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East o' the Sun and West o' the Moon (Works in Translation) Hardcover – February 3, 2005

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Go to School, Little Monster
Go to School, Little Monster
Helen Ketteman’s soothing rhymes and Bonnie Leick’s sweet watercolor illustrations combine to create a reassuring first-day-of-school story that’s perfect for little monsters everywhere. See more | More by Helen Ketteman

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This expansively illustrated edition of a well-loved epic romance, told here in Sir George Webbe Dasent's 1859 translation from the Norwegian, has lost none of its Gothic beauty and irresistible power. Dasent's translation is a real page-turner, told in a relaxed, conversational style that manages to be at once soothing and suspenseful. Readers will follow eagerly the plight of the beautiful, unnamed lassie, who must travel to a far-off kingdom to rescue her beloved prince from the clutches of an evil--and very ugly--bride. Only a rather swift resolution sounds a slightly jarring note in the otherwise engrossing tale. Lynch's sweeping paintings in dark greens and browns, with their large close-ups and exciting shifts in perspective, expertly capture the story's heroic scale. Several spreads are especially noteworthy: the dizzying bird's-eye-view of the heroine and her bear, dwarfed by the palace's massive architecture; the North Wind, rising from the mists like a bearded Old Testament patriarch, carrying the speck of a girl on his back as the seas roil below. The book's lavish endpapers, in the style of an Old World cartographer, point the way to this enticing kingdom east o' the sun and west o' the moon. Ages 4-up.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-7-- Outstanding illustrations, topnotch page design, and a marvelous story make this the definitive picture book version of this beloved Norwegian folktale. When a poor girl becomes the reluctant guest of a white bear, she discovers he's actually a prince under a spell. But her discovery has dire consequences--now he must marry a troll princess. It is only through the girl's love and persistence that he is saved from this disastrous marriage. With its language both economic and evocative, Dasent's translation is the ideal text for Lynch's sumptuous watercolor illustrations. Using layer upon layer of transparent washes, he has produced highly detailed, realistic illustrations that complement but never overwhelm the story. The easily read text is set on top of a warm pink wash and there's a pleasing balance of illustration, type, and white space. Earthy browns, golds, and greens dominate the paintings and it's obvious from the first page that few contemporary illustrators possess Lynch's mastery and control of watercolor. Whether it be the helpful North Wind, a forbidding forest, or slobbering trolls, his renderings are utterly believable and compelling. An introduction by the respected historian and critic Naomi Lewis provides a fascinating background to the story. An ideal teaming of folklore and illustration. --Denise Anton Wright, Illinois State University, Normal
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 5
  • Series: Works in Translation
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; 1st U.S. ed edition (February 3, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1564020495
  • ISBN-13: 978-1564020499
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.4 x 10.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,297,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
My name is Elizabeth, and i think that this book is the BEST book I ever read. This book is about a young maden who is so beautiful. One day ever father becomes ill and she needs to fetch him a cup of spring water from the fountain far away. When the maden gets there she drops the cup into the spring. Then a frog gets the cup. he said that in order to do this she must let him have one wish. Then the madens fther becomes better. The maden lives a happy life once again. The frog comes to her house and asks her to kiss him. The maden refuses. Find out what happens to the maden..... she searches far and wide for the one she loves.... I recomend this book because it was so good I remember when my grandfather read it to me and i absolutl loved it! This IS my favoite book!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By "torianna" on August 26, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This was my absolute favorite book when I was little. The illustrations are absolutely gorgous, the writing (translation is by Sir George Webbe Dasent) is quirky and reads well.
I find it hard to believe that this version is out of print. If you ever see it, get it, for yourself or for a young friend. Both of you would enjoy it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book for my granddaughters and immediately began looking for other books illustrated by Lynch, because it is so beautiful. The story is well-told and nicely paced---altogether pleasing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Louis O. Erdmann on November 6, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I haven't read the fairy tales yet, but I trust the translation by G. W. Dasent is excellent. I figured I should fill in some missing information to make the search for this English translation easier for any Norwegians looking.

The illustrations and drawings are taken from the original, so they should look familiar to most Norwegians. From inside this book: "Seventy-seven pictures have been added and are taken from P. Chr. Asbjørnsen og Jørgen Moe, Samlede Eventyr, Norske Kunstneres Billedutgave, 3 vols., Norsk Forlag, Oslo, 1936.". The artists are Erik Werenskiold, Theodor Kittelsen, Dagfin Werenskiold, Alf Rolfsen, Otto Sinding, Per Krohg, Henrik Sørensen and Eilif Petterssen.

In the "Notice to Second Edition" inside the book the Translator specifically says that he is hates family versions of anything, "Family Bibles", "Family Shakespeares". If I understand the notice in its entirety, it shortly says that he received some criticism for the translation not being "gentle", and that he has chosen to completely ignore it to be able to present an accurate translation. I myself prefer this, but if you are looking for bedtime stories for your children, you might want to consider some on-the-fly censoring as you're reading.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book was amazing, captivating and entertaining. The first time I read it was when I was 7 years old and I still enjoy it today.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Debra J. Riley on January 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is the most wonderful story to read to children. My grandmother read it to me as a child. The story gives children a dreamy sense of enchantment and restful time away from today's world. This has always been my favorite childhood book and I have read it hundreds of times to my children and grandchildren.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Fisher TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Thanks to the work of the Brothers Grimm, it's easy enough to (erroneously) assume that most of our most famous fairytales derive from Germany. But there is one relatively popular story that is wholly Norwegian in setting, character and atmosphere: "East O' the Sun and West O' the Moon", a bit of a mouthful that is often retitled "The Polar Bear King". The image of a young girl upon a giant white bear still resonates today, perhaps most recently in Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass, in which his young female protagonist befriends and rides a talking polar bear, and the story itself is full of all the familiar tropes of fairytales: rules that are broken, threefold quests to be endured, tests that only a single person can accomplish.

Originally collected in text form by Peter Christian Asbjornsen and Jorgen Moe, who were inspired by the work of the Grimm brothers, the story was part of their anthology "Norske Folkeeventyr", first published in 1844. This is a translation of that text, made in 1859 by George Webb Dasent, and according to the foreword: "only minor changes have been made to the original translation." As such, this is a rather lengthy tale, full of grand palaces and dark castles, mysterious husbands and hideous trolls, helpful crones with golden gifts and a resourceful young heroine who rides the back of the North Wind to find and rescue her love.

With strains of "Beauty and the Beast" and "Cupid and Psyche", the story tells of a White Bear who approaches a poor husbandman, asking for his daughter's hand in marriage.
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