Once upon a time, a merchant asked his three daughters
what he should bring them from the city. The first asked
for pearls, the second for gold, but the youngest longed for
a singing lark. The merchant found a gold necklace and a
bracelet of gold, but there were no songbirds to be had for love
or money that winter.
He turned towards home, sorry to disappoint his youngest
daughter. The road took him past a fine castle, with a grand
garden full of spring flowers in spite of the winter snows. At the
top of a laurel tree, a lark sang.
While the boys show polite interest in The Magic Nesting Doll, by the same author and illustrator, they adore this book (which combines and reworks elements of The Singing, Springing Lark; Beauty and the Beast; and East of the Sun, West of the Moon). They each want a copy of their own and I can absolutely see why. (It is gorgeous. Plus, lions and dragons and griffins. Oh, my!) My oldest enjoys pointing out the plot follows the Frozen principle of getting to know someone before marrying them and my youngest repeatedly (forcefully) requests it as a bedtime story.
Author: Laurel Long and Jacqueline K. Ogburn/The Grimm Brothers
Illustrator: Laurel Long
Posted in Picture Books
Tagged Animals, Beauty and the Beast, bedtime, East of the Sun West of the Moon, fairy tale, frozen, garden, Grimm Brothers, Jacqueline K. Ogburn, Laurel Long, out of print, The Lady & the Lion, The Magic Nesting Doll, The Singing Springing Lark, translated
Once again Paul O. Zelinsky draws from the best of the Grimm’s multiple versions, along with earlier Italian and French versions, to create a compelling and beautifully illustrated tale. My youngest will accept no substitutions; we must read this edition: “The one with the big tower.”
While this story violates the Frozen principle–“You can’t marry a man you just met”–in a big way and the prince seems to be either a cad or none too bright (otherwise why wouldn’t he just bring Rapunzel a rope ladder early on in their relationship?), it is a classic. (And Frozen has made discussing these kinds of issues much easier and faster at just the right time.)
Author: Paul O. Zelinsky/The Grimm Brothers
Illustrator: Paul O. Zelinsky
Trolls usually don’t have a great reputation (the cute troll family in Frozen is definitely an outlier). But how would you like it if every time you tried to sleep someone went trip-trapping all over your ceiling? Poor Mr. Troll hasn’t slept well since he moved under the bridge leading to a lush green field. How can he get the rest he needs while letting his neighbors (the goats of the title) get the grass they need? Luckily, Mother Goat is a knitter and she works up an unorthodox solution. This story is fun to read and never quite overly cute and fluffy. My youngest particularly enjoys it.
Author: Rachael Mortimer
Illustrator: Liz Pichon