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Swedish Fairy Tales

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Wicked magicians, angry trolls, mysterious elves, and nimble gnomes are just a few of the characters that make up this charming collection of twenty-nine Swedish fairytales. Tales of knights in search of princesses, forest creatures frequenting caverns, and wish-granting fairies are told in the spirit of tradition and imagination in this anthology. The enchanted world of Wicked magicians, angry trolls, mysterious elves, and nimble gnomes are just a few of the characters that make up this charming collection of twenty-nine Swedish fairytales. Tales of knights in search of princesses, forest creatures frequenting caverns, and wish-granting fairies are told in the spirit of tradition and imagination in this anthology. The enchanted world of fairytales that generations of Americans have come to know and love has come to include Swedish favorites: The Seven Wishes, The Giant Who Slept for Ten Thousand Years, The Changelings, and many more. Spellbinding art by Sweden 's greatest fairytale illustrator, John Bauer, brings these folktales to life.


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Wicked magicians, angry trolls, mysterious elves, and nimble gnomes are just a few of the characters that make up this charming collection of twenty-nine Swedish fairytales. Tales of knights in search of princesses, forest creatures frequenting caverns, and wish-granting fairies are told in the spirit of tradition and imagination in this anthology. The enchanted world of Wicked magicians, angry trolls, mysterious elves, and nimble gnomes are just a few of the characters that make up this charming collection of twenty-nine Swedish fairytales. Tales of knights in search of princesses, forest creatures frequenting caverns, and wish-granting fairies are told in the spirit of tradition and imagination in this anthology. The enchanted world of fairytales that generations of Americans have come to know and love has come to include Swedish favorites: The Seven Wishes, The Giant Who Slept for Ten Thousand Years, The Changelings, and many more. Spellbinding art by Sweden 's greatest fairytale illustrator, John Bauer, brings these folktales to life.

30 review for Swedish Fairy Tales

  1. 5 out of 5

    Perry Whitford

    Like many, I suspect, my idea of a Troll was very much the contemporary one of an ugly, malevolent giant. As this collection of authentic swedish fairy tales proves, this is a narrow and inaccurate view. Trolls are, rather, Scandinavian fairies, and as such are more commonly short in stature, black with big mouths, full of magic and good as well as bad. Generally though, you don't want to trifle with a Troll. Even acquiring their treasure often leads to trouble. Occasionally though they can be Like many, I suspect, my idea of a Troll was very much the contemporary one of an ugly, malevolent giant. As this collection of authentic swedish fairy tales proves, this is a narrow and inaccurate view. Trolls are, rather, Scandinavian fairies, and as such are more commonly short in stature, black with big mouths, full of magic and good as well as bad. Generally though, you don't want to trifle with a Troll. Even acquiring their treasure often leads to trouble. Occasionally though they can be bested, as proved in 'The Coal Burner and the Troll', where a man escapes a bargain with a Troll maiden by tricking her, or in 'The Cat of Norrhult', actually a bear which batters and banishes all Trolls from the locality. There are plenty of tales involving giants, however. These stories often explain the origins of certain topographical features, such as large stones ('The Ulfgryt Stones') or bridges ('The Bridge Over Kalmarsound' etc) A recurring explanation for the huge, seemingly misplaced stones which animate the Swedish landscape is that, with the coming of Christianity, giants such the unfortunately named Puke tossed them at churches to silence the sound of ringing bells, which they hated. Another recurring theme across these tales explain local myths about buried treasure, such as 'The Treasure at Saby Creek', where a miser's hoard could not be drawn out by "skimmed milk calves" and so is supposed to reside there still. The material itself in this collection is wonderful, but the way in which the tales have been rendered is unfortunately purely functional throughout, which is a disappointment. As a reference book then, there is great value, especially as the tales are distinguished by the locality they originated from, but as a reading experience it could have entertained a whole lot more.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Storywraps

