Hansel and Gretel (Adrienne Adams)

One last Adrienne Adams-illustrated treat!  One of the best-known Grimm tales, "Hansel and Gretel."  I'm just going to assume you know this one.  (If you don't, wow.  Oh, and you can read it here.)

I like Adams's cartoony witch.  Contrast her with the menacing, slinky witch from Jorinda and Joringel.  (I know I keep describing her as slinky, but that's my adjective of choice.)  Otherwise, this is my least favorite book of the three I checked out this week.  "Hansel and Gretel" should be a treat for an artist.  There are so many great images in the text:  foreboding woods, evil witch, cute kids, and of course, that house!  And when I find an illustrator I like, I hope to love his or her interpretation of this particular tale.

Well, as I said, I like the witch.  And I love the trees.  The trees in this book are beautiful.  I would paper a room with her tree illustrations.  The gingerbread house leaves something to be desired, though.  In fact, as I read the book, I felt let down by the pictures.  I had hoped for something grander.  Something more.  Something yummy.  Like a yummy gingerbread house.

But I still love this fairy tale.

Hansel and Gretel by the Brothers Grimm.
Illustrated by Adrienne Adams.
Translated by Charles Scribner, Jr.
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1975.

Contrast this Hansel and Gretel picture book with this one Melissa featured on Julia's Bookbag.  (We have it checked out right now, too.)  That house looks pretty yummy.  I want gingerbread now.

School is out again.  The grand total was 14.2 inches of snow, Wichita's second-highest snowfall in its recorded history.  I haven't reserved a room in Topeka for the Kansas Silent Film Festival yet.  I have a feeling, as I write this, that we're not going this year.  I spend the winter wishing and wishing for snow.  Be careful what you wish for?

I wish you all a very merry weekend!  Happy reading!

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Snow White and Rose Red (Adrienne Adams)

Another beautiful fairy tale picture book by Adrienne Adams, courtesy of our local public library.  "Snow White and Rose Red" is another fairy tale courtesy of Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm.  As a child, I must admit the title confused me.  Another Snow White?  Only this one is blonde?  With a sister?  And there's a dwarf - only one - only instead of being a benevolent miner, he's more like a gnome or imp or something.  As an adult, I'm starting to like this tale, for the sisters' love and friendship if nothing else.  And I prefer the bear to the prince.  (What can I say? I prefer the Beast to the prince, as well.)  And why does the docile blonde marry the bear/prince, and her spunky brunette sister is married to the brother we never even meet?  (This musing comes from a blonde.)  If you are unfamiliar with the fairy tale, you can read a lovely annotated version at SurLaLune Fairy Tales.

 Once again, I am loving Adams's illustrations.

Snow White and Rose Red
by the Brothers Grimm.
Illustrated by Adrienne Adams.
Translated by Wayne Andrews.
New York:  Charles Scribner's Sons, 1964.

Meh, he's handsome enough.  I always preferred the bear, though.  We won't go into all the reasons why a bear-girl marriage would not work, as this is a kid-focused blog.  I prefer to see the fairy tales through my kid-eyes, and my kid self will always prefer bears and beasts to bland, boring princes.

Happy Thursday!  We're all snowed in for the day - school is cancelled!  Hope all is well with you and yours, wherever you are!

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Jorinda and Joringel (Adrienne Adams)

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.  

Happy Wednesday!

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I Slept In

I still haven't recovered from this last week.  The show closed on Sunday - it was a fantastic run! - and I made it downtown to see some friends in another show that same night.  My sinuses have been giving me problems.  The house is a mess.  I woke up very, very late this morning.  The girls had been up for who knows how long.  Big Sis is off for teacher inservice day, and Little Sis has no school on Tuesdays.  The milk was open on the kitchen counter.  There were DVDs spilled on the family room floor.  Sabrina The Teenage Witch was playing on the TV, but the girls were in their playroom, "cooking" with real water.

I'll have some several cups of coffee first.  That's my plan for right now.  Then this house has to be put in order.  I've been moaning about it for over a week, but haven't had the time or energy to really deal with it.  Broken record, that's me.

I do have some awesome books checked out from the library this week, and Big Sis wants to snuggle and read the first Magic Tree House book with me, so perhaps this blog will be back on track soon!

Gotta Dance!

We're spending this fine President's Day lazing around the house, eating blueberry muffins with streusel topping.  Then this afternoon, I take the girls to the doctor for the check-ups.  Yep, I scheduled their appointments on a day I knew they'd be off.  Mean mommy!  Good thing they have tomorrow off, too.  (Teacher's inservice for Big Sis, no school on Tuesdays or Thursdays for Little Sis.)

The end of this week will see us in Topeka for the Kansas Silent Film Festival.  I thought today I'd share with you a few favorite moments from the talkies, though.  Not just talkies, but MUSICALS!  I was hoping to share a clip from Holiday Inn - Fred Astaire and Marjorie Reynolds dancing to "I Can't Tell A Lie" at 0:57:30 - but no one has posted a decent clip on YouTube.  I found so many other dancing moments I love instead!  So enjoy!

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