Books by Claire Martin

BOOTS AND THE GLASS MOUNTAIN by Claire Martin
CHILDREN'S
Released: June 1, 1992

A restructuring of Asbjornsen and Moe's ``The Princess on the Glass Hill.'' Martin modernizes the language, prunes descriptions and repetitions, and adds unnecessary explanations, a romantic source for Boots's tinderbox, and the threat of a troll groom if the princess's suitors fail. The result is acceptable, though hardly an improvement: more accessible, but without the wonderful folkloric cadence of the traditional Dasent or Lang versions. The extraordinary Russian illustrator provides sumptuous paintings in a meticulous classical style, more ornate and detailed than Thomas Locker's work but also livelier. Elegant borders, beautifully patterned fabrics, and other minutiae combine for a rich, decorative effect. Most of the faces here are too small to reveal much character (too bad: Spirin's a gifted caricaturist), but the horses are magnificent. This Cinderella variant doesn't really need such a lush setting, but many will enjoy it. (Folklore/Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >
THE RACE OF THE GOLDEN APPLES by Claire Martin
Released: Sept. 1, 1991

Abandoned by her father because she's not a boy, the infant princess Atalanta becomes the protege of the goddess Diana and is raised by a bear, learning to outdistance all the forest creatures. Returning (in the more familiar part of this Greek myth) to her father's court, she vows to marry only a man who is swifter than she is. In Martin's cleanly told version, Atalanta's love for Hippomenes is the reason she accepts the lure of Venus's apples, letting him win the race as she retrieves them. The Dillons provide an elegant setting: their formal borders and decorative vignettes have the aura and glow of stained glass; costumes, settings, and the patterns that adorn every page are a creative blend of the Greek, medieval, and purely imaginative. The animals are tactile-lovely; Atalanta herself is a pert gamine, a haughty princess—and a sturdy, Olympic-class runner. A handsome update of a grand story. (Mythology. 5+)Read full book review >