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East of the Sun and West of the Moon (Wordsworth Children's Classics)

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The 33 Scandinavian folk tales take the imagination of the reader from rags to riches, from skulduggery to heroism, via witches' curses, beautiful princesses, giants, quests, billy goats and the occasional wicked troll, to a happy ending. The 33 Scandinavian folk tales take the imagination of the reader from rags to riches, from skulduggery to heroism, via witches' curses, beautiful princesses, giants, quests, billy goats and the occasional wicked troll, to a happy ending.


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The 33 Scandinavian folk tales take the imagination of the reader from rags to riches, from skulduggery to heroism, via witches' curses, beautiful princesses, giants, quests, billy goats and the occasional wicked troll, to a happy ending. The 33 Scandinavian folk tales take the imagination of the reader from rags to riches, from skulduggery to heroism, via witches' curses, beautiful princesses, giants, quests, billy goats and the occasional wicked troll, to a happy ending.

30 review for East of the Sun and West of the Moon (Wordsworth Children's Classics)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ahmed Ejaz

    "He lives in the castle that lies East of the Sun and West of the Moon, and thither(there) you’ll come, late or never..." Reading this didn't feel refreshing. I thought changing the writer would get me something new. And new it was, but not upto extent I would have loved. It seems like a very loose mixture of Beauty & The Beast and Cinderella. Regardless, I liked it even though it's little lengthy for the plot. But not a bad read at all. And worth reading for fairytale lovers. ^^ 6 Ja "He lives in the castle that lies East of the Sun and West of the Moon, and thither(there) you’ll come, late or never..." Reading this didn't feel refreshing. I thought changing the writer would get me something new. And new it was, but not upto extent I would have loved. It seems like a very loose mixture of Beauty & The Beast and Cinderella. Regardless, I liked it even though it's little lengthy for the plot. But not a bad read at all. And worth reading for fairytale lovers. ^^ 6 January, 2018

  2. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    An interesting folktale that many children may not be aware of. My Grade 3 students enjoyed this story and loved the illustrations!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Linda Lipko

    Dating back to 1910, this nordic tale was translated by Sir George Webbee Dasent. In this story, you will find likeness to Beauty and the Beast and also to Cupid and Psyche. In the forest lives a poor couple with many children. The youngest daughter is by far the most beautiful. As the winds and the snow shake the cottage, bringing additional cold winds, at night a large white bear appears to the peasant and asks for his youngest daughter. In return, the peasant and his family will be very rich a Dating back to 1910, this nordic tale was translated by Sir George Webbee Dasent. In this story, you will find likeness to Beauty and the Beast and also to Cupid and Psyche. In the forest lives a poor couple with many children. The youngest daughter is by far the most beautiful. As the winds and the snow shake the cottage, bringing additional cold winds, at night a large white bear appears to the peasant and asks for his youngest daughter. In return, the peasant and his family will be very rich and want for nothing. She is whisked off to a beautiful castle while her parents also live way beyond what they had ever imagined. In reality, the white bear is a man who lies beside the daughter at night. She never sees him. She is very homesick and asks the bear to allow her to visit her family. Her wish is granted with the condition that she will never be alone with her mother who will attempt to mislead her daughter. When the mother tells the daughter to light a candle so that she may see what is sharing her bed at night, the daughter returns to the castle and follows her mother's instructions. The daughter sees a most beautiful price, spilling three drops of melted wax on him. Upon his awakening, he explains that if she had only waited one full year, the curse placed upon him by the trolls would have been broken. Now, all return to the original state of poverty and the handsome man must marry a very ugly troll who has a long crocked nose. Transported to the castle far, far away, located east of the sun and west of the moon, he must accept his fate. Searching for her beloved handsome man, she must now journey far, far away to a destination near impossible to find. Soliciting help from old women she finds along the way, she is given gifts of a golden items -- an apple, a carding comb and a spinning wheel. Taking these items with her, she must obtain help for the East Wind, the stronger West Wind and then the more powerful South and finally, the North Wind. When she arrives and seeks access to the castle, the horrific troll princess refuses. Gradually, the daughter gives her items, one by one, to the troll princess. One night, the handsome man does not drink the poison sleeping potion given to him be the troll lady. And, discovering that the beautiful lady has sacrificed and steadily made the trek to find him, he tells her that the only thing that can save him from his fate of marriage to the troll lady, is that he will marry any one who can wash away the three drops of melted wax. Alas, the troll princess is not successful, but the beautiful daughter is able to clean the shirt, thereby breaking the spell. And, stealing all goods and money from the castle, they impoverished family, the beautiful daughter and the handsome man escape from the castle that was located East of the Sun and West of the Moon. This is a book I will purchase and add to my special library of illustrated books. The illustrations are incredibly beautiful, and the tale is magical.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rain Misoa

