Part fairy tale and part psychological study, I found this to be an engrossing and powerful book. Recommend to everybody, particularly those who have...morePart fairy tale and part psychological study, I found this to be an engrossing and powerful book. Recommend to everybody, particularly those who have used reading and books to get themselves through difficult times, especially in childhood.
I don't look at this book the way some readers apparently have: as sci-fi or fantasy, but instead see it as showing the redemptive power of books and stories in children's and adults' lives. And as an account of one boy's inner life and imagination.
I'm not sure which way the author intended it, but it’s a wonderful coming of age story.(less)
This is a delightful tale that has a strong female protagonist, Liza, and has a lot of humor. My only quibble is why did Liza’s mother send her into k...moreThis is a delightful tale that has a strong female protagonist, Liza, and has a lot of humor. My only quibble is why did Liza’s mother send her into known danger time and time again?! But each time Liza is so intelligent and creative, she gets the upper hand. Liza is a wonderful character and children will enjoy her immensely, I think.
I love the little poems within the story, and I am wondering if they’re from traditional songs or stories; I’ll have to research that.
The foods mentioned sounded delicious.
The illustrations are wonderful: colorful and lush and detailed, and scary and humorous.
My edition has a lovely note to the reader from the author/illustrator Mercer Mayer. He thanks the reader for reading his book, mentions he’s written/illustrated over 200 books, and writes a bit about his growing up years and current life.
This book had been on my to-read shelf, but I read it now because it's one of the North American folk tales for this month's picture books club at the Children's Books group.(less)
I didn’t enjoy the other 2 Harry Potter companion books by J.K. Rowling, probably because I was waiting for the more preferred yet to be published boo...moreI didn’t enjoy the other 2 Harry Potter companion books by J.K. Rowling, probably because I was waiting for the more preferred yet to be published books in the Harry Potter series. Now that I’ve read all 7 Harry Potter books and know that there will be no more, I was really able to have fun with this book, much to my surprise.
I’m not a huge fairy tale fan, anymore anyway, but these five original fairy tales were good, I thought. I also enjoyed the commentary after each one via “Albus Dumbledore" and J.K. Rowling. These fairy tales are also fun because they purportedly are those read to young witches and wizards, not the vast majority of known fairy tales that are written for muggles/humans with no magical powers themselves. Rowling also often shows her sense of humor, especially in the footnotes.
The best part of this book is that the proceeds go to the Children’s High Level Group, a very worthy charity, which is why this is one of the two books that I bought for myself in December. I had it on my library reserve list but decided to spring for it. I’m glad to have it. The five stories (probably not the commentary) will make for good read alouds. (less)
I LOVE chocolate. I love that the recipe at the end of the book for Mexican hot cocoa is for the traditional, “accidentally vegan” version, even thoug...moreI LOVE chocolate. I love that the recipe at the end of the book for Mexican hot cocoa is for the traditional, “accidentally vegan” version, even though this variation is not my personal favorite. Most kids who try it without the suggested variations are likely to be surprised by the flavor.
The illustrations are deliberately influenced by Mayan and Aztec art. They’re cut-paper and collage. They fit the tale well and I found them interesting, although they’re not all that aesthetically pleasing to me. I did like the colors, the people, especially their eyes & their facial expressions, and the frog, and the boldness and vividness of the illustrations and how they fill the page. The gods were kind of creepy and might scare some children if the story is not read with a lighthearted voice inflection.
According to the author’s note at the end, the book was actually inspired by a New Orleans chocolate store, Blue Frog Chocolates. The author and illustrator are from New Orleans and nearby Baton Rouge.
The story is definitely meant to be read aloud. It works well as a read aloud. I didn’t enjoy my silent reading all that much but when I went back and read it out loud, I thought it was great fun. I do love how many Spanish words and short phrases are mixed in with the mostly English language story, in such a way that their meaning is well understood.
I’m not sure why I didn’t love this one. It didn’t quite thrill me. I did enjoy it though, and I think kids who love folktales, myths and legends, and definitely chocolate, are likely to enjoy the book.
