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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Fairy Tales, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. #AtoZChallenge, K is for Kid-Lit


Today's post celebrates Kid-Lit, all the wonderful children's books in the world and what a fantastic subject they make for art journaling. Besides the hundreds of fairy tales I read as a child: The Blue Fairy Tale Book, The Red Fairy Tale Book and on and on through the entire rainbow, some of my favorite titles were: 
  • Lona
  • The Diamond in the Window
  • The Door in the Wall
  • Little Bear
  • Little Women
Authors:
  • Zilpha Keatley Snyder
  • Edgar Eager
  • Lloyd Alexander
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder
Characters:
  • Trixie Belden
  • Donna Parker
  • Madeline
  • Babar
Of course there are hundreds more, far too many to list here, but I'm convinced that my early reading and love of picture books is what led me to become a writer, and what then later encouraged my deep interest in art. How about you? What were some of your favorites, and how did they help you become who you are today? Drop a line!
    Tip of the Day: For today's journal page I started with a doodle of a frog, as in The Princess and the Frog. I'm a little rushed at the moment so I had to leave out the princess, as well as the kissing part, but it made me think how neat it would be to create an art journal based solely on fairy tales, myths, legends, or perhaps a children's story of your own. Who knows, it might even turn into a publishable picture book!

    0 Comments on #AtoZChallenge, K is for Kid-Lit as of 1/1/1900
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    2. The Fairy Tales of Perrault Illustrated by Harry Clarke

    My bookshelves are lucky enough to hold a scarce dust jacketed copy of this beautiful book.  At time of writing, there is only one comparable copy (with the very scarce jacket) advertised on-line at a price which makes my eyes water!  Not wishing to make your eyes water I thought it would be a nice idea to share some of the beautiful images with you.

    The Fairy Tales of Perrault with pictures by Harry Clarke (1889-1931), published by Harrap in 1922.

    "He brought them home by the very same way they came"

    "Fanny would rather be fair in drugget than be a queen with an ugly face"

    I’m rather puzzled by the use of the word drugget in the above quote.  My understanding of drugget is a wool or partly wool fabric formerly used for clothing or a coarse cloth used as a floor covering or a cotton and wool rug. French droguet, diminutive of drogue trash.

    I think it must imply that Fanny (rather an unfortunate name) would rather be fair and dressed in rags than ugly and dressed in finery.  Is that how you read it?

    "Am I come hither to serve you with water, pray?" 


    "The marquis gave his hand to the princess"

    "He asked her whither she was going" 


    "Away she drove, scarce able to contain herself for you" (Detail from)

    "Any one but Cinderilla (Cinderella) would have dressed their heads awry" 


    "Little Thumb was as good as his word, and returned that same night with the news"

    "Riquet with the tuft appeared to her the finest prince upon earth"

    "This man had the misfortune to have a blue beard"

    Blue Beard


    Thanks for calling in I hope your week is going well...

    0 Comments on The Fairy Tales of Perrault Illustrated by Harry Clarke as of 4/5/2016 11:05:00 PM
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    3. Review of the Day: Dwarf Nose by Wilhelm Hauff

    DwarfNose1Dwarf Nose
    By Wilhelm Hauff
    Illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger
    Translated by Anthea Bell
    Minedition
    $19.99
    ISBN: 97898888341139
    Ages 8-12
    On shelves April 1st

    It seems so funny to me that for all that our culture loves and adores fairytales, scant attention is paid to the ones that can rightfully be called both awesome and obscure. There is a perception out there that there are only so many fairytales out there that people really need to know. But for every Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty you run into, there’s a Tatterhood or Riquet with the Tuft lurking on the sidelines. Thirty or forty years ago you’d sometimes see these books given a life of their own front and center with imaginative picture book retellings. No longer. Folktales and fairytales are widely viewed by book publishers as a dying breed. A great gaping hole exists, and into it the smaller publishers of the world have sought to fulfill this need. Generally speaking they do a very good job of bringing world folktales to the American marketplace. Obscure European fairytales, however, are rare beasts. How thrilled I was then to discover the republication of Wilhelm Hauff and Lisbeth Zwerger’s Dwarf Nose. Originally released in America in 1995 by North-South books, the book has long been out-of-print. Now the publisher minedition has brought it back and what a beauty it is. Strange and sad and oddly uplifting, this tale has all the trappings of the fairytales you know and love, but somehow remains entirely unexpected just the same.

