20 min. for age 5+

Once upon a time there were two friends, a tailor and an innkeeper. They spent as much time together as they could, drinking tea, playing backgammon, and above all, talking. They talked about everything they could think of: news, weather, politics, town gossip, until one day they talked themselves into a silly dispute over who was cleverest. Rather than ruin their friendship by arguing over this matter, they decided to ask the king for his opinion…

…‘I know what to do!’, said the king. ‘I’ll give you three riddles. Three ancient riddles with as many answers as there are people in the world. By your answers, I’ll know who is cleverest!’…

This Russian/Jewish folktale adapted by Emily Doolittle and Talespin, features a precocious innkeeper’s daughter whose wit and wisdom serve to elevate her far beyond her humble birth status. Composer Emily Doolittle’s distinctively personal compositional style highlights all the inherent intricacies and interest of the tale and Gailanne Dill´s portrait-like illustrations highlight Russian scenes and images and put intriguing faces to the story’s many memorable characters.

Emily Croatia

Emily Doolittle, composer

Canadian-born, Scotland-based composer Emily Doolittle’s music has been described as “eloquent and effective” (The WholeNote), “masterful” (Musical Toronto), and “the piece…that grabbed me by the heart” (The WholeNote). Emily has been commissioned by such ensembles as Orchestre Métropolitain, Tafelmusik, Symphony Nova Scotia, the Paragon Ensemble, and Ensemble Contemporain de Montreal, and supported by the Sorel Organization, the Hinrichsen Foundation, the Hope Scott Trust, Opera America, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Fulbright Foundation, among others.
Originally from Nova Scotia, Canada, Emily was educated at Dalhousie University, Indiana University, the Koninklijk Conservatorium, and Princeton University. From 2008-2015 she was on the faculty of Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. She now lives in Glasgow, Scotland, where she is an Athenaeum Research Fellow at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Her chamber music CD all spring, performed by the Seattle Chamber Players and friends was released on the Composers Concordance Label in 2015. She is currently writing a new piece for the Vancouver Symphony and preparing for performances of her chamber opera Jan Tait and the Bear as part of the Made in Scotland Showcase at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August 2018. Emily wrote the music to the Talespin tales Why the Parrot Repeats Human Words as well as The Wise Daughter.


Gailanne Dill, illustrator

Graduating with Honors, Gailanne Dill has a B.A. in communications with double minors in French and fine arts from Eastern New Mexico University and a Master’s Degree in education.
She has taught numerous subjects including French, Life Sciences, Art and Music to children between the ages of 4 and 12 in Texas and New Mexico and was awarded the Silver “Teacher of Character” award.
Gailanne and her husband have a son, a daughter, a cat and two guinea pigs and currently live in Grinnell, Iowa. Gailanne enjoys spending time with her children, playing in the park, sledding, reading and making art.