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The Water Of Life: A Tale From The Brothers Grimm
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The Water Of Life: A Tale From The Brothers Grimm

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  346 ratings  ·  39 reviews
A young man overcomes treachery and adversity to save his father.
Paperback, 40 pages
Published September 1st 1991 by Holiday House (first published 1812)
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Average rating 4.12  · 
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 ·  346 ratings  ·  39 reviews

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Now, I have read many stories from the Brothers Grimm and I had enjoyed every single one of them! So, imagine my surprise when I finally came upon one of the Brothers Grimm’s stories being put into a singular children’s book called “The Water of Life” retold by Barbara Rogasky along with illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman and enjoying it immensely!

The story starts off with the king becoming extremely ill and everyone thought that the king might die since there was no cure to be found. One day
This has a very similar plot as Ruth Sanderson's The Enchanted Wood, who probably got inspired by this Grimms tale, unless it's another from the same tale type. I liked the artwork a lot and would rate it 5 stars, but the story wasn't as captivating and I liked Sanderson's rendition and changes much better. ...more
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not the absolute best by Hyman, but still wonderful; the characters do look like real people and the details of setting, animals, and costumes are breathtaking. I'm not familiar with this story but I can say that I like Rogasky's retelling anyway. I like how it defines and explains everything, not assuming the reader is familiar with the ancient culture- and genre-specific tropes. But the writing style is still clear and enjoyable, not heavy or preachy of overly 'telling.'

Ah, I'm not saying it r
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fairy-Tale Lovers / Trina Schart Hyman Fans
Recommended to Abigail by: Chandra
With a story from the Brothers Grimm (retold by Barbara Rogasky), and artwork from Trina Schart Hyman, what's not to love? The tale of a dying king, and his three sons, who each set out, in their turn, to discover the magical Water of Life that will restore their father to youth and health, this fairy-tale offers a study of differing character, and of the nature of love. For, as it turns out (and as readers of the genre will no doubt be expecting), the two older brothers are not motivated by lov ...more
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Trina Schart Hymen is an amazing artist, I always enjoy the stories she chooses to illustrate. It's not everyday you read about a helpful goblin/troll. I really enjoyed this story about a valiant prince and a imprisoned princess. ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
You just can't go wrong with the team of Barbara Rogasky as writer and Trina Schart Hyman as illustrator! ...more
Jul 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow, what a story! Spans much time and geography. Treachery, bravery, the virtues of honesty, sacrifice, true love... it's all covered here. Just the perfect medieval tale... Dreamy :) ...more
Aug 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Very wonderful story telling. A keeper.
Lör K.
The Water of Life is a story with a similar theme to Snowdrop (Snow White), but I came to find that I quite enjoyed it. The repeating themes and tropes in the Brothers Grimm's works has been rather annoying as of late - which I assume is because I'm so tired recently - but this one was sweet.

