Sunday, June 28, 2009

Discover Dewey The 398.2's Fairy Tale Books

In this episode of "Discover Dewey" your friend and guide in all your library adventures, we'll discuss the elusive fairy-tale books, which are not always where you would expect (cue mysterious music)....

The 398.2's is the folklore section of the non-fiction collection, it includes nursery rhymes, folktales, fairy tales etc. They're not with the rest of the picture books because they depict a culture's customs, values and beliefs (in other words they think they're better than Clifford and Babar). Personally I've always found this slightly confusing since there are also some Cinderella's and Snow Whites lurking in the regular kids picture books, but then I'm not a "librarian" so I guess I shouldn't quibble. Anywho, something about the rich stories, fancy dresses and those adorable talking frogs makes for lots of great illustration which is found in many of these books. Below are two beautifully illustrated books that I found

"Snow White and the Seven Dwarves" illustrated by Chihiro Iwasaki, translated and adapted by Anthea Bell, 1984, Picture Book Studio USA.

Chihiro is a Japanese illustrator, I love her squiggly pencil line and blotchy watercolour. Her compositions and use of white areas against bolts of colour is also very effective, for example, throughout the book Snow White wears a white dress.

"The Little Mermaid" illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger, translated and adapted by Anthea Bell, 2004,Penguin Young Readers.

I adore Lisbeth Zwerger, she's illustrated quite a few other fairy tales and children's classics like Alice in Wonderland, and her whimsical, innocent illustrations are beautiful. Her use of colour is superb and I love the tiny spot illustrations that appear sporadically throughout the text.

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