Reviews for Lady & the Lion : A Brothers Grimm Tale


Booklist Reviews 2004 January
K-Gr. 3. As they explain in a note, Long and Ogburn have adapted and condensed one of the Grimms' fairy tales, "The Singing, Springing Lark," into a story that also has elements of "Beauty and the Beast" and "East of the Sun, West of the Moon." A merchant's daughter finds her true love, who lives under an enchantment that gives him the form of a lion by day and a prince by night. After she loses him through a foolish mistake, she searches the world to find him and win his freedom from the wicked enchantress. The dramatic tale is smoothly told, but the illustrations, with even more drama and lush with romance, take center stage here. The oil paintings use flowing compositions, swirling lines, rich colors, and a profusion of subtle patterns to create a series of detailed scenes combining European and Middle Eastern elements. A beautiful picture book for the fairy-tale set. ((Reviewed January 1 & 15, 2004)) Copyright 2004 Booklist Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2003 October #1
Long's romantic, extravagantly detailed paintings provide showstopping accompaniment to this lightly reworked Grimm Brothers version of "East of the Sun and West of the Moon." The course of true love runs anything but smooth for a merchant's younger daughter when she meets a prince under a complex enchantment. First, he's a lion by day, then he's transformed into a dove that she must seek for seven years, and then, just as they're reunited, the enchantress behind it all snatches him away to a very remote castle. With help from several magical talismans and sympathetic Powers, the heroine rescues him at last, while the enraged enchantress falls from her high window in the ensuing escape. In a style that evokes both Persian miniatures and the pre-Raphaelite painters, Long frames pale, graceful figures clad in elaborately patterned silks and velvets within swirls of vines, flowers, waves, clouds, and stone arches. Readers who delight in the art of Kinuko Craft, Marianna Mayer, and like romantics will be dazzled. (Picture book/folktale. 10-13) Copyright Kirkus 2003 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2003 December #1
Retelling a Brothers Grimm tale also known as "The Singing, Springing Lark," Long and Ogburn bring to their adaptation the same flourish and romance that distinguished their The Magic Nesting Doll. This story, which combines elements of "Beauty and the Beast" and "East of the Sun, West of the Moon," offers a courageous and steadfast heroine, a handsome lover transformed by the spell of a wicked enchantress, a seven-year quest that tests the couple's faith in each other-in short, everything a fairy-tale fan could want. The authors streamline the original, wisely conflating a few very minor episodes and adding a surge of power to the climactic ending. Graceful as the narrative is, the lion's share of this book's strength derives from the show-stopping art. Long's lush oils conjure a medieval world of castles and mystical beasts, ornate gardens and lush vegetation. Her characters wear richly patterned clothing, and they travel across seascapes and landscapes that curl if not writhe in response to natural and supernatural forces. Through it all, light seems to radiate from her paintings; while they share the complexity of rare tapestries, they also achieve the luminosity of stained glass. Ages 5-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2004 February
Gr 2-4-A romantic retelling of the Grimm tale more commonly known as "The Singing, Soaring Lark" (also, "The Lilting, Leaping Lark"). With its themes of love transformed and questing heroine, the story has much in common with "Beauty and the Beast" and "East of the Sun, West of the Moon" (which Long and Ogburn note in a foreword). The tale begins when a father promises a lark to his youngest daughter and then must make a hard bargain with its owner, a lion. To fulfill that agreement, the young woman returns to the lion's enchanted castle. She discovers that he is a lion by day and a handsome prince by night. The two fall in love, marry, and live happily until the lady desires to return home for a visit. Long's oil paintings on watercolor paper are appropriately lavish and romantic, rich with color and detail. The endpapers are covered with elaborate line drawings of vines and animals, and ornate, stylized borders frame each page. Long and Ogburn emphasize the heroine's strength of character: she honorably carries out her father's promise and greets the lion, noting: "A lion that loves birds will do no harm." The beast is ultimately transformed through the magic of human love, along with the heroine's perseverance.-Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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