    "Fairy tales can come true... it can happen to you... if you're young at heart," remember that song? Fairy tales have been told through the ages: traditional ones, classical ones, fractured ones... all the time keeping their spirit alive and our imaginations animated and asking for even more. They have been made into t.v. series, movies, poems and even comic books. It is always fun to broaden our horizons and include some tales from a different culture. "Swedish Fairy Tales (from Sky Pony "Fairy tales can come true... it can happen to you... if you're young at heart," remember that song? Fairy tales have been told through the ages: traditional ones, classical ones, fractured ones... all the time keeping their spirit alive and our imaginations animated and asking for even more. They have been made into t.v. series, movies, poems and even comic books. It is always fun to broaden our horizons and include some tales from a different culture. "Swedish Fairy Tales (from Sky Pony Express) is a collection of twenty-one magical, marvellous adventures filled with wicked magicians, troublesome trolls, teasing magpies, and solemn tomtar. In Swedish fairy tales, frogs becomes beautiful fairy girls, troll girls marry troll princess, kings transform into woodcutters, and little boys go searching for adventure in the forest." The stories are witty, clever and full of adventure and magic. Strange characters are brought to life by one of the world's greatest illustrators of fairy tales, John Bauer. He is recognized by his big, bulbous-nosed, good natured trolls and his amazing attention to detail. His heroines and heroes bring hope and goodness to the stories because we all know that the ultimate battle of good vs evil ends in a triumphant victory for good. This book would be a wonderful gift to give to kids ages ten and up. The new fairy tales introduced to them will surely delight their creative thinking and their hearts. Bauer's full illustrations are filled with adventure and enchantment making this a perfect book for reluctant readers. I really loved it myself and highly recommend it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    Where have you been all my life, John Bauer? How could I have worshipped at the altar of Arthur Rackham and not known about you? Why did I pore over Edmund Dulac's work, and yet not bump into you? You must have been out troll hunting in the forests of Sweden. Seriously, Bauer is a dark genius of art nouveau illustration, and these stories, although uneven in the telling, are enchanting.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Meredith

    This is a collection of Swedish/Scandinavian fairy tales, illustrated by John Bauer. The stories in this book are: * "When Mother Troll Took in the King's Washing" * "The Magician's Cape" * "The Barrel Bung" * "The Seven Wishes" * "The King's Choice" * "The Four Big Trolls and Little Peter Pastureman" * "The Troll Ride" * "The Trolls and the Youngest Tomte" * "The Ring" * "The Old Troll of Big Mountain" * "Leap the Elk and Little Princess Cottongrass" * "The Magpie with Salt on Her Tail" * "The Boy Who Was This is a collection of Swedish/Scandinavian fairy tales, illustrated by John Bauer. The stories in this book are: * "When Mother Troll Took in the King's Washing" * "The Magician's Cape" * "The Barrel Bung" * "The Seven Wishes" * "The King's Choice" * "The Four Big Trolls and Little Peter Pastureman" * "The Troll Ride" * "The Trolls and the Youngest Tomte" * "The Ring" * "The Old Troll of Big Mountain" * "Leap the Elk and Little Princess Cottongrass" * "The Magpie with Salt on Her Tail" * "The Boy Who Was Never Afraid" * "The Changelings" * "Stalo and Kaurus" * "The Flower of Happiness on Sunnymount Crest" * "Dag and Daga, and the Flying Troll of Sky Mountain" * "Linda-Gold and the Old King" * "The Boy and the Trolls, or the Adventure" * "The Maiden in the Castle of Rosy Clouds" * "The Queen" I read this book just to see the artwork of John Bauer, but I enjoyed the stories as well. My favorite was "The Ring," which begins, "Once upon a time a young prince went riding out in the moonlight." That's a perfect fairy tale first line. My second favorite was "Leap the Elk and Little Princess Cottongrass" in which the elk warns the heedless princess, "The world is full of evil and wickedness, and it will hurt you." The illustrations for both are phenomenal. As someone raised on the stories collected by the Brothers Grimm, the best known fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen, the most common Russian folktales, Mother Goose's Nursery Rhymes, and William Blake's Songs of Innocence and of Experience, which my non-native English-speaking relatives somehow became convinced were classic stories that all English-speaking children knew, I found the unknown quality of these tales refreshing. The stories featured magical beings unfamiliar to me. I quickly figured out tomtes were equivalent to brownies and domovoi. But I had to completely rethink my concept of trolls. These trolls are unlike the ones I had encountered in Tolkien. At different times, they resemble many different types of faeries both in appearance and in behavior. I loved the artwork. (Don't judge a book by its cover. The picture on the front of this edition isn't a good representation of the illustrations within.) There is a powerful representation of nature, and the mythological creatures blend organically into the landscape of dense forests, still water, and rocks. The artist obviously loved rocks; there are a lot of rocks. His use of light and shadow is amazing. In some of the pictures, a character will literally glow against a dark background. The art reminded me of Arthur Rackham and Brian Froud, and I deeply enjoyed it. I may have to buy a copy of The Fairy Tale Art of John Bauer.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lotte

