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Iron Hans (Grimms' Fairy Tales)by Stephen Mitchell
Synopses & Reviews
Matt Tavaress luminous illustrations and Stephen Mitchells wry text transform this classic Grimms fairy tale into a splendid edition to treasure.
"Deep in a forsaken wood, a wild man keeps watch over a golden spring."
Iron Hans is nine feet tall and as brown as rust, with hair to his knees. He is cursed, a terror to all, until a young prince finds the courage to befriend him. But when the boy betrays Iron Hanss trust, he must make his way in the world alone, penniless and unknown — save for a little help from a certain forgiving wild man. Stephen Mitchells deft retelling and Matt Tavaress elegant illustrations gracefully render this timeless Grimms tale about pride and humility, wealth and poverty, and the importance of doing good, whether servant or prince, wild man or king.
"Spreads of brawny figures and armored knights endow this retelling of a Grimm Brothers' tale with epic dimensions. The story concerns a prince who helps a king win a decisive victory with the magical assistance of Iron Hans, a shock-headed giant. Mitchell (The Nightingale) spins the German original into a tale of inner awakening, conferringon his young prince the insight of a spiritual seeker; the boy recognizes that his adventures are a trial before they even start. 'He knew also that part of this new test was learning how to be poor and powerless. He would have to keep his identity hidden and let no one guess that he was a prince.' Mitchell's ascetic reading sits a little oddly next to Tavares's ('Twas the Night Before Christmas) strapping figures, as Tavares seems to locate the source of the story's charm in outer strength, not inner search. Clamoring knights, galloping steeds and scenes of palace splendor crowd the pages, which rise in a vertical format as if to stress Iron Hans's nine-foot stature. Iron Hans's mane sticks out like a wire brush, and the prince's hair, turned golden in Iron Hans's magic spring, shines like light. Complex and muscular, this is a good bet for readers who demand lots of action. Ages 6-10. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Luminous illustrations and wry text are showcased in this retelling of a timeless tale from the Brothers Grimm about pride and humility, wealth and poverty, and the importance of doing good, whether servant or prince, wild man or king. Full color.
About the Author
Stephen Mitchell is a renowned writer and translator whose award-winning books for young readers include THE WISHING BONE, THE NIGHTINGALE, and THE TINDERBOX.
Matt Tavares is the illustrator of TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS and JACK AND THE BEANSTALK, as well as the author-illustrator of ZACHARY'S BALL, OLIVER'S GAME, and MUDBALL. He lives in Ogunquit, Maine.
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