TATTERHOOD AND THE HOBGOBLINS

A NORWEGIAN FOLKTALE

Not the English ``Tattercoats'' (a Cinderella variant) but a long tale, from Asbjornsen and Moe, about twin sisters—pretty Isabella and feisty, independent Tatterhood—born after the queen eats not only the flower she's told will bring her a baby, but also the weed growing beside it. Hobgoblins catch the queen eating the weed and demand Tatterhood on her 12th birthday as recompense; but when the time comes, the lass mounts a goat and chases the hobgoblins away with a wooden spoon. Still, they manage to enchant Isabella, so the sisters set out on a long voyage/adventure during which the hobgoblins are defeated, Isabella marries a king, and Tatterhood finds a prince who values her assertiveness and wild ways. Mills's retelling is lively with incident; her paintings, formally framed in white margins, owe a great deal to Rackham—subdued amber-drenched palette, appealingly fey characters (especially the goblins), etc.—but without Rackham's powerful drafting and design; still, they incorporate many amusing details. An attractive presentation of an entertaining, little-known tale that could be a folkloric precursor of Pippi Longstocking. (Folklore/Picture book. 5-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-316-57406-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1993

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ABIYOYO RETURNS

The seemingly ageless Seeger brings back his renowned giant for another go in a tuneful tale that, like the art, is a bit sketchy, but chockful of worthy messages. Faced with yearly floods and droughts since they’ve cut down all their trees, the townsfolk decide to build a dam—but the project is stymied by a boulder that is too huge to move. Call on Abiyoyo, suggests the granddaughter of the man with the magic wand, then just “Zoop Zoop” him away again. But the rock that Abiyoyo obligingly flings aside smashes the wand. How to avoid Abiyoyo’s destruction now? Sing the monster to sleep, then make it a peaceful, tree-planting member of the community, of course. Seeger sums it up in a postscript: “every community must learn to manage its giants.” Hays, who illustrated the original (1986), creates colorful, if unfinished-looking, scenes featuring a notably multicultural human cast and a towering Cubist fantasy of a giant. The song, based on a Xhosa lullaby, still has that hard-to-resist sing-along potential, and the themes of waging peace, collective action, and the benefits of sound ecological practices are presented in ways that children will both appreciate and enjoy. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-83271-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2001

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THE GIRL WHO LOVED WILD HORSES

            There are many parallel legends – the seal women, for example, with their strange sad longings – but none is more direct than this American Indian story of a girl who is carried away in a horses’ stampede…to ride thenceforth by the side of a beautiful stallion who leads the wild horses.  The girl had always loved horses, and seemed to understand them “in a special way”; a year after her disappearance her people find her riding beside the stallion, calf in tow, and take her home despite his strong resistance.  But she is unhappy and returns to the stallion; after that, a beautiful mare is seen riding always beside him.  Goble tells the story soberly, allowing it to settle, to find its own level.  The illustrations are in the familiar striking Goble style, but softened out here and there with masses of flowers and foliage – suitable perhaps for the switch in subject matter from war to love, but we miss the spanking clean design of Custer’s Last Battle and The Fetterman Fight.          6-7

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1978

ISBN: 0689845049

Page Count: -

Publisher: Bradbury

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1978

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