Book Review: The Journey of Joseph Winter by John Anthony #BookReview #20booksforChristmas #Christmas #ReadingChallenge

The Journey of Joseph Winter

by John Anthony

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My thoughts:

This story begins with Geraldine, an older woman who brings all of her family–children and grandchildren–together to share a story none of them have ever heard: the story of her brother, Joseph Winter.

“The mind of a child is one of the places all adults wish to exist again. Only there, surrounded by youthful innocence, do dreams never disappear.”

Joseph has been living his life with regret, missing out on all the possible joy in his life. As a child he said something to his mother that he’s never been able take back, and it’s haunted him for what feels like forever. When a mysterious package arrives at his door, he has no idea what’s in store for him. Then a stranger appears and takes Joseph on a journey by train toward the North Pole where he revisits old memories, meets some very special people (including a sweet, young boy named Max), and in turn learns what it means to forgive.

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Hansel & Gretel by Neil Gaiman and other Versions…

Hansel and Gretel was originally published in 1812 by the Grimm brothers. It’s a story of German origin. Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm heard the tale “Hansel and Gretel” from Wilhelm’s friend at the time, Dortchen Wild. Wilhelm later married her and she became Mrs. Grimm.

It’s possible that this fairy tale originated in medieval times when the Great Famine caused people to abandon children in the woods due to lack of food.

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Arthur Rackham’s illustration of Hansel & Gretel from 1909.

Hansel and Gretel is one of my personal favorite fairy tales from childhood. I was so fascinated with the story as a child. I used to have a copy of the Disney book that contained a record I could listen to on my record player. I can still remember sitting in my room and reading along with the story. This version is from Disney and came out in 1967.

Here’s a picture of the one I had a child.

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Here’s my review for this edition:

This is a little book and record that I must have listened to a thousand times when I was little. I can remember listening to this on my little record player repeatedly. Side one of the record is the story and side two contains three songs from the opera Hansel and Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck.

I love the illustrations in this version and I’m amazed how clear the record sounds. As soon as it started playing it evoked nostalgia within me. I recently purchased it for my collection for my family to enjoy. It’s perfect for children to follow and it does have the page turn signal.

If you’re a Hansel and Gretel fan, pick this up online. There are a handful of other stories you can get to go with the series as well. You won’t be disappointed.

5*****

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Book Review: Nordic Tales by Chronicle Books & Ulla Thynell (Illustrator) #NordicTales #ChronicleBooks #FolkTales #FairyTales #BookReview

Nordic Tales

By: Chronicle Books

Illustrator: Ulla Thynell

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My Review:

Nordic Tales by Chronicle Books and illustrated by Ulla Thynell is a beautiful collection of 17 folk tales from Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, and Denmark. Every tale varies in length, but most are fairly quick and easy to read.

The book is divided into three sections: Transformation, Wit, and Journeys.  Under each title, the author has included where it originates, and a few tales have more information attached at the bottom of the page for more clarification of a word used, or a historical fact; for example, the word jöjking is a Finnish word which means to sing songs.

Many of the tales in this book were unfamiliar to me, while others reminded me of tales from childhood; for example, “The Old Woman and the Tramp” was very similar to “Stone Soup” with the concept and the lesson it teaches of kindness and sharing. Another familiar tale was “East of the Sun and West of the Moon”. Most contain  folkloric characters we’re all familiar with including trolls, witches, dragons, giants, and talking animals of course. Some tales end happily, while others don’t.

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Book Review: Snow, Glass, Apples by Neil Gaiman and Colleen Doran #BookReview #Retelling #2019ReadingChallenge #Fairytale

Snow, Glass, Apples

By Neil Gaiman

and Colleen Doran (Illustrator)

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My thoughts:

-Mild spoilers-

This Snow White retelling is totally reimagined and nothing like the original. In Neil Gaiman’s adaptation, Snow White isn’t the little innocent sweetheart we all know, but rather some type of blood-sucking monster. In addition, this retelling is told from the not-so-evil queen’s point of view…

“If it were today, I would have her heart cut out, true. But then I would have her head and arms and legs cut off. I would have them disembowel her. And then I would watch, in the town square, as the hangman heated the fire to white-heat with bellows, watch unblinking as he consigned each part of her to the fire. I would have archers around the square, who would shoot any bird or animal who came close to the flames, any raven or dog or hawk or rat. And I would not close my eyes until the princess was ash, and a gentle wind could scatter her like snow.

I did not do this thing, and we pay for our mistakes.”

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