1977 1st year edition; Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Company publishers, New York; hardbound in pictoral boards; "Weekly Reader Children's Book Club"; very good condition with unmarked pages; no dust jacket.
A demon in the guise of a magic pot outwits a greedy rich man and brings wealth and happiness to a poor old fellow and his wife.
Kirkus Review -
Once there was a funny little demon. He looked around and he looked around. 'Hucka-pucka, hucka-pucka,' said the demon, and turned himself into a black iron pot."" This pseudofolktale tings false from the opening sentences, which would be better off either tighter (""Once there was a. . . demon who turned himself into a . . . pot"") or fuller (why did he?). As it is, the looking around and the huckapucka's are arbitrary dressing. A carping point perhaps, but the failing is representative, for Coombs' ear is off throughout, with mechanical repetition substituting for oral rhythm (there are 39 hucka-pucka's in fourteen pages) and a plot that has the trappings of folklore (the pot brings food and gold from a rich man's house to a poor old man and woman) but none of the moral import: the old couple has done nothing to win the pot's favor; nor has the rich man, except by being rich, brought on his ultimate dunking in mud. Dispensable.