    For there once was a boy who lived with his two adoring parents. His father was a cobbler and his mother sold vegetables and herbs in the market. One day the boy was assisting his mother when a very strange old woman came to them and starting digging her dirty old hands through their wares. Incensed, the boy insulted the old woman, which as you may imagine didn’t go down very well. When the boy is made to help carry the woman’s purchases back to her home he is turned almost immediately into a squirrel and made to work for seven years in her kitchen. After that time he awakes, as if in a dream, only to find seven years have passed and his body has been transformed. Now he has no neck to speak of, a short frame, a hunched back, and a extraordinarily long nose. Sad that his parents refuse to acknowledge him as their son, he sets forth to become the king’s cook. And all would have gone without incident had he not picked up that enchanted goose in the market one day. Written in 1827 this tale is famous in Germany but remains relatively obscure in the United States today.

    DwarfNose4I go back and forth when I consider why this fairytale isn’t all that famous to Americans. There are a variety of reasons. There are some depressing elements to it (kid is unrecognizable to parents, loses seven years of his life, etc.) sure. There aren’t any beautiful princesses (except possibly the goose). The bad guy doesn’t even appear in the second act. Still, it’s the peculiarities that give it its flavor. We’ve heard of plenty of stories where the heroes are transformed by the villains, but how many villains give those same heroes a useful occupation in the process? It’s Dwarf Nose’s practicalities that are so interesting, as are the nitty gritty elements of the tale. I love the use of herbs particularly. Whether the story is talking about Sneezewell or Bellyheal, you get the distinct feeling that you’re listening to someone who knows what they’re talking about. Plus there are tiny rodent servants. That’s a plus.

    We like it when our fairytales give us nice clear-cut morals. Be clever, be kind, be good. This may be another reason why Dwarf Nose never really took off in the States. At first glance one would assume that the moral would be about not judging by appearances. Dwarf Nose’s parents cannot comprehend that their beautiful boy is now ugly, and so they throw him out. He gets a job as a chef but does not search out a remedy until the goose he rescues gives him some hope. I was fully prepared for him to remain under his spell for the rest of his life without regrets, but of course that doesn’t happen. He’s restored to his previous beauty, he returns to his parents who welcome him with open arms, and he doesn’t even marry the goose girl. Hauff ends with a brief mention of a silly war that occurred thanks to Dwarf Nose’s disappearance ending with the sentence, “Small causes, as we see, often have great consequences, and this is the story of Dwarf Nose.” That right there would be your moral then. Not an admonishment to avoid judging the outward appearance of a thing (though Dwarf Nose’s talents drill that one home pretty clearly) but instead that a little thing can lead to a great big thing.

    DwarfNose2When this version of Dwarf Nose was originally released in the States in 1994 the reviews were puzzled by its length. Booklist said it was “somewhat verbose to modern listeners” and School Library Journal noted the “grotesque tenor of the book”. Fascinatingly this is not the only incarnation of this tale you might find in America. In 1960 Doris Orgel translated a version of “Dwarf Long-Nose” which was subsequently illustrated by Maurice Sendak. The School Library Journal review of Zwerger’s version in 1994 suggested that the Sendak book was infinitely more kid-friendly than hers. I think that’s true to a certain extent. You get a lot more pictures with the Sendak and the book itself is a much smaller format. While Zwerger excels in infinitely beautiful watercolors, Sendak’s pen and inks with just the slightest hint of orange for color are almost cartoonish in comparison. What I would argue then is that the intended age of the audience is different. Sure the text is remarkably similar, but in Zwerger’s hands this becomes a fairytale for kids comfortable with Narnia and Hogwarts. I remember as a tween sitting down with my family’s copy of World Tales by Idries Shah as well as other collected fairytales. Whether a readaloud for a fourth grade class, an individual tale for the kid obsessed with the fantastical, or bedtime reading for older ages, Dwarf Nose doesn’t go for the easy audience, but it does go for an existing one.

