THE WILD SWANS by Ken Setterington

THE WILD SWANS

adapted by , illustrated by ,
Age Range: 6 - 10

KIRKUS REVIEW

Staying close to its Andersen roots, Setterington spins a beautiful retelling of a well-loved story. A king lost in the forest is rescued by a witch who gives him her daughter in marriage; fearing his wife, he hides his 11 sons and one daughter, Elise. The new queen turns the boys into swans, but doesn’t see the daughter. Elise dreams the way of saving them by weaving each a shirt of stinging nettle; she must not speak while she is doing so. Although a king marries Elise, she continues her painful task and remains silent, even when she’s accused of witchcraft. It’s only when she’s brought to be burnt at the stake that she finishes most of the last shirt and saves the brothers. This remarkable tale of sibling devotion, misleading action, and witchy ways is richer for its scherenschnitt—exquisite, intricate paper silhouettes. These black-on-white paper cuts display astonishing detail, while allowing imagination free rein. Few single editions of this story are available, making this an even more significant offering. (Folktale. 6-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-88776-615-3
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Tundra
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2003




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