Much to my surprise I loved this folk tale, a version of Beauty and the Beast, supposedly from Appalachia, though I saw little Appalachian in it. I wo...moreMuch to my surprise I loved this folk tale, a version of Beauty and the Beast, supposedly from Appalachia, though I saw little Appalachian in it. I wonder whether the tale is really told in that region as it is here.
The illustrations, both color and black & white, were wonderful, not in a style I’d normally consider a favorite, but they really worked for me here. The paintings and drawings of nature, the bear, people’s facial expressions and general expressiveness, are very realistic, yet fairy tale like too, and they’re beautiful.
The story (as many folk tales do) broke my heart at times, but this is a wonderful telling; it is now a favorite version of the beauty and the beast tale. I love how nobody is a villain (except the off the page witch who cast the spell) and I appreciate the love shown all around. I thought the progression of the story worked really well, including the girl, Nell, knowing very early on the true identity of the bear/man. Nell is a wonderful character, as are they all, even some of the peripheral characters.
This is a lovely book, both the story and illustrations.
Other than reference to the Smoky Mountains and its depiction in the illustrations and some vague things in the story, I’m left wondering about the origins of the version of this tale. I’d have appreciated an author’s note in the front or back of the book explaining how it came to be written and whether or not it has a history.
This is one of the 7 books chosen for this month’s Picture Books Club at the Children's Books group, where this month’s theme is North American folk tales.
ETA: There is an author's note at the beginning of the book that a friend pointed out to me, and it does give a little information about how this tale traveled originally from Europe to Appalachia.(less)
Charming book. This would have been one of my favorite books had I read it as a kid. I found it both enchanting and fun to read, reading it for the fi...moreCharming book. This would have been one of my favorite books had I read it as a kid. I found it both enchanting and fun to read, reading it for the first time as an adult. A must read for kids & adults, especially young girls & their parents. Love the twist on the standard fairy tale. The illustrations by the author are lovely.
I’ll be giving this as a gift to several little girls.(less)
I loved this one as much as the other. I think I like the illustrations and story somewhat more, and the math graph at the end is almost as nifty as the one in the other book.
This story is about a girl who tricks the selfish leader into providing enough rice and land for the people of India. The girl knows what the Rajah does not: that doubling grains of rice (not that many times) will produce a very large number.
This story is great fun and very educational, and could spark an interest in numbers for kids who are normally adverse to them.
I'm tempted to give both these books 5 stars; I love them so much.(less)
I read this version, illustrated by Sieglinde Schoen Smith, in the form of a quilt that she made. The original book appears to have an edition illustr...moreI read this version, illustrated by Sieglinde Schoen Smith, in the form of a quilt that she made. The original book appears to have an edition illustrated by the author. This edition is translated by Jack Zipes and from what I’ve read, it’s also not the full original text that Sibylle von Olfers wrote over a century ago. I am curious about the other edition.
The quilt is lovely, especially the last frame that shows the entire pattern. I do love quilts and this has such a detailed pattern. The book design is attractive also; The first letter on each page is a picture of its own.
The folk tale story is about little children who go through the seasons, preparing everything for spring (including painting the bugs) and frolicking in the summer, and return underground to Mother Earth (shown as a real woman) in the autumn to stay until it’s ready for spring again. It’s sweet, although those children sure work hard at the beginning of the story.
The back of the book has long and interesting notes by the illustrator and the author. I found it especially interesting and poignant to learn what motivated the making of this quilt.
I loved the full quilt page and liked the other illustrations. The story was just okay to good; there wasn’t much to it and it was a little too mawkish for me. And, I don’t like insects so their appearance didn’t appeal to me that much.(less)
I own many books by Oscar Wilde, including a book of stories that contains a version of this story, but I haven’t read that book since my childhood ye...moreI own many books by Oscar Wilde, including a book of stories that contains a version of this story, but I haven’t read that book since my childhood years.
