The Fortune Tellers

Written by Lloyd Alexander • Illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman

Reviewed by CJ (age 6)

This story is about a young man in West Africa who was not happy with his job as a carpenter. He goes to see an old fortune teller to see if the fortune teller can tell him things that will make him happy in the future. He asks questions like, "Will I live a long time?, Will I marry my love?, and Will I be rich?" The fortune teller tells the man all the things he wants to hear. Then the carpenter heads back home dreaming of all the things comimg true. But he thinks of some other things he wants to ask the fortune teller so he returns to the fortune teller's room. The old man is gone and only his crystal ball and hat are left in the room. The shopkeeper's wife comes in and discovers the young man holding the ball and hat and she thinks he is the old fortune teller who has through magic made himself younger. Even though he tells her is not, she insists that he is and wants him to tell her fortune and her family's fortune. All the things the old fortune teller told the young carpenter turn out to be true, and he uses the same kind of answers to turn into a fortune teller himself. What happened to the old fortune teller? You'll need to read the book to find out, but he wasn't a very good fortune teller because he didn't know what was going to happen to himself.

I like the illustrations in this book because they were very colorful and show a faraway country. It is like you can imagine yourself in Africa. The pictures show the colorful clothes that the people of West Africa wear. Also there are many things to look at on each page. Ilike this story because it was funny when the fortune teller told the carpenter all the things that would come about and the carpenter did not even realize that he was being told things that would happen anyway. The lesson this story taught me and will teach you is that everyone makes their own happiness and can be what they want to be. You need to work at the things that will make you happy.

I would recommend this book to my cousin Isaac and other kids who like books which have colorful pictures and a funny story that can teach a lesson.

CJ is a student in Mrs. Bernhardt's 1st Grade Class
Summer 2001