Auntie Katushka has just come from the Old Country, bringing poppy seeds to make cakes for a mischief-prone four-year-old boy named Andrewshek. A little neighbor girl named Erminka, who wears red boots that are too big for her, joins Andrewshek for a series of adventures with talking animals including a greedy goose who steals the cakes; a naughty white goat who hides on the roof; and a kitten, a dog, and two chickens who are determined to crash the children's tea party. There is art on every page, featuring mischievous animals and gooseberry tarts, colorful shawls and Russian dolls, and cheerful Auntie Katushka in her kerchiefed and aproned splendor.
About the Author
ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATORS: Maud (1889-1971) and Miska (1888-1960) Petersham were a prolific illustrating husband-and-wife team who are most famous for writing and illustrating The Rooster Crows, a book of American songs, rhymes, and games in the tradition of Mother Goose, which won the 1946 Caldecott Medal. Miska was born in Hungary and Maud (née Fuller) was born in New York.
Read an Excerpt
Once upon a time there was a little boy and his name was Andrewshek. His mother and his father brought him from the old country when he was a tiny baby.
Andrewshek had an Auntie Katushka and she came from the ould country, too, on Andrewshek's fourth birthday.
Andrewshek's Auntie Katuskha came on a large boat. She brought with her a huge bag filled with presents for Andrewshek and his father and his mother. In the huge bag were a fine feather bed and a bight shawl and five pounds of poppy seeds.
The fine feather bed was made from the feathers of her old green goose at home. It was tok eep Andrewshek warm when he took a nap.
The bright shawl was for Andrewshek's Auntie Katushka to wear when she went to market.
The five pounds of poppy seeds were to sprinkle on the little cakes which Andrewshek's Auntie Katushka made every Saturday for Andrewshek.
One lovely Saturday morning Andrewshek's Auntie Katushka took some butter and some sugar and some flour and some milk and seven eggs and she rolled out some nice little cakes. Then she sprinkled each cake with some of the poppy seeds which she had brought from the ould country.
While the nice little cakes were baking, she spread out the fine feather bed on top of teh big bed, for Andrewshek to take his nap. Andrewshek did not like to take a nap.
Andrewshek lovedto bounce up and down and up and down on his fine feather bed.
Andrewshek's Auntie Katushka took the nice little cakes out of the oven and put them on the table to cool; then she put on her bright shawl to go to market. "Andrewshek," she said, "please watch these cakes while you rest on your fine feather bed. Be sure that the kitten and the dog do not go near them."
"Yes, indeed! I will watch the nice little cakes," said Andrewshek. "And I will be sure that the kitten and the dog do not touch them." But all Andrewshek really did was to bounce up and down and up and down on the fine feather bed.
"Andrewshek!" said Andrewshek's Auntie Katushka, "how can you watch the poppy seed cakes when all you do is bounce up and down and up and down on the fine eather bed?" Then Andrewshek's Auntie Katushka, in her bright shawl, hurried off to market.
But Andrewshek kept bouncing up and down and up and down on the fine feather bed and paid no attention to the little cakes sprinkled with poppy seeds.
Just as Andrewshek was bouncing up in the air for the ninth time, he heard a queer noise tht sounded like "Hs-s-s-s-sss," at the front door of his house.
"Oh, what a queer noise!" cried Andrewshek. He jumped off the fine feather bed and opened the front door. There stood a great green goose as big as Andrewshek himself. The goose was very cross and was scolding as fast as he could. He was wagging his head and opening and closing his long red beak.
"What do you want?" said Andrewshek. "What are you scolding about?"