So, because of the Jesus allusions, it ended up being not my cup of tea at all. I assume that as I child I didn’t get the Christian/Jesus connection and I probably was able to enjoy it more because of that.
But, up until the end I appreciated and enjoyed the story and the illustrations that are in this edition.
It’s a lovely fairy tale and if the ending had been just slightly tweaked I would have liked it much better. But, my beliefs are, as usual, in the minority, and I assume most others’ feelings wouldn’t match mine. But parents who know nothing of this tale should know that death is a part of this story.
I did like the illustrations and I did love the message about sharing and reaping the benefits of doing that, and of giving to and being caring about others.(less)
Well, I have 4 more picture books to read in 2010, two illustrated by Ruth Heller and two both written & illustrated by her. I’m glad that I’m rea...moreWell, I have 4 more picture books to read in 2010, two illustrated by Ruth Heller and two both written & illustrated by her. I’m glad that I’m reading this book and The Korean Cinderella in succession; it will be interesting to compare them. Both are written by Shirley Climo.
I enjoy Heller’s work, and I’ve read many of her books (and I own quite a few) but I recently noticed that I’ve been unaware of some books by her or at least illustrated by her.
While I read this book because of the illustrator, I wasn’t wild about the illustrations. I liked them but not enough to have sought them out.
I wish the author’s note had been at the beginning of the story and not at the end. Only at the end, after I’d read the book, did I find out that this is one of the oldest Cinderella stories, first recorded in the first century B.C. by the Roman historian Strabo. The background about the story was as interesting to me as the actual story. The information is fascinating.
In this story, the slave master is portrayed as basically good and it’s Rhodopis’s (Cinderella’s) three fellow female slaves who have the roles normally played by the three step-sisters.(less)
Ooh, I am so glad I read this. I’m a huge fan of McClintock's illustrations and I have been wanting to read all of her books. Over at the Children's B...moreOoh, I am so glad I read this. I’m a huge fan of McClintock's illustrations and I have been wanting to read all of her books. Over at the Children's Books group, the December theme for the Picture Books Club is winter, and the Jan Brett version of this folk tale is one of the selected books, but some members are reading other versions in addition to or instead of that one. I loved the Jan Brett version and I think I love this one even more.
I can understand why there are so many versions of this tale. It’s sweet, funny, and has an unexpected and particularly humorous ending, and what it shows about a “tipping point” makes the story a lot of fun. The ending of this one deviates somewhat from Brett’s version, but I was surprised at how similarly the stories were told in each of these tellings. The tone of the story is wonderful and the way it has with words makes for an excellent read aloud.
The illustrations are terrific, as I’d expected they would be. Just lovely and appealing. The boy at various forms of play, the animals including their faces, the grandmother, the mitten, the snowy landscape; all are wonderful.
I’m so grateful I’ve read these two version of the mitten story (I know that there are many more), especially since I never had interest in this tale. So, I thank the Children's Books group for motivating me to read both of these books. I enjoyed both very much; they were so much better than I’d imagined.(less)
I really love stories for children that address that magic of numbers/mathematics. It’s one of many reasons why I so enjoy The Phantom Tollbooth by No...moreI really love stories for children that address that magic of numbers/mathematics. It’s one of many reasons why I so enjoy The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. That book conveys the joy of both numbers and words.
This is a story with a moral and is about fairness and cleverness, but it’s the way numbers work (watching grains of rice grow from one to over one billion in only 30 days) with simple multiplication that makes this story so much fun.
The story of a girl who tricks a leader into doing the right thing for the people of the land sends a good message too. The illustrations are colorful and eye catching but their style isn’t one I generally find aesthetically pleasing; they’re not my favorite illustrations, but they do work well for this story.
At the end of the book there’s a page that shows exactly how doubling the grains of rice each day creates such a large number. Great fun! Also, it’s very educational and it definitely has the potential to get young people enthusiastic about mathematics.(less)
Well, through the first half of this I was laughing so much I wondered how I could ever read it aloud to children.
