From School Library Journal
Grade 1-3-- Attractive, softly colored illustrations decorate and enhance this competent retelling. Common folkloric elements, such as an unhappy childless queen, unheeded advice, and magical transformations, are eventually capped by the expected happily-ever-after ending. The unexpected aspect here is the active role taken by its hoydenish heroine. The elder of twins magically born to the previously barren queen, Tatterhood, dresses in rags and rides upon a goat. Yet it is she who sets out to restore her sister, Isabella, to health when vengeful hobgoblins steal her head and replace it with the head of a calf. Tatterhood successfully vanquishes the hobgoblins and the two sisters then enjoy three more years of unspecified adventures, finally meeting a handsome king and his brother. This precipitates the happy ending of a double wedding and a triumphant journey home. The text flows smoothly, retaining enough of the original language to convey the flavor of the tale, but Mills changes some details to make the story more accessible to modern readers. The appealing illustrations are slightly reminiscent of Michael Hague's work and suit the exotic charm of the unusual story well. The cover illustration is particularly attractive and, along with the feisty heroine, should ensure that the book finds an enthusiastic audience. --Lisa Dennis, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
Not the English ``Tattercoats'' (a Cinderella variant) but a long tale, from Asbjornsen and Moe, about twin sisters--pretty Isabella and feisty, independent Tatterhood--born after the queen eats not only the flower she's told will bring her a baby, but also the weed growing beside it. Hobgoblins catch the queen eating the weed and demand Tatterhood on her 12th birthday as recompense; but when the time comes, the lass mounts a goat and chases the hobgoblins away with a wooden spoon. Still, they manage to enchant Isabella, so the sisters set out on a long voyage/adventure during which the hobgoblins are defeated, Isabella marries a king, and Tatterhood finds a prince who values her assertiveness and wild ways. Mills's retelling is lively with incident; her paintings, formally framed in white margins, owe a great deal to Rackham--subdued amber-drenched palette, appealingly fey characters (especially the goblins), etc.--but without Rackham's powerful drafting and design; still, they incorporate many amusing details. An attractive presentation of an entertaining, little-known tale that could be a folkloric precursor of Pippi Longstocking. (Folklore/Picture book. 5-10) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.