March 7, 2013

Review #13: The Golden Bird and The Elves and the Shoemaker by Brothers Grimm



Fairy tales, like for most children, were a big part of my childhood.  My sisters and I had just about every Little Golden Book on Fairy Tales we could find, although I am sure there were more.  Recently I downloaded Grimm's Fairy Tales onto my Kindle because I had not read any fairy tales since I was younger.  Even as a pre-k teacher I did not read fairy tales to the kids.  They just were not part of the curriculum and to be honest I never even thought about it.

Now that I have read two fairy tales as an adult, I have to say that this is quite a shame.  While the tales the Grimm Brothers thought up are not always suitable for young children, they can easily be turned into a good moral tale for little ones.

Last week I read The Golden Bird for the first time. The Golden Bird is about this king who sends his sons after a golden bird he caught stealing one of his golden apples.  The first two sons turn out not to be fit for the task but the youngest son is able to complete it.  Not without troubles, however.  A fox tries to help each of the brothers, the two of course not heeding his warnings, but the third listens.  But soon the son begins to wander away from his most important task and he keeps failing, but he soon learns that if he listens to the wise fox that things fall into place.

The Golden Bird

I thought the ending was rather odd, and kind of abrupt.  However I still think there was something to learn.  I believe the moral of the story is twofold- one, to listen to those who give good advice and two- that all of our choices have consequences.  

Now, the Elves and the Shoemaker, on the other hand, was a story I read as a child.  The poor shoemaker lays out his leather for the shoes and goes to sleep.  In the morning he finds that the shoes are made and he gets more business for being quick so he buys more leather and shoes are miraculously made overnight.  One night he and his wife decide to stay up and see what is going on.  They discover 2 naked little elves making the shoes for him.   

The Elves and the Shoemaker, with elves not so naked

The couple are so grateful to the elves for helping them that the wife makes them little pants and coats and shirts and the husband makes them each a tiny pair of shoes.  Instead of the leather, they lay these out and the elves are happy and they dance.  The shoemaker and his wife are happy, too, even though the elves never come back, because they helped his business so much.  The moral of the story is definitely that helping others is a wonderful thing and to return kindness with kindness.

I really enjoyed reading these fairy tales and will be reviewing more of them, too.

Have you ever read these two fairy tales?  What did you think?  Leave a comment!



8 comments:

  1. You know I'm a fan of fairy tales!! I can't remember if I've read The Golden Bird, but it seems familiar. I can definitely say I have read The Shoemaker and the Elves, and I adore that one!

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    1. Yea, it brought back a flood of memories to re-read the Elves and the Shoemaker! I wonder if the book we had when we were little is still in my mom's basement somewhere.

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  2. I'm familiar with both of these, but from watching them on TV rather than reading them. I did have a lot fairy tale books when I was a kid, though! And naturally I still have them because I can't throw anything away. :p

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    1. LOL You book hoarder! I actually think my mom probably still has the Elves and the Shoemaker book somewhere. I will have to go in search of it.

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  3. I feel like I've probably read The Golden Bird but I can't quite remember-there are a lot of stories where the two eldest are unsuitable and only the youngest listens and completes the quest. Of course I remember the Elves and the Shoemaker though it's not a favorite as my favorite fairy tales usually had a princess.

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    1. You are right that usually the youngest one is the champion of the stories like that. When, in my personal experience, the middle child is the one who totally rocks. (Can you tell I'm a middle child? No?)

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  4. I'm a huge fan of fairy tales. I've read the Shoemaker and the Elves, but I'm not sure if I've read the Golden Bird before. It doesn't really sound familiar. This makes me want to refresh myself on my fairy tales!

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    1. Grimm's Fairy Tales are awesome. I've never read the originals before but I am looking forward to reading more.

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