    Lisbeth Zwerger is a fascinating illustrator with worldwide acclaim everywhere except, perhaps, America. It’s not that her art feels too “foreign” for U.S. palates, necessarily. I suspect that as with the concerns with the length of Dwarf Nose, Zwerger’s art is usually seen as too interstitial for this amount of text. We want more art! More Zwerger! I’ve read a fair number of her books over the years, so I was unprepared for some of the more surreal elements of this one. In one example the witch Herbwise is described as tottering in a peculiar fashion. “…it was as if she had wheels on her legs, and might tumble over any moment and fall flat on her face on the paving stones.” For this, Zwerger takes Hauff literally. Her witch is more puppet than woman, with legs like bicycle wheels and a face like a Venetian plague doctor. We have the slightly unnerving sensation that the book we are reading is, in fact, a performance put on for our enjoyment. That’s not a bad thing, but it is unexpected.

    DwarfNose3When Zwerger’s Dwarf Nose came out in 1994 it was entering a market where folktales were on the outs. Still, libraries bought it widely. A search on WorldCat reveals that more than 500 libraries currently house in on their shelves after all these years. And while folktale sections of children’s rooms do have a tendency to fall into disuse, it is possible that the book has been reaching its audience consistently over the years. It may even be time for an upgrade. Though it won’t slot neatly into our general understanding of what a fairytale consists of, Dwarf Nose will find its home with like-minded fellows. Oddly touching.

    On shelves April 1st.

    Source: Galley sent from publisher for review.

    Misc: Check out this fantastic review of the same book by 32 pages.

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    4. Liesl Shurtliff, Author of Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood | Selfie and a Shelfie

    Don’t miss Liesl Shurtliff’s new dark, humorous stand-alone middle grade novel RED: THE TRUE STORY OF RED RIDING HOOD (on sale April 12, 2016)!

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    5. Red Shoes

    What do Dorothy Gale, Christian Louboutin, and Hans Christian Andersen’s poor Karen have in common? Red shoes, of course.

    The post Red Shoes appeared first on Cathrin Hagey.

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    6. Wonders of the Invisible World: Review

    I seem to have an affinity for those books which are magical and strange and not entirely definable. Sitting down to the write this review, it occurs to me how difficult it is to describe this book. I can tell you what it’s about, but to describe the experience of reading it almost makes me feel like I’ve had a spell cast on me myself. There is a palpable sense of unreality throughout as Aidan journeys to unravel the mysteries of himself and his family. Aidan can’t remember entire swaths of his life and he doesn’t even realize it. He drifts along as in a fog, feeling barely there at all. Until the day an old friend comes back into his life and lost memories begin to shake themselves loose from their bindings. But who bound Aidan’s memories, and why? You have to tell your story true, and not everyone... Read more »

    The post Wonders of the Invisible World: Review appeared first on The Midnight Garden.

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    7. Video Sunday: Wind’s in the East . . .

    Fun stuff.  Looks a lot like Harry Potter to a certain extent (mood, lighting, music, etc.).  It’s the trailer for Roald Dahl’s The BFG.

    Thanks to 100 Scope Notes for the link!

    A bit of an older video here.  In my travels recently I discovered that the entirety of the Oliver Jeffers short film version of his book Lost and Found is apparently online.  Bonus!  I never got to see it.  For your viewing pleasure then (and it’s 24 minutes long, FYI):

    LostFound

    Shoot. Christmas is over but only now have I learned about this new collection of Walt Kelly’s Fairy Tales.  Well, there’s always next year, I guess.

    Cool. I’d heard that there was a children’s theater adaptation of Grace Lin’s Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, but didn’t know it had a little trailer too. Eh, voila.

    And for the off-topic video, we’re not entirely off-topic.  After all, Mary Poppins was a children’s book originally.  Ipso facto a flash mob for Dick Van Dyke’s 90th birthday is . . . well it works for me.

     

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    8. Editors’ Choice for Bewildering Stories

    "Baug's Hollow" by Cathrin Hagey was selected for the Fourth Quarterly Review, 2015 at Bewildering Stories.

    The post Editors’ Choice for Bewildering Stories appeared first on Cathrin Hagey.

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    9. “Baug’s Hollow” at BEWILDERING STORIES

    I’m very pleased to announce that Bewildering Stories has published one of my fairy tales. “New contributor Cathrin Hagey introduces Henrike, who can’t last another Norse winter without her husband, Baug. She falls into their common grave, and that’s where the story begins–in Baug’s Hollow.” I hope you’ll bookmark bewilderingstories.com for the high quality, free novels, […]

    The post “Baug’s Hollow” at BEWILDERING STORIES appeared first on Cathrin Hagey.

