EAST OF THE SUN AND WEST OF THE MOON by Mercer Mayer

EAST OF THE SUN AND WEST OF THE MOON

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Under the title of the well-known Norwegian folktale (a straight, if unprepossessing, version of which appears below), there is here presented a pastiche of Mercer Mayer's creation--part ""Frog Prince,"" part ""East of the Sun,"" part compounded of other familiar motifs, part unfolklike invention. The daughter of a prosperous farmer declines all her suitors. Her father's fortunes fail; she has to forage for food; ""Who""--she frets--""will have me now?"" Her mother sends her on a journey to the South Wind's spring to fetch water for her languishing father; and when she finds the spring clouded over, she agrees to grant a frog three wishes if he will uncloud it. But she balks at his second wish--that she become his bride--and, when he persists, hurls him against a wall. . . whereupon he turns into a handsome youth bound in marriage (like the white bear/enchanted prince of ""East of the Moon"") to a long-nosed troll princess--from whom our farmer's daughter proceeds to save him (by some similar, some different means). The parts don't hang together; the whole has no emotional weight (certainly nothing comparable to the original farmer's daughter's attachment to the white bear); and were it clearly and properly labeled a new story, there's no reason why anyone should give it a second glance.

Pub Date: Sept. 7th, 1980
Publisher: Four Winds