The Magic Porridge Pot - Paul Galdone

Now, I had read many folktales that dealt with the main characters getting a magic pot that gives them endless food, but then they keep forgetting the magic words that would stop the pot from giving them more food, which usually ends up in disaster for the main characters. But, I must admit that I was surprised that there was another folktale out there that dealt with this situation and this story is called “The Magic Porridge Pot” by Paul Galdone!


In this story, a little girl and her mother were so poor that they only had a small piece of bread to satisfy their hunger. One day, the little girl ends up going into the forest to find some food when she meets an old woman, who gives her a magic porridge pot that would sprout out porridge whenever a person says these words:


“Boil, Little Pot, Boil!”


However, in order to stop the porridge from rising too much from the pot, the person would have to say these words:


“Stop, Little Pot, Stop!”


So, the little girl and her mother were able to have enough to eat everyday with the magic porridge pot, until one day, the little girl went to visit her friend, leaving her mother alone with the magic porridge pot. The mother then decided to get some more porridge from the magic pot, but unfortunately, she did not remember the words to stop the porridge from rising in the pot and the porridge ended up flooding the entire village!

Will the little girl save the village from the porridge in time?


Read this book to find out!

Paul Galdone did a pretty interesting take on the classic tall tale from the Low Countries of Breughel’s time and I really liked the fact that this story involved magic and humor that dealt with taking responsibility for your own actions as it made the premise pretty interesting to read through. But probably the best part about this book were Paul Galdone’s illustrations as the characters and the environment that they are in look a bit scratchy and yet, are extremely detailed and brilliantly shows the humorous and intense situation of the porridge flooding the village! I also loved the way that Paul Galdone drew the villagers’ outfits as they look like they came out of the Renaissance Age and they really bring an old fashioned feel to the story.


The reason why I gave this book a three star rating was because while I liked the premise of this book, I felt that I had actually read this story before (Strega Nona anyone)? I also felt that this type of story was handled a bit better in “Strega Nona” since the characters in “Strega Nona” were more fleshed out than the characters in this book. The characters in this book just felt so flat to me that I could not really get invested into this story and I wished that the characters in this book were fleshed out better so that I could have enjoyed this story more.


Overall, “The Magic Porridge Pot” might have a pretty interesting premise, but the story slightly suffered from lack of character development that made it hard for me to be interested in the overall story in this book.