Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Fairy Tales: The Elves and the Shoemaker

My eldest daughter is a huge fan of fairy tales right now. My only problem is that she gets frightened easily and there are a lot of these stories that have scary elements. We recently discovered author/illustrator Jim LaMarche's retelling of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, The Elves and the Shoemaker. This is a delightful story of a down-on-his-luck shoemaker and his wife who find a couple of shabbily dressed but lively young elves helping them to resurrect their business secretly during the night. Once the older couple discover the elves' identities they return the elves' generosity by surprising them with warm new outfits and shoes to replace their tattered clothing. This version of the fairy tale draws the reader in with its warmth, both in respect to its text as well as its illustrations. This is a great story for sharing the importance of giving, generosity and caring for the well-being of others, some of the most meaningful aspects of this holiday season. And the author leaves at just that. No fearsome elements needed to make this fairy tale appealing.

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