From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 6-Gustafson has selected 10 of the best-known tales to retell and illustrate: "Goldilocks," "Puss in Boots," "Hansel and Gretel," "Snow White," and the like. His luminous paintings-from spot art to full spreads-are carefully composed and rendered. The facial expressions and postures of humans and animals alike are full of life. The language of the retellings is adequate, but not inspired. All in all, this handsome, oversized volume is a good addition to libraries that need to replace or supplement their fairy-tale collections.
Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Public Library, NY
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Gr. 3-5. Gustafson uses 10 familiar folktales as vehicles for more than 70 elaborately detailed paintings that he acknowledges owe much to N.C. Wyeth, Arthur Rackham, and Normal Rockwell. The tales in the oversize volume are presented in toned down, nonviolent versions; the princess kisses the frog prince rather than throwing him against a wall, for instance, and "Cinderella" ends amicably. "The Three Pigs" is the most altered; as neither of the first two pigs dies, and some of the dialogue is rhymed ("'Ha, ha, old wolf, for a fool you've been taken. That butter churn was full of bacon!'"). The illustrations, ranging from thumb-size vignettes to full-spread scenes, feature nearly photo-realistic figures clad in sumptuous court dress and posed with broadly emotive body language. Gustafson's art doesn't measure up to that of Paul Zelinsky or K. Y. Craft for intensity of feeling, but it does lack Michael Hague's occasionally overwrought sentimentality, and there's plenty to see in the easy-on-the-eyes views. John Peters
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