Long ago in Norway, three sisters were talking about marriage. The two eldest wanted titles and money. Peggy Ann, the youngest, only wanted a kind husband who loved her. "I'd even be content with the Black Bull of Norroway," she said.
And so begins a classic fairy tale of enchantment, adventure, bravery, loyalty, and love. Charlotte Huck's spunky heroine and Anita Lobel's lush paintings combine to create an experience to be savored over many readings.
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"When I was a child, my favorite fairy tale was the story of Furball. I loved this variant of Cinderella that portrays a spunky young woman who uses her own ingenuity to change her life," says Charlotte Huck. She wondered why this dramatic story had never appeared in a picture-book edition, and it is not surprising that she chose it as the basis of her first book for children, Princess Furball. She felt that the selection of the right illustrator was crucial, and she says, 'Anita Lobel was the perfect artist for it. I think no one today extends the narrative of the story through art in the way Anita does. She is a true master." Charlotte Huck's retelling of a second classic fairy tale, Toads and Diamonds, was also illustrated by Anita Lobel.
Ms. Huck was a professor at Ohio State University for thirty years, and in 1996 the university established in her name the first endowed professorship in children's literature in the United States. Her honors include Ohio State University's Distinguished Teaching Award and the Arbuthnot Award, given annually by the International Reading Association to an outstanding professor of children's literature, and she was selected by the Association of Library Service to Children of the American Library Association to deliver an Arbuthnot Honorary Lecture.
Ms. Huck was the author of five editions of the classic Children's Literature in the Elementary School. As an anthologist, she selected poems of nineteen wellknown poets to create Secret Places, a collection for the youngest readers.
Anita Lobel's name is synonymous with the best in children's literature. She is the creator of such classics as Alison's Zinnia and Away from Home, and she received a Caldecott Honor for her illustrations in On Market Street. She is the creator of two books about her cat, Nini, One Lighthouse, One Moon (a New York Times Best Illustrated Book), and Nini Here and There. Her childhood memoir, No Pretty Pictures: A Child of War, was a finalist for the National Book Award. Anita Lobel lives in New York City.From School Library Journal:
Gr 2-5-A complex Scottish folktale set in Norway. Three sisters set out to marry, the first two seeking riches and status, but the third, Peggy Ann, only wanting a mate "to be kind and good and to love me. I'd even be content with the Black Bull of Norroway." And, indeed, that's who comes to carry her off on the journey to seek her fortune. Along the way, the bull's kindness and solicitude ease her initial fears. Days into their trip, Peggy Ann notices that the creature is limping and removes a large thorn in his foot. Instantly he transforms into a handsome young man, the Duke of Norroway. The girl's kindness has partially broken a cruel enchantment but the Duke must conquer the Guardian of the Glen to break it forever. Peggy Ann and the Duke face a series of obstacles and a separation of seven years before they are at last reunited. Huck's fine prose makes accessible this tale that appeared in dialect in Andrew Lang's Blue Fairy Book (Dover, 1965). An author's note provides background on the origins of the story and other sources in which its variants appear. Richly colored watercolor-and-black-pen paintings done in Lobel's signature painterly style provide a dynamic visual presentation. Glossy cream-colored borders set off the pictures to perfection and the smaller vignettes interspersed throughout add variety. A superb addition to all folktale collections.
Marie Orlando, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers. Library Binding. Book Condition: Fair. Ex-Library Book - will contain Library Markings. Bookseller Inventory # G0688169015I5N10
Book Description Greenwillow Books, 2001. Library Binding. Book Condition: Used: Good. Bookseller Inventory # SONG0688169015