    What a delightful little fairy tale! This is my first time reading this fairy tale classic by Peter Christen Asbjornsen and I was not disappointed. I did find myself enjoying it quite a bit. I'll be honest, the main heroine got on my nerves. At first, I though she was a bit shallow but seeing all the trouble she went to find the prince, it really shows how caring and deep of a character she really is. I am in awe at how this fairy tale ended. It was beautiful and the message even better! To thin What a delightful little fairy tale! This is my first time reading this fairy tale classic by Peter Christen Asbjornsen and I was not disappointed. I did find myself enjoying it quite a bit. I'll be honest, the main heroine got on my nerves. At first, I though she was a bit shallow but seeing all the trouble she went to find the prince, it really shows how caring and deep of a character she really is. I am in awe at how this fairy tale ended. It was beautiful and the message even better! To think I wasn't going to read it at first because of how the heroine was annoying. However, now I see that was the point. It's to show how she grew by meeting this prince and striving for what she wanted most! Truly amazing! The prince was very gentle and even though he took (Not really. He asked permission from her father) her from her home, he did whatever he could to make her happy and comfortable. The trolls were disgusting creatures. No wonder the prince didn't want anything to do with them! It's a great fairy tale and I thank Asbjornsen greatly! Speaking of, I wish I could read Norwegian because then I can comment of Asbjornsen's writing style. But, alas, I cannot. I read the English version and, at times, it felt a little choppy the translation. But, all-in-all, it was still a very great read. If you like fairy tales with a romantic element and religious undertones then I highly recommend you pick this one up! It's not the greatest fairy tale ever told. I feel like there are a lot better ones out there, but it's still worth the read. I first picked this one up so that I could read Ice by Sarah Beth Durst. I wanted to see what the main story was originally like then check out Durst's book. Now that I have, I can look forward to reading a novel adaptation of the tale. I'm sure it's going to be just as great. Well, I can't say much more about fairy tale because I'll give it away. Just know it's awesome and I think you should definitely go pick it up some time!

  5. 5 out of 5

    M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews

    The tale itself is pretty classic, but what really makes this telling of that old tale is the gorgeous illustrations, and the details the artist uses to lavishly envision the various scenes through the book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mir

    A lovely older translation of the fairy tale, not too mushy or sanitized. The heroine is honorable rather than infatuated, expressing her determination to rescue her husband in terms of keeping her promise rather than finding her true love. The illustrations are very pretty, if not 100% in line with the text (for instance, she is described as the youngest, but appears much older than several of her siblings, who are shown as children). I found this image particularly interesting: I guess there is A lovely older translation of the fairy tale, not too mushy or sanitized. The heroine is honorable rather than infatuated, expressing her determination to rescue her husband in terms of keeping her promise rather than finding her true love. The illustrations are very pretty, if not 100% in line with the text (for instance, she is described as the youngest, but appears much older than several of her siblings, who are shown as children). I found this image particularly interesting: I guess there is no realistic way to make a strange man standing over a girl's bed whilst she sleeps unawares not at least slightly creepy!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Just a Girl Fighting Censorship

