I have seen a lot of Adrienne Adams's illustration work around the web lately, especially her fairy tales. I love fairy tales, as I'm sure everyone who stops by this little blog knows by now. I love to see different artists' interpretations of these old stories, so I reserved a few of Adams's books from the library. I thought I'd share some this week.
My favorite pictures of the bunch are from the story I was least familiar with, an old Grimm tale called "Jorinda and Joringel." This is one of those very short fairy tales that usually takes up about a page in an anthology. It should only take you a few minutes to read it, if you want - you can find it here. But I can give you this very quick breakdown:
Once there was a witch, who shape-shifted into an animal during the day, but became human again at night. If a man came too close to her castle in the wood, she would paralyze him until she felt like setting him free. If a maiden came too close, the witch turned her into a bird. She had several thousand such birds in cages. One day, a young couple named Jorinda and Joringel stroll through the woods, planning their wedding. They become lost. They realize too late how near they are to the castle. He freezes in place, while Jorinda becomes a nightingale. The witch sets Joringel free, but only after whisking the nightingale off to be caged. Joringel becomes a shepherd. One night, he dreams of a large flower with a pearl in the middle. If he carries the flower to the castle, the witch's spells cannot touch him. The flower can also break spells. He wakes and searches for this flower. He finds one that looks exactly like the flower in his dream, although the pearl is really a large dewdrop. Sure enough, the flower protects him from the witch, and he is able to free Jorinda and the other maidens from their spell.
Jorinda and Joringel by the Brothers Grimm
Illustrated by Adrienne Adams.
Translated by Elizabeth Shub.
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1968.
Look at these endpapers! I love these birds.
I love the dancing maidens the best, although the "Happy Ever After" page is rather sweet, too.
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