Caterina, the Clever Farm Girl - Julienne Peterson
Caterina is a clever farm girl whose wits catch the king's attention. After some stimulating conversation he falls instantly in love with her and asks for her hand in marriage. She says yes and they live happily...for a time. It comes to pass that Caterina's cleverness drives a wedge between the happy couple. The king feels undermined and annoyed and forbids her to appear in court anymore. But Caterina, being clever, finds ways to interfere. Can their marriage survive when he discovers what she has done?

I very much enjoyed this unique folktale, as did my seven year old daughter who has requested it multiple times since checking it out from the library. And I mostly enjoyed the accompanying illustrations. The backdrops with the very authentic feeling Italian architecture and landscape are very nice indeed. I can't say I was as wild about the people who look a little cartoonish to me. But it obviously didn't affect my overall enjoyment. Definitely recommended for anyone looking for 'clever girl' stories!

Also recommended: Count Silvernose: A Story from Italy - also with an Italian backdrop and gorgeous Renaissance inspired illustrations!