The Three Spinning Fairies (A Tale from the Brothers Grimm)

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9780525468264: The Three Spinning Fairies (A Tale from the Brothers Grimm)

In this hilarious "spin" on a Brothers Grimm tale, three unusual fairies help a lazy girl named Zelda. She could win the Prince's hand by spinning wool, but she hates work of any kind. The three fairies offer to spin for her if she will invite them to her wedding. Anita's long, flat foot is perfect for pumping the spinning wheel. Benita's long tongue is perfect for moistening the wool. Bob's huge thumb is perfect for winding the thread. When Zelda takes advantage of their kindness, and the Prince is repelled by their strange attributes, both get their just desserts.

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From School Library Journal:

Kindergarten-Grade 3--Gussied up from the Grimm version but cut from the same cloth, this tale of laziness is told with contemporary wit and a new ending, but placed in a traditional setting. Zelda's mother, an overworked baker, asks her idle daughter to spin a bit of string to tie up a cake box before the Queen claims it. Zelda's earsplitting whine attracts the annoyed royal's attention so her mother explains by saying it was because her daughter loves work so much that she was begging to keep at it. The delighted Queen promises that Zelda will become her son's bride if she will come to the castle and spin three rooms of flax. Of course, the girl needs help and draws on three talented fairies, Anita, Benita, and Bob, who do the job and get to come to the royal wedding. However, because each fairy has a physical deformity caused by spinning-a large foot to pump the wheel, a tongue that hangs out to moisten the thread, and a huge thumb on which to wind it-the horrified prince declares that his bride will never have to spin again. The classic tale ends there, but in a new twist, the Queen declares that Zelda should take over the royal bakery from her mother. The prince remains as spoiled as ever, but Zelda gets her just deserts. Ernst's paintings use a full palette but with plenty of purples, pinks, and blues. Children will laugh at the modern retelling and at the story's outcome.

Susan Hepler, Burgundy Farm Country Day School, Alexandria, VA

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

Ernst's (Goldilocks Returns) wry text and busy pictures contribute equally to the humor of this rollicking retelling. Sporting three pigtails that stick straight up from her head, Zelda, daughter of the Royal Baker, looks every bit as foolish as she is made out to be. Since she "fancied herself much too special for work of any kind," the girl loafs around while her mother frantically bakes for the fussy queen. In an attempt to hide her daughter's slothfulness, the mother tells the queen that Zelda is such a hard worker that she refuses to stop spinning yarn. Delighted, the royal brings her to a tower, announcing that Zelda can marry the prince as soon as she finishes spinning the flax that fills the tower's three rooms. Enter the title characters, who up to this point have been hovering watchfully from outside the frames of the illustrations. With physical abnormalities that enable them to spin masterfully, fairies Anita, Benita and Bob (the last a paunchy bald man in a vest and bow tie) cheerfully complete Zelda's task. Ernst cleverly capitalizes on the story's inherent ironies as she reveals how her colorful characters get their just deserts especially Zelda, who inherits her mother's demanding job. A felicitously fractured fairy tale. Ages 4-8.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Ernst, Lisa Campbell
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