This is actually one of the best lov...moreWell, through the first half of this I was laughing so much I wondered how I could ever read it aloud to children.
This is actually one of the best love stories I’ve ever read. It’s about how two very different people (the “whimsical” and the “normal”) find common ground, and also find that they’re not as different from each other as they’d thought. It’s an entertaining story and it’s not overly message heavy It’s funny and sweet, but not overly sweet. Also, aside from the obvious message, one could also say that this story says the way to a woman’s heart is through her stomach. Ha!
The illustrations are glorious: colorful and intricate, with so much to view on each page. They reminded me so much of the illustrations in King Bidgood's in the Bathtub, that while I was reading I thought they were created by the same illustrator, but they’re different artists.(less)
I was not in the mood to read a fantasy book but I wanted to participate in this month’s Goodreads online YA Book Club discussion and this was the boo...moreI was not in the mood to read a fantasy book but I wanted to participate in this month’s Goodreads online YA Book Club discussion and this was the book selection, so I read it and I ended up enjoying this fantasy fairy tale.
It was too violent for my taste, but the story held my interest more than I’d anticipated. Although it seemed superficial, by the end (which I found lovely) I decided it showed quite a bit of creativity.
And Yvaine is now my (distant) second favorite star; my favorite star remains Mrs. Whatsit in the book A Wrinkle in Time.
This is only my second Neil Gaiman book; the first was Coraline which I read for the same book club. I’ve heard that all of his books differ significantly. I’m inquisitive about that so I’d like to read more of them. (If anyone has any suggestions about which Gaiman book(s) I should try next, I welcome them.) (less)
This book is utterly delightful. The three French hens are from the Christmas song The Twelve Days of Christmas, one of my favorite Christmas songs, a...moreThis book is utterly delightful. The three French hens are from the Christmas song The Twelve Days of Christmas, one of my favorite Christmas songs, and the book is as fun and quirky as the song is.
The three French hens (along with days 1 and 2 birds) are sent as a gift to a true love. Unfortunately, the three hens are lost in the mail and find themselves in New York, and are determined to deliver themselves. They cannot find their intended recipient, Phiippe Renard, but they translate from French to American English and they find Phil Fox in the Bronx, and his (quite adorable) cockroach. The fox has a plan for the three hens, but hilarity (and sweetness) ensue when the three hens hatch a plan of their own.
Clever, funny, touching, and a wonderful friendship story too, this story is so much fun.
The illustrations are a hoot too. If they choose, readers could play find the cockroach on most of the pages. Each picture has so much to it, and every single illustration greatly enhances the enjoyment of the story.
And, although the title and story are definitely based on the song The Twelve Days of Christmas, this book can work equally well for a great Christmas or Hanukkah story, and can truly be enjoyed any time of the year.
This is a very creative original fairy tale, holiday book, and general picture book.
Thank you to Goodreads’ friend Kathryn, and Goodreads’ friend Abigail too, for alerting me to this gem.(less)
This book is amazing, outstanding, and its pictures and storytelling via those illustrations are exquisitely done; they’re just beautiful. I need to r...moreThis book is amazing, outstanding, and its pictures and storytelling via those illustrations are exquisitely done; they’re just beautiful. I need to reread this over and over and over. I might have to get a copy for myself someday. I’ve never been to Europe but there are a lot of clues are about the various locations in the story. I thought that I was being incredibly observant but in the notes at the end, I see I missed so much, so much. I can’t say enough good things about this book and I’m so enthusiastic I am sad that I can’t give a more useful review.
What I’ll say is that the author (illustrator) is a native of Japan but he’s been interested in Europe and its culture and architecture and art, and its folk & fairy tales, its people, etc. etc. These illustrations tell stories of two of his trips, and they include a lot of fantastical elements. Brilliant and fun and appealing to the eye.
I can recommend this to everybody. Pre-readers and readers of any and all languages will be able to read this wordless picture book.