    0 Comments on “Baug’s Hollow” at BEWILDERING STORIES as of 11/16/2015 2:04:00 AM
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    10. Hook’s Revenge, The Pirate Code: guest post!

    One of my favorite people on the planet is Heidi Shulz. She’s the author of the delightfully funny book Hook’s Revenge, which was one of my favorite debuts from last year–and now its sequel The Pirate Code is out! Heidi was actually in Los Angeles last month, and I got to celebrate the book’s release day with her. In the first photo, we’d just eaten mountains of pasta in Venice Beach, and Heidi is beaming over a plate of cannoli. <3 Here’s more about the new book: Fresh off a fearsome encounter with the Neverland crocodile, Jocelyn Hook decides the most practical plan is to hunt down her father’s famous fortune. After all, she’ll need the gold to fund her adventuring in the future. (And luckily, Hook left her the map.) But the map proves to be a bit harder to crack than Jocelyn had hoped, and she’s convinced that... Read more »

    The post Hook’s Revenge, The Pirate Code: guest post! appeared first on The Midnight Garden.

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    11. Illustration Inspiration: Jackie Morris, “The Wild Swans”

    Jackie Morris lives in Pembrokeshire, Wales, with children, dogs and cats. Her latest book is the retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's The Wild Swans.

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    12. Awaiting the Fairy Godmother, by Jennifer Morse, M.S., PhD | Dedicated Review

    Jennifer Morse, M.S., PhD, challenges readers to venture beyond the traditional fairytale story of Cinderella. She encourages readers to envision more depth for the princess and, in turn, for the readers themselves.

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    13. Through the Woods

    cover artI must apologize for not remembering on whose blog I first learned about Through the Woods by Emily Carroll because I owe that blogger a big thank you. Through the Woods is a short story collection like no other I have ever read. Why might that be? It is a book of graphic short stories.

    When I got it from the library I didn’t remember about the graphic part of it and I worried that perhaps I had made a mistake. How can you do a book of graphic short stories? Novel, memoir, biography, but short stories? But you know what? It totally works and it is great!

    The stories are of the very short and ambiguous kind and they are successful because the art and the text work so well together to move the story along. They have a fairy tale quality to them and they all felt vaguely familiar because of that but they are completely original. They all feature girls or young women. They are about things like a cold snowy winter and dad has to leave his three daughters alone. He tells them if he isn’t back in three days they are to go to the neighbor’s house. Of course he doesn’t return. The eldest daughter refuses to leave, insisting that dad will be back any time. The youngest doesn’t really seem concerned about anything in particular. And the middle daughter, the one telling the story, insists they follow their father’s wishes because if they don’t they will be completely snowed in and without food. And then during the night someone comes to the door and the eldest sister goes with that someone and doesn’t come back. The night after that, the youngest sister goes with the stranger. The middle sister is left all alone. The food is gone. She walks most of the day through the deep snow to the neighbor’s house and…

    Another tale is about a father marrying off his beautiful daughter to the richest man in the county. The house is huge and gorgeous but something is not right. Someone keeps her up at night singing a strange song. Her husband tells her she’s hearing things that aren’t there. One night while her husband is away, she goes looking for the source of the song and discovers more than she bargained for.

    The art in this book is amazing. Stark, deeply saturated color in a limited palette of black, white, scarlet red and deep blue, creates high contrast and a rich lushness that magnifies the creep factor of the stories. I raced through them all in less than an hour one evening before bed. The final story gave me such chills that I told Bookman if I have any nightmares Through the Woods is at fault.

    A perfect RIP Challenge read for sure, but guaranteed excellent for any dark night or stormy afternoon no matter what time of year.


    Filed under: Challenges, Graphic Novels, Reviews, Short Stories Tagged: Emily Carroll, fairy tales, RIP Challenge

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    14. A fairy tale is more than just a fairy tale

    When some one says to you "that's just a fairy tale," it generally means that what you have just said is untrue or unreal. It is a polite but deprecating way of saying that your words form a lie or gossip. Your story is make-believe and unreliable. It has nothing to do with reality and experience. Fairy tale is thus turned into some kind of trivial story.

    The post A fairy tale is more than just a fairy tale appeared first on OUPblog.