    An less popular fairy tale, but still familiar. I wish that the writing had been as beautiful as the illustrations.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nessa [October Tune]

    This reminded me a lot of the story of Eros and Psyche. (view spoiler)[Unfortunately it kind of disappointed me, cuz I was hoping for the girl to go through some types of trials like Psyche had to go through in order to get Eros back, but this was just a whole lot of traveling and asking people where the castle East o' the Sun, West o' the Moon was and then she was there. Oh well... (hide spoiler)] This reminded me a lot of the story of Eros and Psyche. (view spoiler)[Unfortunately it kind of disappointed me, cuz I was hoping for the girl to go through some types of trials like Psyche had to go through in order to get Eros back, but this was just a whole lot of traveling and asking people where the castle East o' the Sun, West o' the Moon was and then she was there. Oh well... (hide spoiler)]

  9. 4 out of 5

    Abby Vincere

    A uniquely and beautifully illustrated translation of one of my favorite fairytales. Brilliance. Pure and simple. A uniquely and beautifully illustrated translation of one of my favorite fairytales. Brilliance. Pure and simple.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nhi Nguyễn

    This is a decent collection of Norwegian folklores and fairy tales. Some tales I really enjoyed, but some others didn’t really make sense to me. Either they were too short, or they tried too hard to be funny. There were some problems with the translation, too. Some paragraphs sounded weird. The famous tale “East of the Sun, West of the Moon”, also the one that I was looking forward to reading the most, turned out to be not very well retold. But overall, most of the stories did keep me interested This is a decent collection of Norwegian folklores and fairy tales. Some tales I really enjoyed, but some others didn’t really make sense to me. Either they were too short, or they tried too hard to be funny. There were some problems with the translation, too. Some paragraphs sounded weird. The famous tale “East of the Sun, West of the Moon”, also the one that I was looking forward to reading the most, turned out to be not very well retold. But overall, most of the stories did keep me interested. So 3 stars.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Amalie

    I remember reading the Sinhala translation of this story when I was around 10. The illustrations were lovely. Though I am not sure, I think they were Kay Nielsen's. I remember being awestruck. I used to stare at the pictures for a long time, trying to read every inch of it so I wouldn't miss a thing. But of course I didn't own it back then nor now. I only wish I did. I remember reading the Sinhala translation of this story when I was around 10. The illustrations were lovely. Though I am not sure, I think they were Kay Nielsen's. I remember being awestruck. I used to stare at the pictures for a long time, trying to read every inch of it so I wouldn't miss a thing. But of course I didn't own it back then nor now. I only wish I did.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ygraine

    of all the beautiful children's books my family have accumulated over the years, this is the most beautiful & my favourite, always. it's so deeply & beautifully familiar, i remember having it read to me, and then reading it myself, i remember all its rhythms and its colours and the smell of its pages. of all the beautiful children's books my family have accumulated over the years, this is the most beautiful & my favourite, always. it's so deeply & beautifully familiar, i remember having it read to me, and then reading it myself, i remember all its rhythms and its colours and the smell of its pages.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amani

    This is included in the anthology Fairy Tales from Around the World by Andrew Lang. I really enjoyed this story and I see how newer fairy tales may have taken inspiration/certain details from this story. It gave me Beauty and the Beast vibes as I read it. The writing doesn't always flow well, that I blame that more on translation than the writer. This is included in the anthology Fairy Tales from Around the World by Andrew Lang. I really enjoyed this story and I see how newer fairy tales may have taken inspiration/certain details from this story. It gave me Beauty and the Beast vibes as I read it. The writing doesn't always flow well, that I blame that more on translation than the writer.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jessika

