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A fairy tale in which the fairies get fired, MacDonald's take on a Scottish-Irish folktale starts with an old woman who hates housework. A voice from outside calls ("Your luck has come! Open the door! / Let me in and you'll work no more!"), and soon several fairies have taken over her house, doing all the chores to which the old woman has grown accustomed. When she yells "Fairies STOP!" because they're so "rackety," they proceed to take apart all they have done, so that they can start all over again. The sound effects—from "clankety clankety" to "swishety swishety"—make this a fun read-aloud, and Mitchell's full-of-green pictures are engaging domestic scenes with a little fairy dust thrown in. The tale ends with the old woman luring the sprites outside and incapacitating household objects so that they can't help the fairies back in. As the knitting needles say, "We're stuck in the yarn; we cannot get out!" The last page features the happy old woman alone with her chores. Grades K-2. --Abby Nolan
Lively water colour illustrations add to this Celtic retelling by master storyteller Margaret Read MacDonald. An author's note is also included.