I wish I knew even more about art, folklore, and Europe because I know I’d get even more from this book than I do. But, even as things are, this is now a favorite book of mine.
I’m beyond impressed. And I’m off to reread it again.
I can’t thank the Children's Books group enough! I learned about this book because of the members of that group. When this was nominated for one of our January wordless picture books to read for the Picture Book Club, I immediately put it on reserve at the library. I’m deliriously happy that it is one of our six books for our book discussion next month. The other five selections I’ve already read, and I’ve read many other wonderful wordless picture books too, and this book is definitely one of the outstanding examples of the genre.
Enough said. I’m off to re-read it. I hope to get to at least one other picture book today and back to my novel this evening; I’ll have to see. This might be one I don’t return when I get to the library next time. I think I’ll keep it for nearly the three weeks.
Hours & hours of entertainment are in these pages!
Addendum as I’m shelving this: I’m having a hard time choosing all the appropriate shelves.
And, I'd really enjoy reading some kids' book reports about this book!
This is (at least) the fifth version of this story that I’ve read. I vacillated between giving it 3 or 4 stars, but since I gave the other 4 editions...moreThis is (at least) the fifth version of this story that I’ve read. I vacillated between giving it 3 or 4 stars, but since I gave the other 4 editions 4 stars each and I liked this version as much as the others, 4 stars it is.
This version has a young girl traveling to look for more food for herself and her mother. The villagers here are overtly stingy. I like the clever way three soldiers, I think fromMarcia Brown's famous version of this story, were incorporated into this story. I appreciated that a clever girl was the heroine of this take on the tale.
I enjoyed the illustrations by Tomes. I loved the way Grethel looked, and the colors used and the style of art worked very well for this story.
I’m not sure why I keep reading different versions of Stone Soup. It’s a wonderful tale but it’s not one of my very favorites. I think I won’t seek out any more version for this, at least not in the near future.(less)
I recently finished a prose version of this tale that was by Sara and Stephen Corrin and was illustrated by Errol Le Cain, and I really loved it. I’m...moreI recently finished a prose version of this tale that was by Sara and Stephen Corrin and was illustrated by Errol Le Cain, and I really loved it. I’m about to read another prose edition that’s by Robert Holden and illustrated by Drahos Zak.
This book is the famous poem by Robert Browning and it’s illustrated by Kate Greenaway. I’d thought I’d grown up with the poem but now I know that I was mistaken. I did grow up with a song (that record is in a box that’s not readily accessible) and the lyrics and tune were very catchy. I did grow up with the story too; I now am assuming that it was the Grimm Brothers version.
I’ve always been fascinated by this story but I was not favorably impressed with this poem. I do not think I’d have at all enjoyed it as a child and even now I prefer this tale told in story form.
The Kate Greenaway illustrations were colorful but the paintings seemed to encompass different styles, some of which I loved and some of which I thought were just okay. (less)
Awhile back, I read three picture books with the Pied Piper story and have another on my to-read shelf that I’ve been unable to obtain. I happened to...more Awhile back, I read three picture books with the Pied Piper story and have another on my to-read shelf that I’ve been unable to obtain. I happened to see this book on the featured shelf at my branch library and grabbed it, not knowing what to expect, except that the cover appealed to me. The Pied Piper fable had a huge emotional impact on me when I was a child, and I really like the story.
This is a very text heavy picture book, so I’d say it’s for independent readers or reading aloud to school aged children, and possibly not in one sitting, although if time allows, reading the story all at once is the way to go.
This version of the story is told first person from the point of view of the young lame boy. I love his first impression of the Pied Piper as “wonderfully weird.”
So, I can’t give this book less than 4 stars. The pictures are remarkably good, I think. They’re intricately detailed and colorful and beautiful. They’re really special.
