What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

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POSSIBLY SOLVED > Fairy-tale collection from 1970s or earlier?

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message 1: by Lsophia (new)

Lsophia | 153 comments I am trying to remember this wonderful fairy-tale collection I used to read when I was growing up. The one story I can remember is one called "The Twelve Moons," and it was about a young girl with a cruel stepmother (of course) who sends her to pick violets, roses, and apples in the middle of the winter. She encounters the twelve moons in human form, and they help her find what she is looking for. Of course, her evil stepsister(s) are sent out to encounter the moons, but they end up dying.

I'm not sure when this book was published - it was my sister's before mine, and probably another family member's before her, so I think it had to be from the 1970's or earlier.


message 2: by Tesh (new)

Tesh | 66 comments I've never heard of that fairy-tale before. Do you know if the others in the collection were more well-known, or also less common. Was the book illustrated?


message 3: by Lsophia (new)

Lsophia | 153 comments It was definitely not illustrated. Some of the others were better known, but I'm not sure if all of them were. It wasn't one of the Fairy Books by Andrew Lang. It was a large, off-white (or white) hardcover, with gold letters on the spine.


message 4: by Christine (new)

Christine (chrisarrow) | 6 comments Do you mean moons or months? The standard tale is 12 months helping the girl.


message 5: by Lsophia (new)

Lsophia | 153 comments It was called "The Twelve Moons," but the moons really were months.


message 6: by Christine (new)

Christine (chrisarrow) | 6 comments Okay. I have some old fairy tale books from the 70s, I give them a look.


message 7: by Lsophia (new)

Lsophia | 153 comments Please do!


message 8: by Holly (new)

Holly (hollylovesbooks) | 761 comments I found a translated collection of Czech fairy tales that could be it. It's not on Goodreads, but it's called "The Wise Jeweler and Other Tales from Czechoslovakia"

Here's the Worldcat link: http://www.worldcat.org/title/wise-je...

I found an article online about the fairy tale collection, noting that the translator opted to use "months" instead of moons (in Czech they are the same word)


message 9: by Lsophia (new)

Lsophia | 153 comments I'm pretty sure that wasn't that title, but thanks so much for checking! From what I can remember, it had some sort of anthology-type title.

I just looked up "Fairy Tales from Many Lands," but that isn't it, either (although I read that one, too).

I think the heroine's name of "The Twelve Moons" might have been Marina.


message 10: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Love | 1059 comments I read this story in a collection of Russian fairy tales, although mine was printed much later to be it.


message 11: by Christine (new)

Christine (chrisarrow) | 6 comments I have the story, at least the months version, but nothing matches your description of the book.


message 12: by Lsophia (new)

Lsophia | 153 comments Alas. It wasn't specific Russian fairy tales, either. I know there were several others. Maybe I just need to spend some in used bookstores.

Thanks for checking, everyone!


message 13: by Marsha (new)

Marsha (queenboadicea) | 75 comments I remember that story. But it was definitely 12 months not moons. They were all male, the girl's name was Marushka and she had just the one stepsister not two.

I actually have a collection of fairy tales that includes this story. Did yours have watercolor illustrations that were sharp in some places and gently blurred in others? I had a teacher that taught us to paint with watercolors on dampened paper so that it created the same effect. That's one reason I remember this book so clearly. I won my copy of the book in 1973 as part of a contest win (the date is on the inside; that's another reason my memory is so clear).


message 14: by Lsophia (new)

Lsophia | 153 comments I don't remember the illustrations, but that doesn't mean there weren't any. Do you remember the title of the collection? (crosses fingers)


message 15: by Lsophia (new)

Lsophia | 153 comments Congratulations on winning the competition. That's very cool.


message 16: by Marsha (new)

Marsha (queenboadicea) | 75 comments I don't remember the title offhand. But it's still in my library. I'll look it up when I get home. Hopefully, I'll remember to give you the information tomorrow. (I apologize for the delay.)


message 17: by Lsophia (new)

Lsophia | 153 comments Oh, no, no worries! Thank you so much. I've been wondering about this book for YEARS.


message 18: by Marsha (last edited Mar 04, 2016 09:30AM) (new)

Marsha (queenboadicea) | 75 comments I found it! It took a lot of searching. I had it stored between two crates along with the other book I won in the contest. (I actually won them in 1977 instead of 1973. So much for the accuracy of memory.) The anthology is European Fairy Tales compiled by Dagmar Sekorová and translated into English. It was illustrated by Mirko Hanák and originally published in 1971. The story is “The Twelve Months”. The heroine is Maruska (pronounced “Marushka”). Her stepsister is called Holena. Maruska was sent into the snow in January to find violets, strawberries and apples. Is this your book?


message 19: by Lsophia (new)

Lsophia | 153 comments This looks very promising! I'll see if I can track down a copy somewhere. I will report back in a day or two.

Thank you so much for looking!


message 20: by Marsha (new)

Marsha (queenboadicea) | 75 comments Lsophia wrote: "This looks very promising! I'll see if I can track down a copy somewhere. I will report back in a day or two.

Thank you so much for looking!"


You're welcome. I'm happy to help.

Now that I'm looking at your original description, I'm wondering if my book is the one you want. The cover isn't white. It's dark blue but does have the gold lettering on the spine. It is also definitely illustrated; all the stories in my book are.

My book lost the dust jacket years ago due to wear and tear. But you can see it if you click on the title in my post from March 4th.

I do recall getting another copy of the book by accident. I'm desperately trying to reduce the number of books in my apartment and I let the second one go. It was in better shape than the one I won. But the first book has deep sentimental value for me (being one of the very first books I ever won) and so it was no trouble to get rid of the second copy. I seem to recall that the second copy did have a white cover as opposed to the blue cover on mine (it might have been a different edition) but it also possessed the color illustrations.

This is really exciting. I'm really hoping this is your book. It's always a thrill to help people track down a search item.


message 21: by Marsha (new)

Marsha (queenboadicea) | 75 comments Hello. Are you still looking for this book?


message 22: by Kimber (new)

Kimber (kimberlibri) | 158 comments I've read this fairy tale but it was online while looking for another fairy tale for someone in this group. Strange how these things go round....


message 23: by Lsophia (new)

Lsophia | 153 comments Hi Marsha:

Yes, I am, but it's kind of my fault, because I haven't had time to do my usual used bookstore crawl lately.

One of our regional library chains has it, but I don't think they'll let me put it on hold. I should ask.


message 24: by Marsha (new)

Marsha (queenboadicea) | 75 comments Lsophia wrote: "Hi Marsha:

Yes, I am, but it's kind of my fault, because I haven't had time to do my usual used bookstore crawl lately.

One of our regional library chains has it, but I don't think they'll let m..."


Hello again. It's been over a month. Did you ever get hold of this book? It would be great if we could put this thread in the SOLVED section.


message 25: by Lsophia (new)

Lsophia | 153 comments I didn't, but it's apparently very rare. I think you can mark it as Solved or Probably Solved, though, because both the time frame and story are right. Thanks!


message 26: by Marsha (new)

Marsha (queenboadicea) | 75 comments Lsophia wrote: "I didn't, but it's apparently very rare. I think you can mark it as Solved or Probably Solved, though, because both the time frame and story are right. Thanks!"

If you're a member of bookcrossing.com, you can search for this book and see if anyone has it marked as "available" on their shelf. That way you can make a request for it and they can mail it to you. If you're not a member, becoming one is easy and free.


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