Betrayal, the faking of a death, and things all eventually turning right - without anyone dying? This was a piece of art, truly, and I wish there were a few more Brothers Grimm just like this one. I had a l
Picked this up almost entirely because it's illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman (my favorite illustrator!). Her illustrations were lovely. I can barely remember the story. ...more
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my all-time favorite fairy tales. Kids really liked this one and led to good discussions about intentions and actions.
This fairy tale is a lovely story where good triumphs over evil, and it is a good example of the love of money (or inheritance) being the root of evil. I loved that the curse of the dwarf on the prideful brothers caused them to get stuck in the ravine where each could not go forward or backward. What an insightful punishment for pride in which one is not able to progress in maturity or the spiritual life because one will not admit mistakes or make amends for past wrongs. (An unwillingness to loo ...more
Feb 14, 2019 rated it liked it
The Water/ Well of Life. A theme picked upon by many story tellers for 100’s of years. A great way to create a different and unique theme for this story. We then see the kindness of one brother for his own kin, only to be returned by fear, jealous and greed.
A beautifully illustrated retelling of a traditional tale, full of romance, adventure, and the righting of wrongs. Upper elementary.
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an interesting short fairy tale.
May 27, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura Brower
Oct 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
This traditional tale, originally told by the Grimm brothers, confronts the important truths of life.
This version, retold by Barbara Rogasky and illustrated by Hyman, depicts beautiful water colored pictures of the main characters as they set forth within the story. The story begins with the sick king who is need of the Water of Life, which his sons set out to find. The first two search for the potion for all the wrong reasons, hoping to obtain the crown if they save their father. Due to their
Aug 25, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Grimm's tale, unfamiliar to me. Well, I hadn't heard it before, but it was very familiar, sort of a pastiche of Cinderella, King Lear, the Pick -a-number Chinese brothers. Grabbed it because the cover caught my eye, and the pictures, by Trina Hyman, were a treat throughout. While it was open on my desk, my boss asked me, "Is that Water of Life?" She's astonishing that way; it was published in 1986. ...more
Lisa Rathbun
A great fairy tale with a male hero (my shelves are flooded with brave princess stories; now I need more brave GUYS for my son!) I adore Hyman's illustrations. There are many familiar elements here - worthy youngest son, enchanted castle, a quest, a beautiful princess - but fun for the child who wanted something beyond Sleeping Beauty or Snow White. Great to use for folklore for older elementary students who may feel that "fairy tales" are only for preschoolers. ...more
Jul 15, 2009 rated it liked it
I love those formulaic fairy tales of three siblings in which only one (usually the youngest) has learned kindness and decent human courtesy.
This was one of those, a new one for me, and I enjoyed it.
The illustrations were very detailed and interesting.
Other favorites of this type of tale:

Beauty and the Beast
The White Cat
Jul 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-lit
Another Grimm's tale with the standard characters of questionable motivation and shallow depth. Still, well written, easy to understand, and of course lush, gorgeous illustrations with illuminated borders and exacting attention to detail. Particularly impressed by the stained glass windows and canopy bed in the father's chambers; those are definitely based on research and real medieval windows. ...more
Mary Catelli
A beautiful and faithful retelling of one of the more obscure tales from Brothers Grimm. Hyman's illustrations are particularly wonderful, with many lovely little details on every one. Even on the pages with text there are inset pictures, perhaps moving the story, perhaps just touching up the setting. ...more
Apr 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
School was reading and defining what makes a story a fairy tale so I thought we'd read a few too. O has always enjoyed them and we've had multiple round of fairy tale reading in the past. This one is a good read. ...more
Nov 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is such a good story, but it doesn't often make it into Grimms Fairy Tale collections. Maybe because of its length? Anyway, this story has everything: action, suspense, deceit, peril, gold, and a beautiful princess.

Dec 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though she is already a dozen years gone (RIP!) Hyman remains one of my all-time favorite kid lit illustrators.
As for the story, I laughed when I thought of how thin the gene pool must have been for this king to have two out of three sons not have enough sense to not get stuck in a ravine. haha!
Dec 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fairy-tales, children
Another favorite that will never grow old--Trina Schart Hyman's illustrations bring this tale to life and make it both enjoyable and memorable. ...more
Jan 04, 2012 rated it liked it
Very simplistic telling; almost too simple. I read the book only because it was illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman.
Mar 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Beautiful! Trina Schart Hyman's expressive illustrations elevate this complex fairy tale to lovely heights. ...more
Jun 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: class-1
A good 3 Brothers story. Suitable 6-9 years. Very attractive illustrations. The children enjoyed it and so did I.
Jennifer Heise
Beautifully illustrated, of course. I have to admit it's not my favorite story, though. Could not convince my 6 year old son to let me read it to him. ...more
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Jacob Ludwig Karl Grimm, German philologist, jurist and mythologist, was born at Hanau, in Hesse-Kassel (or Hesse-Cassel). He is best known as the discoverer of Grimm's Law, the author of the monumental German Dictionary, his Deutsche Mythologie and more popularly, with his brother Wilhelm, as one of the Brothers Grimm, as the editor of Grimm's Fairy Tales.

(From Wikipedia.)


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