The story? Well, this one is different from any other Pied Piper tale I’ve ever read. It starts off darker than most versions, but ends up happier than any other version I’ve read. (view spoiler)[ The children return home unharmed. (hide spoiler)] This telling has a definite additional moral too; it’s incredibly message heavy, even as compared to the original. Somehow, I didn’t mind that because I loved the message(s), and the characters, but its deviation from the standard bothered me somewhat, so I deducted a half star or so. As a child, I’m sure I’d have considerably preferred this version to any of the others, and definitely to the one I had read to me when I was young.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
When I picked this up, I’d assumed it was a picture book. It’s not. It’s illustrated but it’s so heavy on text, I don’t consider it to be a picture bo...moreWhen I picked this up, I’d assumed it was a picture book. It’s not. It’s illustrated but it’s so heavy on text, I don’t consider it to be a picture book. It’s a very short (64 pages) illustrated chapter book.
I’m not that interested in Valentine’s Day so I am not the best audience for this book, but I did find parts interesting. I liked the instructions/presentation for some of the crafts that can be made. I enjoyed some of the history; I learned a few things.
In fact, the information presented is sufficiently sophisticated (and disturbing) that I think I’d recommend this book for ages (at least) 9-13, and through adulthood for readers interested in this subject matter.
But, I didn’t find the presentation that fascinating; it was interesting though.
The illustrations are all in black and white, but they’re very charming.
How St. Valentine’s Day Came to Be Valentines Cross the Atlantic True-Love Tokens Enter Cupid Valentine Love Birds Hearts and Sweethearts Roses are Red Valentine Lace Red, Pink, and White Valentine Goodies Stories and Poems for Valentine’s Day Sources Index
The back cover of this book makes it clear that this author-illustrator team have a series of holiday books. The other books listed on the back are about St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. And a book about the Fourth of July by this illustrator but another author is also listed.(less)
Darn! I just hate books where wolves are made out (as they are in many fairy tales, and this is a sort of fairy tale) as aggressive against humans and...moreDarn! I just hate books where wolves are made out (as they are in many fairy tales, and this is a sort of fairy tale) as aggressive against humans and as vicious/bad/evil. Unfortunately, that’s what happens in a part of this story.
The rest of the message is lovely, especially knowing from reading other Polacco books, how much she treasured her relationship with her grandmother.
This is the story of a “creature” who is loathed and feared, yet who is actually lonely and has strong maternal feelings and yearns for a relationship with a child. She finds a way to be a surrogate grandmother. The story’s meaning is captured by a line toward the end of the book: “Those who judge one another on what they hear or see, and not on what they know of them in their hearts, are fools indeed!”
I appreciated how Russian words are interspersed throughout the story, and the illustrations were very special: intricate and colorful and in an interesting style. My favorite illustration was the picture of Babushka Baba Yaga planning her makeover, dipping her finger in the water, surrounded by the forest animals and the borrowed real babushkas’ clothes.
Polacco dedicates this book to the fifty American school children who went to art camp with her in Russia in the summer of 1989; that must have been an enriching experience for all.(less)
I wasn’t really in the mood for folk or fairy tales, but this is the last book I must return tomorrow to the library, so I read it.
I loved the illust...moreI wasn’t really in the mood for folk or fairy tales, but this is the last book I must return tomorrow to the library, so I read it.
I loved the illustrations, which are glorious. I loved the message that getting something without working for it isn’t satisfying, and loved how Biddy found the magic within herself.
However, I absolutely hated the end. I have little doubt that the story follows what’s considered a sensible pattern, but I was left feeling very morose. What is probably meant to be a happy ending, filled me with sadness. That’s not always a bad thing, but I guess I’m not familiar with this type of tale because I was not expecting what happened, and I wasn’t happy about it. I know that’s my fault for being clueless about this type of tale. I’m thinking I’d have had to have more knowledge and been in a different mood to fully appreciate this story’s ending.
