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The Hidden Folk: Stories of Fairies, Dwarves, Selkies, and Other Secret Beings Hardcover – August 30, 2004


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (August 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618174958
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618174959
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 11.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #542,693 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 1-4–In her introduction to this collection of magical tales, Lunge-Larsen traces the history of those "beings whose presence we feel but whom we cannot see." She explains that, like humans, "Some are kind and gentle; some are quick to anger and resentment," but all are hidden away. They are most likely to show themselves during "in-between" times, appearing at Midsummer Night's Eve or the winter solstice, or during the transitions from dusk to night and from dawn to day. Focusing on tales from northern Europe, the book is divided into sections on flower fairies, gnomes, hill folk, elves, dwarves, water horses, river sprites, and selkies. Each chapter begins with an overview and contains one or two brief stories. Genial asides appear in the margins and further elucidate each magical creature. The author draws on a rich tradition of legends and myths, retelling them in an accessible manner that will captivate readers. Handsome scratchboard illustrations decorate the pages with stylized figures and landscapes. The vivid hues and interesting textures make an eye-catching combination. Descriptive borders herald each section and highlight motifs related to its subject (e.g., the paragraphs on dwarves are framed by anvils, pick axes, shovels, etc.). A source note puts the tales in perspective.–Harriett Fargnoli, Great Neck Library, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 3-5, younger for reading aloud. Professional storyteller and educator Lunge-Larsen presents eight short tales, retold or invented, featuring the magical creatures that lurk just out of sight. Drawing inspiration from northern European folklore and fragmentary family anecdotes, she explains parsley's bitter taste as the spit of angry Flower Fairies and crafts encounters with a dangerous Water Horse, a dwarf king who repays a poor man's act of kindness with a never-emptied purse, and more. A version of "The Selkie Wife," which is close to its traditional antecedents, seems to want source notes, but there's really enough new material here that the lack of notes is forgivable--and the author does append a bibliography of relevant collections and reference works. Using jewel-tone colors and a scratchboard technique, Krommes provides handsome borders and stylized full-page illustrations that give this gathering a suitably folktale feel. John Peters
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on March 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book is so good that I wish I had enough space here to include most of it. Oh I wish I'd had this book when my daughter was tiny. (She's six feet tall now and engaged and won't let me read to her any more.)

Let me just quote a few sentences: "Flower fairies love flowers so much that some of them find their way into our gardens. In fact, the more flowers you plant, the more likely it is that the fairies will find you. Their favorite is the tulip because in the spring, when their babies are born, they can lay them down inside the petals and rock them to sleep."

And then there is how the fairies invented parsley.

And the selkie, who ... No, you need to read it.

Perhaps my daughter will bring some grandkids into the family. Then I'd have an excuse.

No, I don't need an excuse, tonight I'm going to put on a Harry Potter movie, and when it's over I'm going to bed and read this little book just to myself.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Watts on August 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
If you've had enough of plasticized, mass marketed, "Disney'd" fairytales, get this book.

Illustrations are cute, and whether legitimate classics or variations thereof (I don't know...), the stories are wonderful.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By S. Roberts on February 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I was looking for a book for my soon to be 9 yr old son who is interested in dwarves, fairies, etc. This book fit the bill perfectly. It has many stories that he has found to be very interesting and entertaining. I would highly recommend this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Library Girl on September 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
A wonderful read-aloud story for my 5 and 7 year old. My daughter is now thinking about selkies, river sprites and other magical creatures. I HIGHLY recommend this book. A pleasure to read with my children.
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