    0 Comments on A fairy tale is more than just a fairy tale as of 9/7/2015 5:33:00 AM
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    15. Lynda Barry on Fairy Tales

    They can't transform your actual situation, but they can transform your experience of it. We don't create a fantasy world to escape reality, we create it to be able to stay. 

    So wise. This is from the cartoonist Lynda Barry's memoir/exploration of images What It Is (Drawn & Quarterly, 2008). I so enjoyed the whole book, especially the part about the "transformational capabilities" of old stories. Barry's ideas reinforced my tentative plan to read the second graders a whole lot of fairy tales and folk tales this year. 

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    16. Mechanica: Review

    There is something so frustrating about a story that is so close to being satisfactory but doesn’t quite make it. Mechanica is a perfectly serviceable retelling, I imagine, but doesn’t have the emotional substance to make an impact. When I read a book I want to be swept away to another world, brought far from my own experiences, and caught up in the emotions of the characters. I don’t want “serviceable.” Now, I haven’t read Cinder, but from what I could tell this really isn’t very similar. Whereas Cinder is a futuristic dystopian-ish (I think?), Mechanica has much more of a traditional fairy tale feel. Think: 18th century but with magic, fae, and some adorable steampunk creatures. Also, that book has a significant focus on the romance aspect of the story. This one…doesn’t (but more on that later). I actually really enjoyed the first 20% or so of the book... Read more »

    The post Mechanica: Review appeared first on The Midnight Garden.

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    17. Brooklyn Public Library Hosts Fairy Tale Art Show

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    18. The Big Princess

    The Big Princess. Taro Miura. 2015. Candlewick Press. 40 pages. [Source: Review copy]

    First sentence: Once upon a time in a land far, far away, there lived a king and queen. The king and queen had no children of their own, but they had a beautiful garden, full of all kinds of flowers. It was their pride and joy, and each blossom was tended with the greatest love and care. 

    Premise/plots: A childless royal couple is overjoyed when their greatest dream comes true: at last a child to call their own, a princess. But this princess is under a spell. She is tiny now, but, she'll keep growing and growing and growing until the spell is broken. And the king and queen are warned that they NEED to break the spell for the good of them all--the whole kingdom. Can they break the spell in time?

    The Big Princess was originally published in Japan in 2013. 

    My thoughts: I liked this one. I've read it three times now, and, I've reacted a bit differently each time. But overall, I think I do like it. It reads like a traditional fairy tale. It may not have all the expected elements--the presence of fairies, for example--but if you enjoy a good fairy tale, this original story may satisfy. Still, I have to warn you that this one is a bit odd.

    Text: 4 out of 5
    Illustrations: 3 out of 5
    Total: 7 out of 10

    © 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

    0 Comments on The Big Princess as of 7/17/2015 3:54:00 PM
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    19. Fairy Tales are Alive and Well

    When I was a child, I would play in the attic of our farmhouse, with an oversized bridesmaid dress worn over my clothes. The dress was icy-blue taffeta, with covered buttons down the back. Dragging behind me, the dress rustled as it slid on the uneven wood floor. I would glide to the single attic window, overlooking my, er…ah…kingdom… I was a princess, a ruler, an adventurer; I was fearless. Little did I know, that I was practicing for my future career as a school librarian, teaching information literacy and other library skills, with a penchant for Fairy Tales.

    Fischer. Mark. 2011. Chiang Mai. Thailand

    “Thai Lanterns” Photo by Mark Fischer, 2011

    In a few short months, I will begin my second position as an international librarian. My first stint abroad was to the Middle East. This second venture into international librarianship is to Chiang Mai, Thailand, where I will be my school’s first fulltime professional librarian, grades K-12. While researching my potential new home in Thailand before accepting this position, I came across photos of the Thai “Yi Peng” Festival, where sky lanterns are released. These photos reminded me of Disney’s Tangled, a spin on the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale, Rapunzel. In Tangled, there is a scene with sky lanterns, and I remember wondering about them when I watched the movie. Soon, I will be living a part of that Fairy Tale scene.

