The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine
The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine

The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine

Written by Mark Twain and Philip C. Stead & illustrated by Erin E. Stead
9 - 12
Reading age
Page count
Words per page
Lexile measure
Sep 26, 2017
Publication date

Buy from other retailers


What's This Book About

Publisher Summary

New York Times Bestseller!A School Library Journal Best Book of 2017 A never-before-published, previously unfinished Mark Twain children’s story is brought to life by Philip and Erin Stead, creators of the Caldecott Medal-winning A Sick Day for Amos McGee. In a hotel in Paris one evening in 1879, Mark Twain sat with his young daughters, who begged their father for a story. Twain began telling them the tale of Johnny, a poor boy in possession of some magical seeds. Later, Twain would jot down some rough notes about the story, but the tale was left unfinished . . . until now. Plucked from the Mark Twain archive at the University of California at Berkeley, Twain’s notes now form the foundation of a fairy tale picked up over a century later. With only Twain’s fragmentary script and a story that stops partway as his guide, author Philip Stead has written a tale that imagines what might have been if Twain had fully realized this work. Johnny, forlorn and alone except for his pet chicken, meets a kind woman who gives him seeds that change his fortune, allowing him to speak with animals and sending him on a quest to rescue a stolen prince. In the face of a bullying tyrant king, Johnny and his animal friends come to understand that generosity, empathy, and quiet courage are gifts more precious in this world than power and gold. Illuminated by Erin Stead’s graceful, humorous, and achingly poignant artwork, this is a story that reaches through time and brings us a new book from America’s most legendary writer, envisioned by two of today’s most important names in children’s literature. A Bank Street College of Education 2018 Best Children’s Book of the Year “will capture the imaginations of readers of all ages”–USA Today, ★ ★ ★ ★ (out of four stars) ★ “Samuel Langhorne Clemens himself would be proud.”–Booklist, starred review★ “a cast of eccentric characters, celestially fine writing, and a crusade against pomp that doesn’t sacrifice humor.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review ★ “Completing a story penned by arguably America’s greatest author is no easy feat, but the Caldecott-winning author-illustrator (and husband-wife) team proves more than equal to the task. . . . A pensive and whimsical work that Twain would applaud.”–Kirkus, starred review ★ “The combination of Twain’s (often sarcastic) humor and “lessons of life,” a touch of allegory, and Stead’s own storytelling skills result in an awesome piece of fantasy.”–School Library Journal, starred review ★ “Beautifully understated and nuanced illustrations by Erin Stead add the finishing flourishes to this remarkable work.”–Shelf Awareness, starred review”drawn with a graceful crosshatched intelligence that seems close to the best of Wyeth.”–Adam Gopnik, The New York Times”Twain and the two Steads have created what could become a read-aloud classic, perfect for families to enjoy together.”–The Horn Book”artful and meta and elegant”–The Wall Street Journal “should inspire readers young and old to seek further adventures with Twain.”–The Washington Post

What Kind of Book is The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine



    Book Lists That Include This Book

    The Creatives Behind the Book

    What Has Mark Twain Said About This Book

    Nothing yet! You should let Mark Twain know that you want to hear from them about their book.

    What Has Erin E. Stead Said About This Book

    Nothing yet! You should let Erin E. Stead know that you want to hear from them about their book.

    What Has Philip C. Stead Said About This Book

    Nothing yet! You should let Philip C. Stead know that you want to hear from them about their book.

    More Books From These Creatives

      picture • 40 Pages
      The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles
      Michelle Cuevas, Erin E. Stead
      board • 34 Pages
      A Sick Day for Amos McGee
      Philip C. Stead, Erin E. Stead
      chapter • 320 Pages
      The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
      #1 in Series
      Mark Twain
      picture • 32 Pages
      And Then It's Spring
      Julie Fogliano, Erin E. Stead
      picture • 40 Pages
      Special Delivery
      #1 in Series
      Matthew Cordell, Philip C. Stead
      picture • 32 Pages
      A Home for Bird
      Philip C. Stead
      picture • 40 Pages
      Samson in the Snow
      Philip C. Stead
      picture • 40 Pages
      Music for Mister Moon
      Philip C. Stead, Erin E. Stead
      picture • 32 Pages
      If You Want to See a Whale
      Julie Fogliano, Erin E. Stead
      chapter • 240 Pages
      The Prince and the Pauper
      Mark Twain
      picture • 40 Pages
      In My Garden
      Charlotte Zolotow, Philip C. Stead
      picture • 36 Pages
      Hello, My Name Is Ruby
      Philip C. Stead
      View more

    Other Books You Might Enjoy If You Liked This Book

      chapter • 192 Pages
      Donut the Destroyer
      Graphic Nov.
      Stef Purenins, Sarah Graley
      chapter • 192 Pages
      Creepers Crashed My Party: Redstone Junior High
      Graphic Nov.
      chapter • 192 Pages
      Saving Xenos: An Unofficial Graphic Novel for Minecrafters
      Graphic Nov.
      chapter • 128 Pages
      Miles Morales: Shock Waves (Original Spider-Man Graphic Novel)
      Graphic Nov.
      chapter • 188 Pages
      Silver Six
      Graphic Nov.
      chapter • 184 Pages
      Rhyme Schemer
      K. A. Holt
      chapter • 192 Pages
      Graphic Nov.
      Sarah Graley
      chapter • 128 Pages
      Middle School Is Worse Than Meatloaf: A Year Told Through Stuff
      Jennifer L. Holm
      chapter • 160 Pages
      Mystery of the Ghost Ship
      Graphic Nov.
      Philip Pullman
      chapter • 128 Pages
      Apocalypse Taco
      Graphic Nov.
      Nathan Hale

    Book Details

    Publication Date
    September 26, 2017
    Doubleday Books for Young Readers
    Page Count
    Words Per Page
    Middle Grade
    Reading Age
    9 - 12 years
    Lib. of Congress (LCCN)
    Lexile® Level
    Est. Fountas & Pinnell Level
    ATOS® Book Level
    Accelerated Reader® Points
    Accelerated Reader Quiz
    Accelerated Reader Interest Level

    Contribute to this page

    Core Score - 90%

    So, SO close to perfection!

    Depth Score - 25%

    Just the barebones.

    Improve this page

    Are you the author or illustrator? Claim your book.

    Top Contributors


    Book Clubs

    Follow Bookroo