The Comte de Caylus, who studied traditional fairy tales in the 18th century, made liberal use of their elements in his own...

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HEART OF ICE

The Comte de Caylus, who studied traditional fairy tales in the 18th century, made liberal use of their elements in his own story of tiny but plucky Manikin--who defeats his rivals, helps and is helped by the victims of enchantment, and wins the hand of the beautiful princess. Here again are the good and bad fairies at the christening (it's the bad one's gift that makes Manikin so small); the mountain of ice which the suitors must climb to retrieve the princess's stolen heart; the hero's virtues and their fit rewards (Manikin takes only one small gold piece from a huge treasure; as a result, it replenishes itself without limit); and the unhappy humans transformed into animals--this time an island of spaniels who constitute the story's most notable variation. It's all prettily strung together, but like the princess it lacks a heart. From the clownish blather of Manikin's foolish parents to the gratuitous appearance of a ship and crew transformed into trees, there's not a jot of conviction or resonance. And the pictures are worse--clichÉs of insipid romance, relieved only by the ugliness of the faces.

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 1977

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Pantheon

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1977