Monday, December 13, 2010

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow is based on one of my all-time favorite fairy tales. If you guessed East of the Sun, West of the Moon, you are correct. I mention that it's my favorite because it takes very little for an author to draw me into this tale in a retelling, so take my exuberant praise with a grain of salt if you're not fond of the Norwegian tale.

Ms. George starts her story with a fairly traditional Norwegian family. Her first variant is that the main character has no name, as the mother is so tired of having children she can't be bothered to name her youngest daughter. So the girl -- or pika, or lass -- is mostly left to her own devices, growing up.

When she finds and frees a lucky white reindeer, she is gifted not only with a name, but with the ability to understand animals. Through this skill she is able to make something of herself and for her family, helping those with problem animals. And she gains her best friend, a wolf-pup named Rollo. As you can imagine, when a polar bear comes to call on her family, understanding animals comes in handy.

This one was really a gimme for me. I enjoyed the Lass's exploration of the ice palace, and her curiosity and endless questions drew out my curiosity and endless questions. Ms. George's variations served the story, which still had all the elements of the tale that I love. If you're a fan of this tale, be sure to pick this one up.

Also check out the author's website for her other fairy tale related books.

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