Given how lovely the pictures are and how overall satisfying the tale is, I have to give this at least 3 ½ stars. It’s a beautifully done book.(less)
I read this one immediately after reading The Egyptian Cinderella and I’m glad of the order I chose, because I liked this one much better. I’m not rea...moreI read this one immediately after reading The Egyptian Cinderella and I’m glad of the order I chose, because I liked this one much better. I’m not really a huge fan of fairy tales, or the Cinderella story, but I read these versions because I saw that they had illustrations by Ruth Heller.
I liked the illustrations much better in this book, although they’re still not my favorite by her. However, I’m impressed by how much they fit the story, and appreciated them even more when I read the illustrator’s note in the back of the book and realized how much education and on site research had gone into them.
I found the story more interesting than the other (although the other had a fabulous author’s note!) The author’s note in this book was useful too, and I do wish both notes had been in the front vs. the back of the book. This version of the story apparently comes from three variations of a tale told to Korean children for centuries. It is interesting to realize how certain tales have commonality among so many different cultures.
Here there is a step-mother and one step sister to Pear Blossom (Cinderella). I have to say I do feel irritated by the ineffectual father that is a character in this story. I did enjoy the magical talking animals that make appearances in this version and their background is explained in the author’s note.(less)
I appreciated the background work and the divulging of it by the authors and illustrator as regards keeping this authentic to the Hmong culture.
I liked this variation of the tale, as seen in the illustrations and as aspects of the story, such as the mother being turned into a cow. And I cared about Jouanah. But, I was not kept rapt by this tale; in fairness, I suspect that would have been true of most Cinderella tales or most fairy tales, given the mood I was in.
This alternate version, one of so many, is interesting though, and an excellent addition to the genre, and the illustrations are quite good. I found it to be one of the more interesting and unusual Cinderella tales that I’ve read.(less)
I recently read this author’s “Cinderella” books from Egypt and Korea, and I read them because they’re illustrated by Ruth Heller. But I read (I think...moreI recently read this author’s “Cinderella” books from Egypt and Korea, and I read them because they’re illustrated by Ruth Heller. But I read (I think thanks to Goodreads’ friend Chandra) that the illustrations in this version are even better so I decided to give this book a try. Even though I haven’t been in a fairy tale mood I did enjoy the other two books, and enjoyed the variations on the Cinderella story and the notes in the back that show its presence in various cultures.
The illustrations in this book are wonderful! They’re luminous and colorful and fit the period and story well, something the artist took care to do. There is a great artist’s note at the end where the author’s note is.
I also really like this particular version of the Cinderella story. I love that the girl’s name means star, for the birthmark she has that’s that shape: Settareh, a name which remains common today in the region.
The author’s note at the end, which I was looking forward to reading, having read them in the other two books, was informative and fascinating. This version was taken from a retelling of one of the tales from The Arabian Nights/1001 Arabian Nights/Naomi Lewis's Stories from Arabian Nights, ], in particular a story titled “The Anklet.” It uses elements that are unique to Persian mythology or that have origins in the region. The art is based on authentic ancient Persia. I do appreciate this author’s respect for the various cultures from which she finds and adapts these stories. And it’s so interesting to read stories from the many different cultures that have the “Cinderella” story in some form. (less)
Thoroughly enjoyable! Much thanks to my Goodreads friend Gundula for alerting me to this book.
I loved little (wee) things as a child; most children do...moreThoroughly enjoyable! Much thanks to my Goodreads friend Gundula for alerting me to this book.
I loved little (wee) things as a child; most children do; actually, I like miniature things (people?) now too.
This is just such a goodhearted story. Both couples are endearing. I love the Welsh folk motifs throughout the story, including the back cover, and they’re explicitly pointed out so those not in the know will not miss any. I love that the white stripe across a Welsh corgi dog’s shoulders is really a saddle for wee people. It’s all so cute.
This would make a really fun read aloud, especially saying “slop” so many times with verve. This tale (surprising to me!) even had an environmental message.
My mother’s mother was born in Wales, and though she died long before I was born, when I was young, I did meet a few relatives who still resided in Cardiff, and I am interested in all things Welsh even though I know very little. So, this was a great find for me.
