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Children's LiteratureThough not one of the better-known fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm, this tale is one that could, or should, be more prominent. This friendlier Grimm tale begins once upon a time deep in the middle of a forest. A stereotypical old witch flits about as an owl or a cat during the day, but at sunset she always turns into an old woman again. Her curse is leaving young men who ventured near the castle motionless, and young women were turned into birds, locked in 700 cages that hung throughout the castle. Jorinda, the prettiest of all the pretty girls, and Jorindel, a shepherd boy find themselves too close to the castle, and the inevitable happens. Jorinda is turned into a nightingale and Jorindel cannot move until the witch returns to release him. Too forlorn and lonely to return home, Jorindel finds work keeping sheep in a strange village. A way to break the witches spell on Jorinda is revealed to him in a dream, but can a dream really provide the answer he so desires? Muted watercolors create the serene, placid, sensitive atmosphere of a couple deeply infatuated with each other, yet also provide the dismal, melancholy aura of the witch's castle. There are no prince's or princesses' in this fairy tale, making this seem a tale more realistic than others—and no animals or maidens were harmed in this story about love triumphing over all. A welcome addition to any fairy tale collection. 2005, North-South Books, Ages 4 to 8.