    I started using Fairy Tales to begin library lessons each school year about 6 years ago. As a native English speaker, I found that teaching in schools where English is not a first language for students, but frequently is the first language for the school, can pose some challenges. Genres are included in my library lessons, and I just decided to start with fairy tales, mostly because I love them so much, and most libraries have them. I found that Fairy Tales are far more universal than I ever thought, and starting the year out talking about and extrapolating on these Tales have been wonderful ice-breakers, both abroad and in the United States. I have been happily surprised at how older students warm up to the genre, sharing their opinions and ideas on a range of Fairy Tales and their favorite characters. As the Tales are often universal in theme in some way, most children know the basics of them, so despite language barriers, they can be easily shared and discussed. Through this process I am constantly reminded of something very valuable; Fairy Tales connect people, and as my work life is often like living in one, I can say that Fairy Tales are alive and well!

    Would you like to see more sky lanterns as featured in the movie Tangled? Click here.

    ********************************************************************

    Our guest blogger today is Brenda Hahn. Brenda’s permanent home is in Florida, where she and her family live when her international school is not in session. As a Teacher/Librarian, she has worked in U.S. public schools, public libraries and in several international schools. Brenda collects Fairy Tales from around the world and loves researching the theories behind them. She can be reached at neverendinglibrarian@gmail.com.

    Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

    If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at alscblog@gmail.com.

    The post Fairy Tales are Alive and Well appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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    20. Turnip Princess and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales

    The Turnip Princess and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales. Franz Xaver Von Schonwerth. Translated by Maria Tatar. 2015. Penguin. 288 pages. [Source: Review copy]

    I loved reading this collection of newly discovered fairy tales. Franz Xaver Von Schronwerth was a contemporary of  the Grimm brothers. His fairy tales were collected in the 1850s in Bavaria. His manuscripts were recently rediscovered--or discovered--and translated into English.

    The book is divided into six sections: "Tales of Magic and Romance," "Enchanted Animals," "Otherworldly Creatures," "Legends," "Tall Tales and Anecdotes," and "Tales About Nature." Some sections have more stories than others.

    Most of the stories tend to be short. How short is short? Well, the shortest in the collection are just one page. (Plenty are three pages or so.)

    Commentary is provided for each story at the back of the book. The commentary provides context for the story, often describing the type of story it is, and what other stories it's like. 

    I found the book to be a quick read and a delightful one. I enjoyed reading all the stories. It was a fun way to spend the weekend.

    Is it for children? No. Probably more for adults. But I think that's a good thing. Adults need treats too.

    The Turnip Princess
    One day a prince lost his ways in the woods. He found shelter in a cave and slept there for the night. When he woke up, an old woman was hovering over him. She had a bear by her side and treated it like a pet dog. The old woman was very kind to the prince. She wanted him to live with her and become her husband. The prince did not like her at all, but he was unable to leave. (3)
    The Talking Bird, The Singing Tree, and The Sparkling Stream
    A nobleman had three daughters, each more beautiful than the next. One day the girls were sitting in the royal gardens, chattering away about their wishes and dreams. The eldest wanted to marry the king's counselor, the second hoped to marry his chamberlain, and the third declared that she would be quite satisfied with the king himself. It happened that the king was also in the gardens, and he overheard the entire conversation. He summoned the three sisters to ask them what they had been talking about in the garden. The first two confessed everything; the youngest was less eager to do so. But then all at once the king declared: "Your three wishes will be granted." (71)
    The Three Spindles
    A young farmer's daughter got herself in trouble, and her parents threw her out of the house. She wandered around aimlessly until finally, in desperation, she sat down on a tree stump with three crosses carved into it. She began to weep. Suddenly a wood sprite raced toward her, pursued by a group of frenzied hunters. The girl jumped to her feet to make room for the sprite, for she knew that it would find safety there from what where known as the devil's hunters, hordes of demons that rode in with the winter storms. (107)
    The Mouse Catcher, or, The Boy and the Beetle
    Once there was a village so badly infested with mice that no one knew what to do. A stranger arrived in town and told the farmers that he would be able to get rid of the mice. They promised him a generous reward in return. The stranger pulled out a little whistle and blew into it. All the mice in the village ran after the man, who took them to a big pond, where they all drowned. The stranger returned to the village and asked for his reward. But the farmers refused to give him the full amount. The man blew into another little whistle, and this time all the children in the village came running after him. (175)
    The Talker
    There once lived a couple, and they were both stupid is as stupid does. The wife ruled the roost, and one day she sent her husband to the marketplace to sell their cow. "Whatever you do, don't sell it to talker," she shouted as he was going out the door. "Did you hear me? Don't sell it to talker." Her husband promised to do just as she had said. (187)
    Sir Wind and His Wife
    The wind and his wife were both present at the creation of the world. The two were overweight, and on top of that, Sir Wind had a long beard that wrapped around his body three times. Still, both were able to pass easily through a mere crack in a wall, or any opening at all, for that matter. (205)
    © 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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    21. Off the Page, by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer | Book Review

