I have a small handful of most favorite fairy tale stories. One is the 'Snow Queen'. The other is 'East of the Sun and West of the Moon'.
I'm not sure why it appeals to me so much. Maybe because it's such an epic quest (the girl's journey takes her to the ends of the earth and is not a walk of posies), and it involves the girl saving her true love, instead of the other way around. But I love it.
Mercer Mayer's version of 'East of the Sun & West of the Moon'.
(Fun fact: Mercer Mayer grew up in Hawaii!)
She let me borrow it, and so far all I've done is pet it lovingly. And I placed it oh so gently on a black taffeta party dress of Julia's to take its picture. Soon I'll get around to actually reading it with my kiddo, after we wrap up with her 'Paul Bunyan' obsession.
I read nearly all of Andrew Lang's 'Color' fairy tale books when I was in the 4th and 5th grades.
Mercer Mayer's version is more of a variation on 'The Frog Prince', but they all are similar in their prince-under-an-enchantment theme.
In this version, she loses her temper and refuses to marry the magic frog, and in a fit of pique, throws him against a wall. The frog turns into the prince and is rushed off to the land of trolls.
'Little Critter' stories, you are going to be in for a very (fabulous) surprise. Stunning. Incredible. There's so much mediocre fairy tale art out there, sorry but there is. But there's also work of breathtaking originality that is some of the best art in the world, period. Yes. There are works of art in children's literature that rival any kind of "best" art done anywhere, in any genre.
Oh! Last winter I read a YA fiction retelling of this tale, called 'East'. I was glued to it nonstop until I finished it. You won't believe what the poor girl goes through to get to the top of the world to rescue her bear prince. It's FABULOUS.
Got any favorite fairy tales? I want to know!