Renée lives with her selfish stepmother and stepsister. She does all the housework and the chores. Her only escape from their demands is her daily walk to the spring for water. One day an old woman sitting on the bench near the spring asks for a glass of water, and Renée graciously brings her one. In thanks, the old woman presents her with a gift both strange and wonderful. When the stepmother sees Renée's gift, she immediately orders her daughter, Francine, to go to the spring and return with as rich a gift. But the gift Francine receives is not what either of them had expected... The kind-and-unkind-sisters theme has long been a favorite of folklorists. In this fresh and charming version, Charlotte Huck's polished retelling and Anita Lobel's magnificent, humorous illustrations add up to a beautiful, timeless, and satisfying picture book.