    If you are a fan of fairytales and/or a fan of picture books, you NEED to get your hands on a copy of this book as soon as possible. I had never read this tale (or any of its adaptations) before, and it's such a lovely, adventurous, romantic, and fantastical story. It instills such a sense of wonder--I know I would have loved this as a child. As is the case with fairytales, this tale definitely has its dark moments, what between the trolls, the hags, and even the lassie's mother. And I particula If you are a fan of fairytales and/or a fan of picture books, you NEED to get your hands on a copy of this book as soon as possible. I had never read this tale (or any of its adaptations) before, and it's such a lovely, adventurous, romantic, and fantastical story. It instills such a sense of wonder--I know I would have loved this as a child. As is the case with fairytales, this tale definitely has its dark moments, what between the trolls, the hags, and even the lassie's mother. And I particularly adored the element of repetition, reminiscent of traditional folklore. This is most definitely a story to be read aloud. As far as the illustrations go, there really are not words to describe how stunning P. J. Lynch's artwork is. The illustrations are evocative and atmospheric--they add to that sense of wonder I mentioned. East o' the Sun and West o' the Moon is a gorgeously illustrated fairytale that is not to be missed. I definitely need to add this to my shelves! This review can also be found on my blog: https://tinyurl.com/yapsxdwr

  15. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    This is beautifully done! The art, the pacing, the clarity ... it's a keeper for sure. The Introduction by Naomi Lewis, provides just enough provenance to make the story more meaningful. I didn't realize that this was a Norwegian fairy tale. As a child, I didn't like this tale, but if I'd had this version, I'm sure it would have been a favorite. My only criticism: The carding comb should have been shown more clearly since the vast majority of kids wouldn't know what it is. This is beautifully done! The art, the pacing, the clarity ... it's a keeper for sure. The Introduction by Naomi Lewis, provides just enough provenance to make the story more meaningful. I didn't realize that this was a Norwegian fairy tale. As a child, I didn't like this tale, but if I'd had this version, I'm sure it would have been a favorite. My only criticism: The carding comb should have been shown more clearly since the vast majority of kids wouldn't know what it is.

  16. 4 out of 5

    ♥Mary♦Sweet♣Dreams♠Are♥Made♦of♣This♠

    Such a beautiful book. A great addition to any collection.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Syeda

    East o’ the Sun and West o’ the Moon is a Norwegian folktale. The reader can easily identify the similarities in this tale with the famous folklore “Beauty and the Beast”. A young girl sacrifices for her poor family by agreeing to live with a bear in an enchanted castle and in return, the bear promises to make the family rich. He takes off his bear form and sleeps as a man at night but she is not allowed to light the candle. She feels homesick in the castle and goes to visit her family. Her moth East o’ the Sun and West o’ the Moon is a Norwegian folktale. The reader can easily identify the similarities in this tale with the famous folklore “Beauty and the Beast”. A young girl sacrifices for her poor family by agreeing to live with a bear in an enchanted castle and in return, the bear promises to make the family rich. He takes off his bear form and sleeps as a man at night but she is not allowed to light the candle. She feels homesick in the castle and goes to visit her family. Her mother insists that she should see who is coming to her room. She obeys and mistakenly wakes up the prince who is under a spell. He must go to his step mother now and marry the troll princess. Had she waited a year, the spell would have disappeared. Suddenly, the prince and the enchanted castle are no longer there and the young brave girl has to now muster up the courage and save the prince who is now in a castle east of the sun and west of the moon. The young girl saves the prince and they live happily ever after. I would use this book for ages 7-10, grades 2-4. I took an online course on folklore from The Great Courses by Dr. Hannah Blevins Harvey who is a professional storyteller with a Ph.D. in Communication Studies. She chose this folktale in her collection of stories for that course. I found her theatrical, dynamic and engaging storytelling and analysis of this folklore to be pretty amazing. We know from our readings that read alouds can help children in a variety of ways. Retelling helps with comprehension. This is a little longer version of The Beauty and the Beast and there are many details in the adventure how the young girl reaches the castle that is in the east of the sun and west of the moon to save the prince. I would use this book to teach the students about folklore and how the story is passed down from one generation to another. This book will be great for discussions and reading workshop conferences.The dominant female role saving the prince and her bravery can be a good start. Her transformation from a young girl who is afraid of the challenge in the beginning to somebody who goes on this dangerous adventure and becomes successful would be very interesting. Overcoming fear and trying something new in real life would be great take-always from this story.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Morgan Sandquist

