Title: Yonie Wondernose
Author: Marguerite de Angeli
Major Themes: Amish, Pennsylvania
Synopsis: Yonie forgets to do his jobs because he is so curious about things—will he ever learn to keep his mind on his work?
Marguerite de Angeli has always been one of my favorite picture-book authors. I remember reading a copy of Yonie Wondernose from the library when I was young. I was able to buy a copy recently, and this morning I got to read it to my little boys. They were very interested in the story.
Yonie is a little Pennsylvania Dutch boy, living in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He wears a broad-brimmed hat just like his Amish father, and has the same bowl-shaped haircut. He likes to help his father with the work around the farm, but he is so curious that he gets distracted easily. His family calls him a “Wondernose” because he is always poking his nose into things. Will he ever learn to be responsible?
Then one day, Yonie’s parents and big sister go visiting overnight, and he stays home with his grandmother and little sister to take care of the animals. For once, he is not a wondernose, but sticks to his work—and Granny wishes that time that he had been curious! All is well, though, until a lightning bolt in the night sets fire to the barn. Can Yonie and Granny rescue all the animals in time—or will Yonie get distracted by his curiousity again?
I love the illustrations in this book! Nearly every page has a picture. Most are black-and-white drawings, but some are full-color paintings. They are beautiful. My 4-year-old said he liked the book, especially when the lightning crashed. My 6-year-old says he liked the whole book.
Listening Level—Ages 3 – 4, 5 – 8
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12