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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Fairy Tales and Folklore

The Spring Equinox is a time for celebrating new life. The earth has warmed and is in a dizzying array of green and bloom. In Jakob Grimm's Deutsche Mythologie, he asserts that Ostara "is the old high German name for the Easter festival." Think of the fertility symbols associated with Spring and Easter: rabbits, eggs, baby chicks...

And in the spirit of of the Vernal Equinox and Jakob Grimm, please visit this terrific link to National Geographic's From Folklore to Forever and the brothers Grimm, where they would like to tell you "12 unvarnished tales, based on a 1914 translation."

Tell me a story about...and then you have choices. A wicked stepmother who has.... Then more choices, each leading to a specific story from Grimm's Fairy Tales.

The Goose Girl, an annotated version, can be found here on the SurLaLune Fairy Tale Pages.

This video from Duirwaigh (pronounced doorway) is a lovely use of the illustrations by various artists on the topic of imagination. A beautiful site with original art and prints for sale, Duirwaigh Gallery is a pleasure to browse. My favorites include Larry MacDougal's Pumpkin Dealer and Terry Windling's work. I recently bought some of her prints, two of which will go to "our Mila" for her 4th birthday. Grandchildren can be a wonderful way to get back in touch with fairy tales.

Gerda and the Reindeer
illustration by Edmund Dulac
Fairy Tale and Golden Age Illustrators

And a blog I check daily is The Endicott Studio for Mythic Arts.
Here you can find illustrators and essays and much, much more.


  1. Jen, I love all that holiday symbolism and lore. Love to hunt down the origins of customs, words, holidays, etc.

  2. A copy of Goose Girl is on its way to my mailbox from PBS. Have you read it? I've seen quite a few positive reviews but I don't recall whether I read one at your blog.

  3. Deborah - Me, too! I especially like seeing them when they are connected in many ways.

    Bookfool - Cheya over at A Reader's Journal fell in love with Shannon Hale's retelling last year. Here is a link to her review. I need to remember to look for it at the library!

  4. Thank you for the link to the National Geographic site. I cannot wait to sit back and read each tale :)

  5. Hello, Jenclair. Wonderful post. You always find such interesting sites to share. Wonderful Pumpkin Dealer. Also liked Autumn Winds by the same artist.

    Hey, do you know any details concerning Carl V's fantasy challenge? I'm nearing the end of a book and thought I'd choose something for his challenge, but I don't quite know what the challenge is. Here's hoping you can help me.

  6. Amelia - I'm so glad you enjoyed the links!

    Cheya - I don't know any of the details yet, but I've accumulated a stack of books! I was going to read fantasy in February, then Carl reminded me of the challenge so I've been stacking quite a few fantasy/fairy tale books from the library and Amazon. Several are young adult titles, but they sounded so good! I'll share some of the titles in a new post.

    The Goose Girl would have been perfect.

  7. In our family we have always celebrated the equinoxes and the solstices as the years' major festivals. This was mainly because my mother was brought up in a tiny Yorkshire village where these were the Lady Days when you paid your rent and when people changed their jobs. Our main celebration is the Winter Solstice when we light candles all round the house to remind the sun that it needs to come back. Today is a beautiful Spring day, so I'm hoping it bodes well for the rest of the season.

  8. Oooh, thanks for the links - some interesting stuff there!

  9. Ann - I love the fact that so many people celebrate the equinox and solstice dates. Winter Solstice is such a lovely celebration!

    Lesley - They really are great links; hope you enjoy them!

  10. Elizabeth - No, I'll have to look into that one. Thanks, for the recommendation!