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this week's library book

We're getting back into our normal routine here, after my little jaunt to the east coast. And part of that normal routine is a trip to our neighborhood library. I've realized lately that though we read books constantly in this house, my children are not that familiar with what I consider classic fairy tales. (I don't know how this happened, except that the fairy tales are kept in their own section at our library, and apparently I don't venture over to that section very often.) So we've been concentrating on the classics this week: Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Little Bears, etc.

We recently discovered this lovely version of Cinderella, illustrated by the wildly talented Kinoku Y. Craft. Bee thinks this Cinderella is the prettiest princess she has ever laid eyes on. I might have to agree.

Cinderella is so sweet and kind, the kind of girl who stops to help a sick bluebird she finds in the forest (and gets to meet the prince in the process). Later she happily helps her mean step sisters get ready for the ball, even though they won't let her come along.

In this version, it is the bluebird Cinderella helps that transforms into the fairy godmother. As a reward for her kindness, the fairy transforms her rags into a beautiful gown and turns a pumpkin into a fancy carriage.

At the end of the book, when the prince finds Cinderella, he says "How I knew that day in the woods that you were indeed special, but I should have fully recognized that heart whether clothed in rags or regalia." So the nice girl gets the prince.. my kind of story.

Has anyone seen the other fairy tales K. Y. Craft has illustrated, like this version of Sleeping Beauty?

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Reader Comments (21)

OK, I've got a mom to mom question for you. Do you read the whole book in one sitting? Or do you break the long books up? I tend to skip the long, yet good books because I know they'll take forever and if we read too long at bedtime, she is awake again. KWIM? So, I am wondering what other people do....do you just do the whole book or is it a "to be continued" kind of thing?

We have that version of Cinderella; it's lovely. We also have Craft's 12 Dancing Princesses. My daughter loves it although it's kind of a weird story and I'm not sure I love the whole enchantment/seduction/marriage angle as the main theme. The illustrations are breathtaking though.

06.5.2009 | Unregistered Commenterhillary

This is a beautiful book, I will have to look for a copy! Disney's Cinderella is definitely a princess, but this Cinderella is ethereal as well!

06.5.2009 | Unregistered CommenterRhiannonM

What stunning illustrations! I will keep my eye out for that version - just gorgeous.

06.5.2009 | Unregistered Commenterkate

I really enjoy hearing about your library picks :)

It is fun to read different versions of the Cinderella story. Exploring the different versions makes for interesting discussions about the similarities and differences of the settings, characters, etc.

Some of our favorites are:
- Cinder Edna by Ellen Jackson
- Yeh-Shen by Ai-Ling Louie
- Cendrillon: A Caribbean Cinderella by Robert D. San Souci

And there are many others...

Thanks again for sharing your library selections... I love visiting your site :)

06.6.2009 | Unregistered CommenterMariah

i feel like a child again when i read fairytales to my children.
i've never seen that book before, but i am going to have a look for it - the illustrations look absolutely amazing!

thanks so much for sharing.

06.6.2009 | Unregistered Commentertheprojectivist

Wow! K. Y. Craft's illustrations are amazing. They remind me of of the paintings done by John William Waterhouse. I love children's books. Thanks for sharing your finds.

06.6.2009 | Unregistered CommenterReese

We have a copy of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses"...it's beautiful too! One of our favorite illustrators is Trina Schart Hyman..and we have a few of her illustrated fairy tales too...my favorite is Iron John. When Bee is a little older, you might try some of her folk-tales She did with her daughter...a compilation called "The Serpent Slayer: and other..."

06.6.2009 | Unregistered CommenterSoozibus

we have several KY Craft books, and they are ALL sumptuous. The images are as nourishing as the beautifully retold stories.

06.6.2009 | Unregistered CommenterQalballah

beautiful pictures and sounds like the words match, too. i look forward to getting my hands on it! and hopefully more of k.y. crafts' works!

06.6.2009 | Unregistered Commenteramy

New reader --- I think it is amazing that you have been able to expose your children to literature! It is clear that they love reading! I can't wait until my little one is old enough to begin taking trips to the library!

Craft's illustrations are truly works of art. Have you ever read any stories illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger? Her illustration style is completely different but just as beautiful. Delicate pencil and watercolor images with an ethereal quality.


06.7.2009 | Unregistered Commenter*gemmifer*

You gotta' love the 398.2 section! That's where "folklore" and fairy tales go, instead of in the regular picture book section. Can you tell I'm a librarian?? One thing about the traditional folk and fairy tales that sets them apart from the other picture books is that usually the tales are complex enough that they do have a LOT of words. So they are good for children of all ages, first to read to them, and then to read for themselves later on (especially the very beautiful ones, even up to middle school).

Folktales are a great way to introduce other cultures. I especially like the Anansi (the trickster spider from West Africa) stories by Eric Kimmel. You can start to compare tales across cultures too, like Cinderella stories around the world, or trickster tales. It was a good thing when my kids would say "that's just like the other story we read . . ."

Thanks for bringing this up. The Craft illustrations are so lush and opulent, aren't they? I had a high school student whose favorite book is still The 12 Dancing Princesses :-)

06.7.2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

I subscribe to your feed through Google Reader, and for the last several months your updates have not been showing up in my feeds, other than the title. I tried subscribing, then unsubscribing, but it doesn't help. Perhaps your new settings are to blame? Please fix this, surely I can't be the only one with this issue!

What a great idea! I had not realized that my toddler has never even heard of Cinderella yet! Gasp! To the library we shall go...

06.7.2009 | Unregistered CommenterKaty

How gorgeous is that???

06.8.2009 | Unregistered CommenterApril

the illustrations in that version are so pretty. We'll have to look for that one. I try to stick in one classic fairy tale every time we go to the library.

06.8.2009 | Unregistered CommenterAimee

i have been noticing this same thing lately.... about my lot not being familiar with common fairy tales. it was on my list for the next library trip. i'd love to look for this one!

06.8.2009 | Unregistered CommenterElissa

I love Kinuko Craft! I have her version of Cinderella as well.... along with Twelve Dancing Princesses and Sleeping Beauty. Craft also illustrated: Cupid & Psyche, Pegasus, King Midas and the Golden Touch, The Adventures of Tom Thumb, and Baba Yaga & Vasilisa the Brave. I don't know if I'm missing any others but those are the ones I've borrowed from our library!

Hope that helps and happy reading!

06.8.2009 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

As a preschool director, I can affirm what it seems you already know -- the classics are important for young children to be exposed to. They're really a vital part of our cultural literacy and children who aren't exposed to them will have a hard time understanding certain phrases commonly used in our society. (Using Cinderella as an example, "a Cinderella story" and the "Cinderella team" in a sports tournament... I'm sure there's more.) Funny story -- our kindergarten class "studies" different versions of classic tales as part of their curriculum. One day as the teacher was putting a child into her car at the end of the school day, Grace bursts out, "Mom, today we learned about VIRGINS!" That required a quick explanation to the mom that Grace was actually referring to VERSIONS, not virgins! Oh, the things they say...

06.17.2009 | Unregistered CommenterJanelle

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