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The Seven Ravens Hardcover – September, 1994


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Hardcover, September, 1994
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Harpercollins Childrens Books; 1st edition (September 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060235527
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060235529
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 11.5 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,882,832 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The poetic, immediate style of this deeply satisfying adaptation honors the Grimm tradition. To the original tale about a girl who sets out to rescue her seven older brothers, turned into ravens by their father's unwitting curse, Geringer (A Three Hat Day) adds elements that make the connections between the characters more tangible: a rattle is carried off by the brothers as a memento of their beloved sister; and, planning to travel "as far as the sky is blue," the girl wears her brothers' shirts, each of which her mother has embroidered with a sun, moon and stars. In her encounters with these celestial beings, the eldest brother's shirt is seared and ripped. When her brother appears, the holes in the shirt correspond to wounds in his dramatically outsized bird body. The girl heals him and mends his shirt, enabling him, like his brothers, to regain human form. Gazsi's (Kimbo's Marble) meticulously textured and luminous paintings gorgeously illuminate the fantastical journey. The jewel-toned colors of the seven shirts are echoed throughout, yet the enchanted backdrop never overwhelms the story's focus-the little girl. Her expressive, photo-realistic face is a poignant reminder that her quest, however fanciful, is motivated by an essentially human and powerful desire to make her family whole again. Ages 5-9.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3-Fairy-tale purists may prefer the direct translation of the Grimms' text by Elizabeth Crawford, illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger (Picture Book Studio, 1991), but nothing is lost in this adaptation. In fact, much is gained. The original story of the father's curse that transforms his seven sons into ravens and the subsequent journey by their sister to rescue them begins with an emphasis on the father. Geringer concentrates on the girl and her thoughts, thus strengthening the bond between young readers and the protagonist. Her journey to the sun, the moon, and the stars is foreshadowed by another addition-her discovery of the seven little shirts embroidered with the heavenly bodies. They serve as both the catalyst for the revelation of the horrible family secret and as the source of transformation for the unfortunate boys. The sun, moon and stars are personified as a boy, goat, and dwarf, respectively. Their conversations with the child are lengthier than in the original version. The detail of the girl chopping off her finger to gain entry to the raven's home has been eliminated; emphasis has been placed instead on "the psychological sacrifice of growing up in a household that harbored so dark and shadowy a secret." The total effect is a tale that resounds with the range and depth of familial emotions. The story is rich in visual and verbal imagery and symbol, making this a good choice for discussion. Gazsi paints the human characters in a very realistic manner, outlining them in black so they are distinguished further from the settings, which are almost cartoonlike. He employs a range of moods and uses light and darkness effectively. Subtle details await discovery, e.g., the rough, folksy look of the family's wooden table and chairs invites comparison with the icy blue forms of the ravens' Glass Mountain counterparts. A skillful retelling, with notes on sources and changes.
Wendy Lukehart, Dauphin County Library, Harrisburg, PA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Marco Antonio Abarca VINE VOICE on December 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Brothers Grimm collected and published a lot of stories. Some of them became iconic and almost every educated adult knows these stories from childhood. The "Seven Ravens" is not one of the iconic stories. The story is a little weird and lessons are not clear. But what makes this version so worthwhile are the mid-century modern illustrations by the Swiss artist, Felix Hoffmann. He is a talented artist and the Grimm Brothers stories he published in the 1960's are in my opinion highly collectable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 21, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Adapted by Laura Geringer, this is a spellbinding tale of a brave little girl who sets out alone to reunite her family.
Her courage and belief in love enable her to eventually find her seven lost brothers.
A reminder to youngsters of the importance of family and caring for one another.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a "picture book" designed for adults to read to very young children. The tale is an old one, orginally by the Brothers Grimm, which has here been modernized to appeal more aptly to young people in a contemporary environment, say around ages 4-6.

The ORIGINAL story told of six brothers who are turned into swans and a family member of the boys had to knit a magical jacket for each -- they return one day and the jackets are donned but one was not quite finished and that particular brother had to tolerate a wing instead of an arm for the remainder of his life. This caveat is omitted from Hoffman's version as is the entire knitting of jackets scenario. This original theme was recently picked up upon again in a an adult and much larger work of fiction: Company of Liars.

This story is very straight-forward and possibly lacks a bit of the moral value of the original tale. Still it is nicely illustrated and serves the purpose of teaching young people to read.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Scoti on December 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was disappointed with the graphics of this book, although the story abides in true Grimm style. I would still recommend the book for purchase.
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