    Such a charming tale, extremely reminiscent of its near cousins; Cupid And Psyche, Beauty and the Beast, The Gray Wolf (and others) and vaguely similar to its distant relative, Cinderella.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    This rating is for the version illustrated by P.J. Lynch, translated by Sir George Webbe Dasent and with an introduction by Naomi Lewis.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Torzilla

    I absolutely adore this tale and will certainly buy the book for my child someday. I highly recommend reading this, whether you are a child or an adult. Fair warning: the trolls look somewhat... horrifying. Through beautiful imagery and descriptions, readers follow a young lassie who leaves her family in order to live with a white bear. Because the young lassie does not follow his advice, she must traverse all around the world in order to save her prince from his destined bride-to-be: an ugly tro I absolutely adore this tale and will certainly buy the book for my child someday. I highly recommend reading this, whether you are a child or an adult. Fair warning: the trolls look somewhat... horrifying. Through beautiful imagery and descriptions, readers follow a young lassie who leaves her family in order to live with a white bear. Because the young lassie does not follow his advice, she must traverse all around the world in order to save her prince from his destined bride-to-be: an ugly troll with a long, crooked nose. This is a remake of a Norwegian folktale, so there is no emphasis on any major themes, nor is there much characterization involved, though readers do witness a contrast in lassie’s sizes during her adventures. The author who rewrote this tale, Naomi Lewis, uses repetition to make the story sound relaxed and conversational. The abrupt ending of this tale is the only true letdown. I grew invested with lassie and her prince, so I feel there should have been a page or two more focus on what happened after the defeat of the trolls.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mahala

    P J Lynch is one of my favourite illustrators, and this is one of my favourite fairy tales. Parts of it sound like Cupid and Psyche, and others like the Russian fairy tale where the girl has to journey to find her lover the falcon. East o' the Sun is the Celtic version of the tale, and the one with my favourite ending: the girl and the prince get on a ship and sail off to have more adventures, together this time. What sets this book apart is the illustration. P J Lynch and his glowing watercolour P J Lynch is one of my favourite illustrators, and this is one of my favourite fairy tales. Parts of it sound like Cupid and Psyche, and others like the Russian fairy tale where the girl has to journey to find her lover the falcon. East o' the Sun is the Celtic version of the tale, and the one with my favourite ending: the girl and the prince get on a ship and sail off to have more adventures, together this time. What sets this book apart is the illustration. P J Lynch and his glowing watercolours create a thoroughly engaging and sympathetic heroine, and a prince one could really fall in love with. The ogres are deliciously nasty (and gloriously dressed!), the candlelight glows like golden syrup and the lovers have a strong sense of intimacy that I did not expect to find in a children's book. This is one to collect and keep into adulthood.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Marci

    Kirkus Reviews writes that this is the best edition of this story available, and I couldn't agree more. P.J. Lynch's watercolor and guache illustrations are perfection. He may be my favorite illustrator of all times. Lynch actually went to Norway to the National Gallery there to study the scenery and costumes of the story's time. The story itself is a bit of a Scandanavian Beauty and the Beast--which is my favorite fairy tale. Because P.J. Lynch lives in Ireland, some of his books are hard to fi Kirkus Reviews writes that this is the best edition of this story available, and I couldn't agree more. P.J. Lynch's watercolor and guache illustrations are perfection. He may be my favorite illustrator of all times. Lynch actually went to Norway to the National Gallery there to study the scenery and costumes of the story's time. The story itself is a bit of a Scandanavian Beauty and the Beast--which is my favorite fairy tale. Because P.J. Lynch lives in Ireland, some of his books are hard to find. But if you can find a book illustrated by him--any book--you are in for such a treat.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Bdalton

