This wonderful collection of fairy tales draws on the classic folklore of Eastern Europe. Read about stories of romance and adventure, gods who help mere mortals to wealth and happiness, and fables that touch on the origins of man and the creation of the world. Meet a man transformed into a noble animal to help him find his true love, the dragon trying to eat the man who saved his life, and the beautiful princess Vassilissa who is courted far and wide. Gods on a mountaintop help a young girl to wealth and happiness in `The Twelve Months', and a man transformed into a noble animal finds his true love in `The Feather of Bright Finist the Falcon'. Fables teach about the `Origin of Man' and the creation of the world from an egg (in `God's Cockerel'), and also of the injustice with which a friendly gesture is too often rewarded (`A Good Deed is Always Requited with Ill').
The twenty-two traditional tales reflect a wide range of emotions and experiences, flavoured by a shared cultural heritage. Whether the setting is a poor cottage deep in the forest, a small village, or a king's court, each story reveals a fascination with routines of family, church and community life, and a humorous ironic perspective on people and their affairs. Folklorist Neil Philip retells these stories in modern English, preserving the richness, meaning and magic of the original tales; ideal to read aloud or for older readers to discover by themselves. Larry Wilkes's lively illustrations of fantastical dragons and beautiful princesses complete the translation of Eastern European culture into stories for children of all ages to enjoy.
About the Author: Neil Philip is a writer, folklorist and poet. He has an M.A. in English Language and Literature from Oxford University and a Ph.D. from London University in Children's Literature and Folklore. Among his many books are Poets of the Inuit, The Adventures of Odysseus, and The Tale of Sir Gawain. His work has won numerous awards, including the Aesop Award of the American Folklore Award and the Literary Criticism Book Award of the Children's Literature Association. Illustrator Larry Wilkes studied Fine Art at the Derby and Sheffield Colleges of Art. His previous books include The Companions by Lygia Bojunga-Nunes, Henry Pond the Poet by Dick King-Smith, and Peter Pepper and the Goblin by Maggie Pearson.