What is a wondernose? I wondered. Two times in the past few days the book Yonie Wondernose by Marguerite de Angeli has come to my attention. The first was during my search for something about the Pennsylvania Dutch hex. A library catalog search listed the title. Rightly so...as it is about a seven-year-old Pennsylvania Dutch boy named Jonathan (and nicknamed Yonie). The second happened yesterday when I was searching the fiction section for Newbery books for a book talk. By The Door in the Wall (her 1950 Newbery Medal winner) I found Yonie Wondernose, which won the 1945 Caldecott Honor medal (and should be in our everybody book section, not in fiction).
Naturally, I was curious about it. And that is what Yonie is - curious. His father calls him a wondernose because he is always poking his nose into something. When Pop and Mom go visiting, Yonie promises to act as the man of the house, taking care of the barn animals while home with Granny and his sister. Despite all sorts of curious detours and a bit of trouble (including accidentally closing Granny in the hen house), Yonie does his duty, even in the event of a barn fire. Pop rewards his fortitude and thoughtfulness with a piglet!
Finding a treasure in an unexpected way is always pleasant. This one will get shared with the children studying the hex and those reading Newbery books next week.