Anna Maria and the Three Boxes

Cue Card


Power, Rhoda.  The Big Book of Stories From Many Lands.  Franklin Watts, Inc., 1969.


Ethnic Origin:  Austrian


Running Time:  Approximately 10 minutes


Power Center(s): 


Ø  Meeting the old man who gave Anna Maria the three magic boxes


Ø  Leaving home to work as a maid and having mean mistress order Anna Maria to accomplish difficult tasks


Ø  Opening the last box to find a prince inside




Ø  Anna Maria

Ø  Old Beggar

Ø  Parents

Ø  School Children

Ø  Mistress

Ø  Prince




1.      Introduction:  Anna Maria’s parents trying to stop her from speaking in rhyme all the time.

2.      Anna Maria on the way to school and meeting the beggar who gives her three magic boxes

3.      An older Anna Maria going out to be a maid for a mean mistress, who wants to keep Anna as a servant for many years.

4.      Anna Maria opens the boxes, completes the tasks the mistress assigns and marries a rhyming prince who comes out of the third box.






Anna Maria is a young girl that always speaks in rhyme.  Her parents try to break her of the habit, but when they find that they can’t they leave her alone and she leads the life of a normal little girl.  Then on the way to school one day she meets an old beggar and gives him her lunch, in return he gives her three small magic boxes.  He tells her to keep the boxes for three years and if she is ever in trouble to open one.  She keeps the boxes, grows up and goes to work as a maid in a big house, miles away.  The mistress is mean and tries to make Anna Maria make a cake with golden currants and a dress that shines like the sun.  Anna Maria is sad until she opens two boxes and finds the cake and dress inside.  Finally the mistress gives Anna Maria a very difficult task to build a glass castle in the garden, so Anna Maria opens the third box.  But in the third box there was a prince on a white horse who also speaks in rhyme.  The ride away from the big house, get married and have a dozen children who all speak in rhyme. 


Rhymes/Special Phrases/ “Flavor”:

Any of the rhymes that Anna Maria says—“Good Morning, Good Morning to you, the sun is yellow and the sky is blue.”  “Mother, mother, father please, don’t send me to bed without any cheese.”   


Audience:  School Age Children

At this age children are developing a longer attention span, flexible and reversible thought and the ability to separate fantasy from reality.  They enjoy play on words, such as rhyme and rhythm.  They still like the happy endings, but they understand that life isn’t always fair.  They appreciate being permitted to work out life’s problems on their own, in other words, think for themselves.  With this story they can use their imagination and flexible thought to put themselves in the shoes of Anna Maria.


Versions/Variants:  none found


Comparison of Version and Variants:-------