Tatsinda is considered an outsider by the people of the Tatrajanni kingdom. Her talent as a weaver has ensured that she can support herselfand perhaps win the love of the handsome Prince. But when an evil giant takes Tatsinda prisoner and plans to destroy the kingdom, it will take all the magic, skill, and love that Tatsinda and the Prince can muster to foil the giant and restore peace and beauty to the mountain. “This timeless story will make an absorbing read-aloud.”School Library Journal
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Having just turned 50 years old (Dec 2008), I was surprised to see this book as a recent 1st edition. I read this in the winter of 1968, in 2nd grade at my school library and have remembered it fondly. What I took from this book - all that I am is enough, if I do my best - has stayed with me all of my years. This is much more than an Ugly Duckling story, offering a twist on that much-loved tale.
Tatsinda is considered a homely little girl by the villagers. She is raised by a kindly older woman who is the most sought after weaver, so skilled is she. Always encouraging Tatsinda to be her best and to do her best, the elder woman considers that Tatsinda, like herself, will have to make her own way in the world, so unusual are Tatsinda's looks. Over the years, Tatsinda takes her lessons to heart and applies herself to her weaving, growing up in beauty on the inside, if not on the out, as she does so. Most of the local children ignore her, but one young boy talks to her. As she grows up, she develops true feelings for her young friend. Her guardian watches as Tatsinda's love becomes apparent but does not seem to be shared. She has pity on her charge and reluctantly decides to tell Tatsinda of a weaver's charm that can be used discreetly to persuade the (now) young man's heart to be swayed in her favor.
Tatsinda finds herself with the dilemma that using the charm presents: will he like her for herself or for the charm? It also poses the puzzle of which is more important to her: to be herself with or without his affection or to have his affection at any cost?
When reading the synopsis, I realized I didn't remember a Giant being in the story, so I will be able to reread this all over again, almost like new. Considering how long ago I read it, finding it available was an unexpected joy and I am happy to know that it has been reprised! A good read, well worth the effort and the time to find it (and to write this review).