Duffy and the Devil, 1974 edition, by Harve and Margot Zemach, winner of the Caldecott Medal.


Retold by Harve Zemach. Illustrated by Margot Zemach. First edition, second printing, 1974. Farrar, Straus, Giroux. New York.

"Squire Lovel of Trove had no wife. His housekeeper, Old Jone, did the cooking and the cleaning for him. But the sharpness had long since gone out of her eyesight, so she couldn't do fine chores any more, like spinning and sewing and knitting. After a time the squire's clothes got so rough and ragged that he thought he'd better go find a maid to be Jone's helper.

"With that in mind he rode up to Buryan Church town one fine morning. ..."

This Cornish folk tale, a version of Rumpelstiltskin, was performed in the 19th century as a Christmas play. Squire Lovel hires Duffy to help Old Jone, but in truth she's lazy and lies about her skills at weaving. The devil senses an opportunity and appears to her, and makes her a deal: He'll spin wool for her for three years, at which point Duffy must guess his name or leave with him, forever.

Harve and Margot Zemach, a husband-and-wife team, collaborated on several books, often adapting folk tales from different cultures. Harve wrote the text and Margot did the illustrations. Their most famous work was Duffy and the Devil, which won the Caldecott Medal in 1974. Margot also wrote and illustrated books on her own, and with her daughter Kaethe.

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Condition: Fine/Very Good. Dust jacket: Light edge wear; on the front, small closed tear, top right; crease along leading edge of back flap; lightly bumped at corners. Turquoise blue cloth cover boards. Pages are clean, undamaged, and complete.

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