Small Fry Saturday: The Giant Cabbage: An Alaska Folktale

Small Fry Saturday is a meme inspired by The Well-Read Redhead, showcasing books our children enjoy.

This week’s pick is:

Title: The Giant Cabbage: An Alaska Folktale
Author: Chérie B. Stihler
Illustrator: Jeremiah Trammell
Publisher: Sasquatch Books
Released: March 2003
Source: my personal library (gift from a friend)

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Moose discovers a very big cabbage in his garden that could win first prize at the Alaska State Fair. But there’s a problem–it’s so huge he can’t lift it! An old Russian folktale inspired The Giant Cabbage, but this contemporary version showcases Alaska with vivid illustrations, adorable animal friends, and verbal twists and turns.

C’s godmother went to Alaska this summer and brought back this book. (She finds the.best.books! Remember Z Is For Moose?). Chérie Stihler’s The Giant Cabbage has quickly become one of our favorite picture books. Geared for ages 3-8, this Alaska folktale contains a repetitive, cumulative refrain kids immediately latch onto. I love the bold emphasis when describing the size of the cabbage. This teaches and reinforces vocabulary which helps children describe spatial concepts. And Jeremiah Trammell’s illustrations are ridiculously adorable!

The final two pages of the book contains brief and interesting information on Alaska vegetables (find out why they grow so large), the traditional Russian folktale upon which this story is based, and even a recipe for cabbage soup.

The message of The Giant Cabbage is simple and sweet: “Friends and family who work together can get any job done – and sometimes it’s the tiniest of friends who make things happen.”