Clement’s watercolor illustrations is a treat. . . . Adult readers will enjoy sly touches.”—Susan Perren, The Globe and Mail (Toronto), Jan. 20, 2007

“Shepard’s twist of having Two‑Eyes be the unusual one adds the type of humor young readers often enjoy most, where they are in on the joke.”—The Horn Book, Jan.–Feb. 2007

“With its fairy-tale extremes of dearth and bounty, powerlessness and power, and reversal of fortunes, this is a good choice for anyone discussing fairy tales with kids. It makes a nice alternative to the story of Cinderella and, for an enterprising teacher, a comparison with the Grimm brothers’ version of the same tale would bring up telling differences. . . . Illustrated with such comic quirkiness that it has the ironic edge of a cartoon.”—Deirdre Baker, Toronto Star, Feb. 4, 2007

“This excellent read-aloud would be an exceptional addition to a collection.”—Diane Guiett, Library Media Connection, Mar. 2007

Sample Text

Now, the sisters owned a goat, and every day Two‑Eyes took it to the meadow to graze. One morning, when she’d had hardly anything to eat, she sat in the grass and cried her two eyes out.

All at once, an old woman stood before her. But the biggest surprise was that this woman had two eyes, just like Two‑Eyes herself.

“What’s wrong, my dear?” asked the woman.

“It’s my sisters,” Two‑Eyes told her. “They never give me enough to eat.”

“Don’t worry about that!” said the woman. “You can have as much as you like. Just say to your goat,

‘Bleat, goat, bleat.
And bring me lots to eat!’

Then you’ll have plenty. When you don’t want any more, just say,

‘Bleat, goat, bleat.
I’ve had so much to eat!’

Then the rest will vanish. Just like this.”

And the old woman vanished—just like that.

Two‑Eyes couldn’t wait to try. She said to the goat,

“Bleat, goat, bleat.
And bring me lots to eat!”

The goat bleated, and a little table and chair appeared. The table was set with a tablecloth, plate, and silverware, and on it were dishes and dishes of wonderful-smelling food.

“This sure is better than leftovers!” said Two‑Eyes.

She sat down and started in hungrily. Everything tasted delicious. When she’d eaten her fill, she said,

“Bleat, goat, bleat.
I’ve had so much to eat!”

The goat bleated and the table vanished. “And that,” said Two‑Eyes, “is better than cleaning up!”

When Two‑Eyes got home, she didn’t touch her bowl of leftovers. Her sisters didn’t notice till she’d gone off to bed. Then Three‑Eyes said, “Look! Our little sister didn’t eat anything!”

“That’s strange,” said One‑Eye. “Is someone else giving her food? I’ll go tomorrow and watch her.”

Sample text copyright © 2007 Aaron Shepard. Top illustration courtesy of Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division. Illustration copyright © 2007 by Gary Clement.

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