THE GLASS SLIPPER: Charles Perrault's Tales of Times Past by Charles Perrault

THE GLASS SLIPPER: Charles Perrault's Tales of Times Past

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In a format especially suited to the eight-to-nine-year-old reader: new, whole-grained translations of the eight wellspring Contes du temps passÉ--""Sleeping Beauty,"" ""Little Red Ridinghood,"" ""Bluebeard,"" ""Puss in Boots,"" ""Diamonds and Toads,"" ""Cinderella,"" ""Rickety Topknot,"" ""Hop o' My Thumb""--with powerful, muted illustrations. Neither Bierhorst nor Miller, indeed, is tainted by fairy-tale conventions. Though the wordings are occasionally awkward (says Bluebeard to his wife, in reference to the forbidden closet: ""And my forbidding you is such that if you do open it there is nothing you needn't expect from my rage""), the telling is never ornate--or bland. The illustrations--full-page scenes and small, in-text vignettes--have a compact, sculptural force and an emotional fierceness that seize and hold the more one looks. You will not forget (in one of the ""Sleeping Beauty"" vignettes) little Dawn clinging to the neck of the steward dispatched to kill her; or (in a similar little medallion-like scene) sister Anne, in ""Bluebeard,"" desperately peering from the balcony for a sight of the awaited brothers--whom one tries to spot, too, on the road winding into the gray and clouded distance. Even a child who has known the stories--from picture-book versions, reading-aloud sessions, or whatever--is likely to be drawn in and borne along.

Pub Date: Oct. 5th, 1982
Publisher: Four Winds