This heart-warming Ukrainian folktale, set during the Great Famine of the 1930s, tells of a young girl's attempts to save her village from starvation.
When soldiers take the village's wheat, Marusia hides just enough to survive. She and her father share with the other villagers over the winter, then plant the few remaining grains in the spring. A gigantic stalk of magical wheat grows attracting the attention of an equally large and magical stork. The stork flies with Marusia on a magical journey to the prairies, where farmers give Marusia enough wheat for her village.
Word of the magical journey reaches a greedy officer, who tricks the stork into retracing the magical journey. But the officer does not understand the meaning of "enough" and his greed leads to his doom. Back in the village, Marusia and her father know they must devise a clever plan to protect their wheat from other greedy soldiers . . . and perhaps from the dictator himself!
Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch is the author of many books for children and young adults, including Call Me Aram, Aram's Choice, Silver Threads, Enough, The Hunger, and Hope's War. Her novel about the Armenian genocide, Nobody's Child, was nominated for the Red Maple Award, the Alberta Rocky Mountain Book Award, and the B.C. Stellar Award; it was also listed by Resource Links as a "Best Book." An English scholar and former librarian, Marsha lives in Brantford, Ontario, with her husband and son.
"Enough is an excellent storytime selection for primary students and an important study for intermediate and older students, even adults. For young children, this is a spellbinding Ukrainian folktale complete with magic, the conflict of good and evil, and a happy ending. The story takes place during a real-life atrocity, the Famine of the 1930's, but Marsha Skrypuch's unresentful and talented storytelling allows this serious subject to be a perfect setting for the actions of a female hero. Michael Martchenko's superior drawings add just the right amount of humour. The large, brightly coloured 19 x 21 cm pictures are suitable for group presentations. . . Enough is the second picture book that features the team of Marsha Skrypuch and Michael Martchenko. . . This author exposes us, in a kindly manner, to history that should not be overlooked.
Highly recommended for school and public libraries."
— Resource Links
"Martchenko's art will be familiar to Robert Munsch fans. His expressive characters and detailed settings are complementary to the text. His cultural knowledge is evident in the dress of his characters and he adds gentle warmth and humour to a well-told tale."
— The Brandon Sun
"Michael Martchenko's illustrations play nicely into this picture book set in a village in Ukraine as the Soviets come into power. Even in the best of times, Marusia and her father eke a meagre living from their farm, but with the "Dictator" in power, their farm and their grain are expropriated. Plucky Marusia takes matters into her own hands and, helped by a stork, flies across the sea to a verdant land, gathering enough grain to feed the village. That grain is also expropriated, leaving Marusia no choice but to devise a wickedly simple ruse to foil the oppressor."
— The Globe and Mail
"Picture books aren't necessarily baby books or even easy books. Some tell very mature stories. One of my children refused to listen to chapter books long after she could comprehend them. For her, a book meant pictures and that meant colour - and not artsy black and white woodcuts either. . .In Enough, Canadian writer Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch has stayed with the classic folk tale formula of a greedy landlord and his men who steal the harvest. This particular landlord is Josef Stalin, though he is never named. After years of hunger, a little heroine named Marusia finally masterminds a scheme to dig graves to hide the grain. News of such a large graveyard reached the dictator who came to inspect the sacrifice. — Horrified, Marusia saw a scrap of cloth, along with a few grains of wheat, sticking out of the last grave. — Luckily, the dictator assumed the peasants were too stupid to use coffins. Skrypuch never swerves from the folk tale devices of her story. Despite her historical allusions, there is a magic stork which flies her to the Canadian Prairies for crucial seed. And Michael Martchenko's spirited illustrations full of specific detail right from the Ukrainian shawl lining the endpapers, give the story the weight of truth. Beside the peasants' bright clothes and rich yellow fields of grain, a graveyard overwhelmed with storm clouds shocks the reader into understanding what famine means."
— The National Post