    Fantasy meets reality in Off the Page, a romantic comedy written for the young adult audience by New York Times bestselling authors Jodi Picoult and her daughter and coauthor, Samantha van Leer.

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    22. LSQ Issue 22

    The Latest issue of Luna Station Quarterly is live and available to purchase as a digital download or a lovely hardcopy to hold in your hands. Or, you can read it for free at the LSQ site. It’s chock full of exciting, thought provoking, fantastical tales. Enjoy!

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    23. I Know A Story (1938)

    I Know A Story. Miriam Blanton Huber, Frank Seely Salisbury, and Mabel O'Donnell. Illustrated by Florence and Margaret Hoopes. Wonder-Story. 1938/1953, 1962. Harper & Row. 190 pages. [Source: Bought]

    This is a decades-old reading textbook featuring folk tales! It includes these stories:
    • The Gingerbread Boy
    • The Three Bears
    • Billy Goats Gruff
    • Mr. Vinegar
    • The Straw Ox
    • Little Red Riding Hood
    • The Boy Who Went to the North Wind
    It also includes these poems:
    • The Rabbit
    • Mice
    • In The Fashion
    • Chipmunk
    • Mother Goose Rhymes
    • Indian Children
    • The Woodpecker
    • The Animal Store
    • A Visit From St. Nicholas
    I was familiar with many of these stories, you probably are as well. But a few were new-to-me. For example, I'd never heard "Mr. Vinegar," "The Straw Ox," or "The Boy Who Went to the North Wind."
    "Mr. Vinegar" was a strange story of a foolish man. The ending made no sense either! But despite its strangeness, there were some elements I found myself liking.

    Overall, I liked the stories much better than the poetry. My favorite story was probably "The Boy Who Went to the North Wind."


    © 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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    24. Classics to cherish – Old tale picture book reviews

    Don’t you love that emphatic certainty a below-twelve year-old has whenever they hear a remix of a song dating from the golden oldie era? ‘They got that song from such and such movie, Mum!’ Um well, no actually it was around way before me…Stories evoke similar conviction. Modern retellings of classic children’s stories might seem […]

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    25. “Classic tales to read, love and share”

    storytime issue 4 We recently received two issues of Storytime Magazine (Luma Works), a monthly British children’s magazine which launched in September 2014 with the tagline “Classic tales to read, love and share.” Each issue is filled with retellings of fairy tales and folktales, plus distillations of classic children’s novels (such as E. Nesbit’s “Five Children and It” in Issue 4 and Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book” in Issue 5). The stories are accompanied by colorful, often full-page illustrations as well as interactive moments inviting the reader to color a rainbow, count beans, find a specific flower, etc. Even more thematic activities and downloads are available at Storytime‘s website.

    The contents are organized by headings such as “Favourite Fairy Tales,” “Famous Fables,” “Storyteller’s Corner,” “Around the World Tales,” “Myths and Legends,” “Poems and Rhymes,” “Brilliant Books,” “Storytime Playbox,” and “Story Magic.” These categories seem to shift slightly from issue to issue, but each edition follows the same basic format, containing about six stories, a poem, and thematic activities and games.

    storytime issue 5Storytime‘s retold short tales originate in a range of diverse cultures: Issue 4 features a Mayan quest story, an African tale about trickster Anansi, and a Cornish mermaid tale; Issue 5 includes an Aboriginal creation story, plus Greek mythology and an Aesop animal parable. The magazine format (complete with exciting cover blurbs: “Famous Fables! Four animals learn about friendship” and “Jungle Adventure! See how Mowgli escapes from Shere Khan”) gives the tales a fresh perspective, and the absence of advertisements keeps the focus on the stories themselves.

    Overall, each issue feels like substantial reading material — either to be devoured straight through all at once, or savored slowly, story by story.

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