    This beautifully illustrated Norwegian tale reminds one of Beauty and the Beast and Cupid and Psyche. It speaks of long road back from betrayal. Sometimes people betray the ones who have treated them the best. There is a failure to see the betrayed as they truly are. Once they are fully glimpsed, it is too late. The betrayal exacts a huge penalty on both the wronged party and the one who makes the mistake. In the end, redemption is possible only after a long, almost impossible struggle and if tr This beautifully illustrated Norwegian tale reminds one of Beauty and the Beast and Cupid and Psyche. It speaks of long road back from betrayal. Sometimes people betray the ones who have treated them the best. There is a failure to see the betrayed as they truly are. Once they are fully glimpsed, it is too late. The betrayal exacts a huge penalty on both the wronged party and the one who makes the mistake. In the end, redemption is possible only after a long, almost impossible struggle and if true love exists. As with all enduring fairy tales, there is a beauty and a darkness. A small mistake can have grave consequences. The reader can learn something about human foibles and recovery. Highly recommended to lovers of fables and fairy tales.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Emilia P

    My sweet friend Cecilia gave this book to me and it is truly nothing short of magical. Fairy tales and ghost stories, princess-wooing and changelings, told by a narrator traveling from town to town collecting the stories, and sometimes comparing them (there were chapters with multiple fairy wedding festivities), as well as setting the scene by describing the chilly and lush Scandanavian countryside he travels through. A really great, gentle, and for someone who didn't read it as a child, example My sweet friend Cecilia gave this book to me and it is truly nothing short of magical. Fairy tales and ghost stories, princess-wooing and changelings, told by a narrator traveling from town to town collecting the stories, and sometimes comparing them (there were chapters with multiple fairy wedding festivities), as well as setting the scene by describing the chilly and lush Scandanavian countryside he travels through. A really great, gentle, and for someone who didn't read it as a child, example of a translation of an oral storytelling tradition to the page. A lovely escape into a surprisingly real world.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Shealtiel

    This book is a Scandanavian twist on Beauty and the Beast. I would use it to teach differences in familiar fairy tales across cultures. It shows what another culture values. It starts out with a poor farming family, that becomes rich by giving their youngest, most beautiful daughter to a white bear. I think it could also be used to teach about directions as she goes to the west, east, north, and south winds for help. There are several items in this book that are unique to historical Scandinavian This book is a Scandanavian twist on Beauty and the Beast. I would use it to teach differences in familiar fairy tales across cultures. It shows what another culture values. It starts out with a poor farming family, that becomes rich by giving their youngest, most beautiful daughter to a white bear. I think it could also be used to teach about directions as she goes to the west, east, north, and south winds for help. There are several items in this book that are unique to historical Scandinavian culture that would be interesting to talk about.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    What can you say, besides read this book for the Norse version of several tales? Including one of the best versions of Beauty and the Beast ever!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sara Elkington

    My dad used to read this to me before bed each night! I still remember exactly how he said, "East of the sun and west of the moooooon!". My dad used to read this to me before bed each night! I still remember exactly how he said, "East of the sun and west of the moooooon!".

  28. 4 out of 5

    Yukari Watanabe

    I read this book when I read a novel called "ICE" . http://watanabeyukari.weblogs.jp/yous... I read this book when I read a novel called "ICE" . http://watanabeyukari.weblogs.jp/yous...

  29. 4 out of 5

    Maren Prestegaard

    I read the Dasent translation with PJ Lynch illustrating. A magical fairy tale from yesteryear though rather unedited for my 6 yo. Had to take a few creative detours while storytelling.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    Such a cute story: Beauty and the Beast meets the Snow Queen.

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