The Earth Gnome

The Earth Gnome

by Wanda Ga'g, Margot Tomes

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Tomes has painted new, marvelous pictures for the versions of the Grimms' tales that Gag completed before her death in 1946. The translations, including this story, won posthumous awards in recognition of Gag's fidelity to the originals and her contributions to literature. Animated, ink drawings supplement the rich color illustrations of fraught events caused when a king's beloved daughters vanish. One tempts her two sisters to eat a forbidden apple, and they sink deep into the ground. The king promises the hand of a princess to the hero who rescues the missing maidens. Dull Hansl is the youth who performs the valiant deed, with the help of the Earth Gnome. But Hansl's bad brothers grab the credit until the truth is known, whereupon the king punishes the wicked and Hansl marries his bride. ``He liked them all the three princesses but chose the youngest because she was just his age. . . . '' (59)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 2-5 In this story taken from More Tales from Grimm (Coward, 1947; o.p.), Gag's direct yet poetic language brings this rather long and unfamiliar tale to life. The opening lines are especially lovely, yet filled with foreboding. The story is filled with common fairy tale motifs, mostly in threes. Three cursed princesses are forced to comb the flea-infested hair of three multi-headed dragons. They are rescued by Dull Hansl, the youngest of three brothers, who is betrayed by his brothers and subsequently rescued by the Earth Gnome. In the traditional happy ending, Hansl marries the youngest princess. As in her previous titles, Tomes utilizes the same small format and alternating color and black-and-white illustrations. Her strengths, as always, are her deft use of page design and picture composition which directs the flow of the story and the eye to the action. She captures abstract emotions in the face, carriage and colorings of her characters, such as Dull Hansl's innocence or the King's pride. Tomes' illustrations reveal a strong sense of story. They are not merely beautiful page decorations, but they complete the story action, expand motivation and characterization. A charming book and a refreshing change from the barrage of ``Cinderellas'' and ``Sleeping Beauties.'' Karen K.u Radtke, Milwaukee Public Library

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Product Details

Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

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