ROSE RED AND THE BEAR PRINCE

PLB 0-06-027967-2 In this diminished version of a familiar tale from the Grimms, Andreasen omits Snow White, focusing instead on a braver and more clever Rose Red. Rose Red has no fear when a burly bear comes knocking on her cottage door one winter’s night. She ushers the bear to the fire and brushes his coat free of snow. Rose Red and the bear become friends throughout the winter, but when there is a thaw, the bear tells her that he must go retrieve his treasure, stolen by a wicked dwarf. Wandering the forest one day, Rose Red comes upon that very same dwarf, his beard caught in a tree. She saves the little man but demands a portion of the bear’s treasure. Three times she comes upon the cantankerous dwarf in desperate straits and each time she assists him, eventually regaining the bear’s entire fortune, releasing him from the evil spell that had robbed him of his princehood. Although the heroine is nobody’s fool, she predictably marries royalty; there are no deaths, making this version even more benign. Andreasen’s elegant artwork, done in powdery hues, is nicely detailed, with every illustration framed in shimmering gold. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 29, 2000

ISBN: 0-06-027966-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1999

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AN AMISH YEAR

Readers follow a fourth grade Amish girl named Anna through the four seasons in a gentle tale from Ammon (An Amish Christmas, 1996, not reviewed). Perhaps in the spirit of Amish culture, the book does not engage reader through flashy illustrations or a kitschy plot. Instead, it offers a sense of serene assurance that arises from this community that is attempting to live according to its set of beliefs. Anna’s life, as with all Amish, revolves around the seasons, home, and farm. Hard work, milking the cows, tending the vegetable garden, and school take up most of her time, but that does not preclude fun; there is a time and place for everything in her life, including play when the work is done. Like the “English” (non-Amish), Anna and her friends enjoy softball, volleyball, flying kites, sledding, etc. Ammon makes Anna approachable, subtly revealing the similarities between her life and readers’ while illuminating the fundamentals of Amish culture. The well-researched, luminous illustrations resonate with the beauty of this life and are an integral part of the book. For a hurly-burly society, the notion of families gathering and caring for one another in an extended network of aunts, uncles, and cousins is inviting and accessible. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-689-82622-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1999

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AUNT PITTY PATTY'S PIGGY

Aylesworth and McClintock (The Gingerbread Man, 1998) tackle the story of the old woman whose pig won’t go over the stile, hindering her from going home. Here, the fat piggy is purchased at the market, but when it arrives home, it won’t go through the gate. The old woman, in this case Aunt Pitty Patty, enlists her young niece Nelly to go fetch help. Nelly implores a dog to bite the pig, a stick to hit the dog, a fire to burn the stick, water to douse the fire, etc. All the while, the piggy is parked by the gate reciting, “No, no, no, I will not go.” Aylesworth’s addition of the rhyming refrain preserves some of the cadence of the traditional tale, while softening the verbs (“hit” instead of “beat,” the rope “ties” instead of “hangs,” the butcher is to “scare” instead of “kill”) usually associated with it. McClintock emphasizes expression over action, and employs the same dainty brown line and soft watercolor wash of this team’s previous book. (Picture book/folklore. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-590-89987-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1999

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