THE GLASS MAN AND THE GOLDEN BIRD: Hungarian Folk and Fairy Tales by Ruth Manniag-Sanders

THE GLASS MAN AND THE GOLDEN BIRD: Hungarian Folk and Fairy Tales

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All the books in this (undesignated) ethnic series benefit from a spirited style and skillful illustrations; usually, too, the stories in each share a dynamic characteristic of their origin. The Hungarian tales here, whether long or short, whether more or less familiar in structure, are all extravagantly fanciful (and only benignly moral); one striking enchantment or transformation or image follows another. In the title story, King Andrew rushes up the castle steps to rescue the Diamond King who has been turned to glass: ""The glass man writhes his body this way and that, and inside his body a gigantic hornet is buzzing and stinging. On a glass sofa lies a woman dressed in withered roses. A spider's web is wound round and round her, and at her side stands a little green woodpecker, darting at the spider's web and pulling it to pieces."" Other effects are less macabre but no less ingenious: a smith forges a little, thin voice like Firenko's mother's for the witch so she can deceive him, then iron teeth so she can gnaw the tree where he's perched; Dummling gives his cap to the tree stump so it won't freeze; lead, silver and gold dumplings become stairs up the glass hill. Often the phrasing and rhythm of Howard Pyle --sprinkled with paprika.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1968
Publisher: Roy