review by Maryom
Most of us have heard this story of the prince, changed by a troll into a bear and only able to be released, under certain strict conditions, by a young girl who loves him. When the conditions aren't met, he is imprisoned and the girl must search for the castle, east of the sun and west of the moon, to free him. Here Jackie Morris brings us a new twist on this old folk tale.
I've long been a fan of Jackie Morris's delightfully illustrated children's books but this is bit of a departure for her - aimed at an older readership, this time the emphasis is on words not pictures and proves that the author can conjure up images with both! I can't sum up the tale better than Jackie Morris herself, as quoted on
the fly-leaf ; "It is a coming of age story, a love story, a leaving
home and going out into the world story. It is a journey, an adventure, a
love story that in the writing took unexpected turns".
East of the Sun, West of the Moon is a gorgeous little gem of a book, just over 160 pages long, 6 by 7 inches, stitched together in the old-fashioned way, which had me enthralled and enchanted. The achingly beautiful story of finding love and freedom moves from the dirty city back-streets of the 'real' world to 'fairy tale' landscapes of desert or woods or ice, interspersed with beautiful full page and smaller illustrations.
A rare book that is as lovely to look at and hold as it is to read.
Maryom's review - 5 stars
Publisher - Frances Lincoln
Genre - folk tale, 11+, adult
The publishers suggest a target age of 11 to 14 but this is a book that
will very much appeal to adult lovers of folk stories too.