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Gone Is Gone

or the Story of a Man Who Wanted to Do Housework

2003
Author:

Wanda Gág

Gone Is Gone

The classic illustrated folktale by the author of Millions of Cats—now back in print after nearly thirty years!

Gone Is Gone addresses an age-old question between couples—who works harder? This long-out-of-print children’s book is based on a charming Bohemian tale recited to Wanda Gág when she was a child, and is now available to enchant audiences of all ages. The tale’s sly peasant humor and conversational style combined with Gág’s expressive black-and-white illustrations made the book an instant classic.

I’ll always be grateful to Gág for leavening the message with her characteristic humor. It’s comforting to know that, at least in the world of children’s books, gone is not always gone. Her body of children’s books is not large, but each title is a treasure, done in her instantly recognizable style.

Horn Book Magazine

Gone Is Gone addresses an age-old question between couples—who works harder? This long-out-of-print children’s book is based on a charming Bohemian tale recited to Wanda Gág when she was a child, and is now once again available to enchant audiences of all ages. The tale’s sly peasant humor and conversational style combined with Gág’s expressive black-and-white illustrations made the book an instant classic.

In this delightful story we meet Fritzl, who lives on a farm with his wife Liesi and their baby. Fritzl works hard in the fields every day. Liesi works hard all day, too, but Fritzl somehow feels that he works harder. When he complains about how hard he works and how easy Liesi has it, doing nothing but “putter and potter about the house a bit,” Liesi calls his bluff and suggests they trade places.

The hilarious outcomes of Fritzl’s calamitous day at home are portrayed in Gág’s singular illustrations. In the end Fritzl admits that Liesi’s work is “none too easy” and begs to return to his fields and not do housework another day. “Well then,” says Liesi, “if that’s how it is, we surely can live in peace and happiness for ever and ever.”


Gone Is Gone

Best known for her Newbery Honor winner Millions of Cats, Wanda Gág (1893–1946) was a pioneer in children’s book writing and illustration. Her groundbreaking technique of integrating illustrations with the text is evident in all of her classic books. Born in New Ulm, Minnesota, she rose to international acclaim as a children’s book author, artist, and illustrator. In recognition of her artistry, she was posthumously awarded the 1958 Lewis Carroll Shelf Award for Millions of Cats and the 1977 Kerlan Award for her body of work.

Gone Is Gone

I’ll always be grateful to Gág for leavening the message with her characteristic humor. It’s comforting to know that, at least in the world of children’s books, gone is not always gone. Her body of children’s books is not large, but each title is a treasure, done in her instantly recognizable style.

Horn Book Magazine

Gág was among the first to create what we now call an artist-concept book—written, designed and illustrated by one person. Her stories always have a funny twist, that appeals to children. Her simplicity appeals in this complex world.

St. Paul Pioneer Press