    I grew up reading these stories, but this summer I bought a paper back copy to bring with me when I went camping, and read them in the evenings. They're such cute and interesting fairy tales. I especially enjoyed the ones by Anna Wahlenberg.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    Enjoyed this immensely. Wonderful.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kim Olson

    I picked up this collection of fairy tales at a Swedish culture fair, and I'm glad I did. Some of the country's most popular fairytale writers of a century ago, like Anna Wahlenberg and Alfred Smedberg, spin tales of noble knights and fairminded princesses, ne'er-do-well trolls and guardian tomtes. My favorites were The Magpie with Salt on Her Tail (about a crafty magpie and a young boy who embodies the twin virtues of patience and fortitude), and Stalo and Kauras (about a young Lapp boy who I picked up this collection of fairy tales at a Swedish culture fair, and I'm glad I did. Some of the country's most popular fairytale writers of a century ago, like Anna Wahlenberg and Alfred Smedberg, spin tales of noble knights and fairminded princesses, ne'er-do-well trolls and guardian tomtes. My favorites were The Magpie with Salt on Her Tail (about a crafty magpie and a young boy who embodies the twin virtues of patience and fortitude), and Stalo and Kauras (about a young Lapp boy who attempts to outwit a giant). The book is richly illustrated by John Bauer, which is a treat. These stories were written a century ago, so they don't reflect modern sensibilities (heroes are always fair and villains dark), but that's true of fairy tales from all over the world, so more related to time than place. All in all, a fun escape to a magical world.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    This book was amazing! There were witches and trolls and tomtes and it was not all soft and sweet. These fairy tales are filled with adventure and magic. the 21 tales plots differ, not all princesses and princes like Disney fairy tales. I read a lot of fairy tales and it was hard to find ones I haven't read but these were different than other folk tales I've read. I got tired of reading stories about helpless princesses, these stories are about peasants looking for adventure or tomtes seeking This book was amazing! There were witches and trolls and tomtes and it was not all soft and sweet. These fairy tales are filled with adventure and magic. the 21 tales plots differ, not all princesses and princes like Disney fairy tales. I read a lot of fairy tales and it was hard to find ones I haven't read but these were different than other folk tales I've read. I got tired of reading stories about helpless princesses, these stories are about peasants looking for adventure or tomtes seeking the gold that was stolen from them by trolls. Every one of these tales were amazing and unique. I recommend this book for people in general bored of Disney fairy tales!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Melki

  10. 5 out of 5

    Alicia Croft

  11. 5 out of 5

    Misty

  12. 4 out of 5

    Molly

  13. 4 out of 5

    Egaeus Press /

  14. 5 out of 5

    Yuhun Şuhan

  15. 5 out of 5

    Luke Hughes

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nicklas

  17. 4 out of 5

    Maria Bergström

  18. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte C

  19. 5 out of 5

    Megan

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette

    a book I can keep looking at forever

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Ard

  22. 4 out of 5

    Scania Alexa

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ulla Sperber

  24. 4 out of 5

    Yaniqc

  25. 5 out of 5

    Claire

  26. 5 out of 5

    Johanna

  27. 5 out of 5

    Morning Star

  28. 4 out of 5

    Vittoria

  29. 5 out of 5

    LeAnne Hannington

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jesse Pilkerton

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