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Fairy Tales from Eastern Europe

Fairy Tales from Eastern Europe

by Neil Philip, Larry Wilkes (Illustrator)

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Twenty-two stories adapted from original eastern European lore comprise this flavorful collection, which strongly affirms the enchanting appeal of fairy tales. Common themes of the genre are prevalent--kindness, cleverness and determination are rewarded; pride, greed and wickedness are (often brutally) punished--and well-known characters such as Baba Yaga and Babushka appear throughout. In addition to making the stories accessible, folklorist Philip takes great care to provide authentic translations that closely replicate the oral traditions and individual cultures of the various countries. Wilkes's numerous pen-and-ink sketches and full-color paintings bring the look of old Europe to life while tenderly depicting the human frailties that are at the heart of good storytelling. The end result is mesmerizing. Amidst sweeping social and political changes that continue to shrink the distance between nations, it is comforting to find literature that is familiar--but with a pinch of added spice. Ages 9-up. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6 --A Slavic smorgasbord. Philip presents 22 traditional tales that have originated and appeared, in different variations, throughout the folk literature of the area and a few that have been absorbed from bordering cultures. The collection is brimming with drama, humor, pathos, adventure, and romance. Fantastic elements and such beings as Fate, Misery, Intelligence, and Luck are introduced in otherwise down-to-earth settings to match wits and grapple with their all-too-human counterparts. Versions of oft-told tales, such as ``The Twelve Months,'' ``The Flying Ship,'' and ``Wishes,'' appear--as do some more obscure selections--all told in a straightforward and entertaining style. Some of the shorter entries, such as ``The Longed-for Hedgehog,'' provide just the skeleton of the story and are not as satisfying as the more fleshed-out selections. Notes and origins of each tale are appended. Wilkes's bold, crosshatched pen-and-ink drawings are interspersed with lovely, full-page watercolor paintings that capture ethnic detail and add to the enchantment. Political and geographical boundaries may come and go, but these tales transcend such borders and continue to speak to and enrich universal audiences.--Luann Toth, School Library Journal

Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
7.80(w) x 10.38(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
9 Years

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