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The Three Spinning Fairies (A Tale from the Brothers Grimm) Hardcover – March 4, 2002


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Lexile Measure: 480L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Juvenile; 1st edition (March 4, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525468269
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525468264
  • Product Dimensions: 12.3 x 8.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,851,287 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ernst's (Goldilocks Returns) wry text and busy pictures contribute equally to the humor of this rollicking retelling. Sporting three pigtails that stick straight up from her head, Zelda, daughter of the Royal Baker, looks every bit as foolish as she is made out to be. Since she "fancied herself much too special for work of any kind," the girl loafs around while her mother frantically bakes for the fussy queen. In an attempt to hide her daughter's slothfulness, the mother tells the queen that Zelda is such a hard worker that she refuses to stop spinning yarn. Delighted, the royal brings her to a tower, announcing that Zelda can marry the prince as soon as she finishes spinning the flax that fills the tower's three rooms. Enter the title characters, who up to this point have been hovering watchfully from outside the frames of the illustrations. With physical abnormalities that enable them to spin masterfully, fairies Anita, Benita and Bob (the last a paunchy bald man in a vest and bow tie) cheerfully complete Zelda's task. Ernst cleverly capitalizes on the story's inherent ironies as she reveals how her colorful characters get their just deserts especially Zelda, who inherits her mother's demanding job. A felicitously fractured fairy tale. Ages 4-8.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3--Gussied up from the Grimm version but cut from the same cloth, this tale of laziness is told with contemporary wit and a new ending, but placed in a traditional setting. Zelda's mother, an overworked baker, asks her idle daughter to spin a bit of string to tie up a cake box before the Queen claims it. Zelda's earsplitting whine attracts the annoyed royal's attention so her mother explains by saying it was because her daughter loves work so much that she was begging to keep at it. The delighted Queen promises that Zelda will become her son's bride if she will come to the castle and spin three rooms of flax. Of course, the girl needs help and draws on three talented fairies, Anita, Benita, and Bob, who do the job and get to come to the royal wedding. However, because each fairy has a physical deformity caused by spinning-a large foot to pump the wheel, a tongue that hangs out to moisten the thread, and a huge thumb on which to wind it-the horrified prince declares that his bride will never have to spin again. The classic tale ends there, but in a new twist, the Queen declares that Zelda should take over the royal bakery from her mother. The prince remains as spoiled as ever, but Zelda gets her just deserts. Ernst's paintings use a full palette but with plenty of purples, pinks, and blues. Children will laugh at the modern retelling and at the story's outcome.

Susan Hepler, Burgundy Farm Country Day School, Alexandria, VA

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dawn Woolcott on July 17, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is the story of a little girl who refuses to do any work - she would rather be catered to by her hard working mother. Lo and behold she manages to get in the queen's good graces with the help of a big old lie and needs the help of 3 fairies to get out of her predicament. The story is a twist on several familiar fairy tales - with a somewhat happy ending, although the little girl wouldn't say so. The moral? Those who work hard will be rewarded in the end, and the work itself can be its own reward. Lisa Campbell Ernst always has first rate illustrations which I love, and my daughter is always drawn to stories about princesses and fairies - so this book was an instant hit.
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