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THE STAR CHILD by The Brothers Grimm


by The Brothers Grimm, illustrated by Bernadette Watts, translated by J. Alison James, adapted by J. Alison James

Age Range: 5 - 7

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-7358-2330-3
Publisher: NorthSouth

Another Grimm tale illustrated by Watts in her familiar soft-edged and soft-toned artwork (Little Red Riding Hood, 2009, etc.). An orphaned girl gives away everything she has: a piece of bread to a hungry old man, her hat to a cold little boy, her coat to another, her dress to a girl wearing a sack and finally her shift to a girl clad only in "a piece of dirty cloth." Wearing nothing, she goes into the woods for the night, when a miracle happens: Stars fall and become coins as mists weave clothing for her to reward her kindness. Originally titled "The Star Talers," which refers to the coins, the story is quite terse. The girl in this Swiss import has gained a name (Mathilde), and James's translation is pleasingly smooth, but the story itself lacks appeal for today’s plugged-in child. The only source citation is a mention on the back cover and the author listing on the front cover. Overly moralistic (it is more blessed to give than to receive), it's recommended only for extensive fairy-tale collections. (Picture book/fairy tale. 5-7)