The illustrations are in a style that aren’t normally my favorite, but I loved them here. I was especially amused by the cat using the wall as a scratching post. Ha! But the dog, the people, wee people, all the animals, house & cottage, terrain (I particularly enjoyed the 2 page spread of the wee cottage with the peelings and the boat on the “river”), and the slop too were all great fun.
If only we all had such good neighbors. And there’s composting too! And the potatoes, carrots, and onions made me hungry for that vegetable stew. But the reciprocal thoughtfulness of the neighbors is what struck me most.(less)
This book has a wonderful author’s note, made all the more useful because it’s in the front vs. the back of the book. I love how she says that ancient...moreThis book has a wonderful author’s note, made all the more useful because it’s in the front vs. the back of the book. I love how she says that ancient peoples did not create myths because they lacked scientific knowledge, but that they were great observers of nature and their myths arose from what they saw, and then they created their tales from what they noticed. She talks about trees and about water. The title of the note is “Finding the Science in the Myth” and that grabbed my attention.
I love trees and water, and I knew this book dealt with both, which is why I read it.
Well, I loved the illustrations. They were vivid and very colorful, but somehow not at all garish. They take up the whole of each page; the story text fits into the illustrations and is not separate from them. It’s a beautiful book.
I don’t think I’m much of a fan of most creation stories but I found this one interesting. It’s from the Cabécar and Bribri peoples of Costa Rica, and given their habitat, the cloud forest, it makes sense that they’d have a story about a tree and the sea and how they interact and get created.
This is an especially fun read aloud because the reader has the opportunity to perform sound effects and because the prose makes one want to read it aloud.(less)
This story that’s based on an ancient Chinese legend is enthralling and the illustrations are lush and gorgeous.
However, I can’t quite give it 5 star...moreThis story that’s based on an ancient Chinese legend is enthralling and the illustrations are lush and gorgeous.
However, I can’t quite give it 5 stars. Re the pictures: Some are somewhat gruesome including one of the first pages with the bat and the old woman’s hand covered in blood that’s from her bleeding eyes. Re the story: I thought it was too harsh toward the two older sons, and I felt impatient with the old woman for coveting the painting/brocade/palace with gardens. I couldn’t feel that much empathy with her because she was so manipulative and selfish in trying to get what she wanted, but the story made it seem as though she and her youngest son were the exemplary characters. I’m not so sure, but it’s a very satisfying story to read anyway. Given that to date 22 Goodreads members have given it 5 stars and only 1 other person has given it 4, and I don’t know why they gave it only 4 stars, I guess I’m the only one who has this interpretation. Even so, I think that it’s a wonderful book. (less)
I’m not particularly enamored of religious fables & stories, and this is the story of Esther and Mordecai, and Haman (and hamantashen) and the Kin...moreI’m not particularly enamored of religious fables & stories, and this is the story of Esther and Mordecai, and Haman (and hamantashen) and the King. It’s a story with which I’m familiar.
But, I read it for the Children's Books group. The Picture Books Club there reads 6 books a month, and April’s theme is royalty, and this is one of the selected books. Yes, it’s about royalty but it’s unlike the other 5 books for the month. It’s definitely a Judaic story.
I’d read this only to children who know the story and enjoy the story. I’m usually not a fan of vengeance stories (especially if there is not humor) and this is one of those and it’s not at all amusing. I do find it to be an entertaining story but, while it has a happy ending, it’s dark. I wouldn’t consider it appropriate for bedtime, or for a soothing read aloud either. Reading it for Purim makes the most sense to me, preferably with some vegan hamantashen to accompany the reading.
This version of the story is engaging. The illustrations are very colorful, with much to look at on most of the pages Though the artistic style is not my favorite, the pictures fit the story well.
I read it for the “Royalty” theme but it happened to be near the time of Purim, just a tad late. I’m a non-religious Jew and actually had to look up when Purim was this year.
This wouldn’t have been my choice as a book to read for one of only six books on the subject of royalty, but I did like it well enough.(less)