Book rainbow: Green Books Part 1

Book Rainbow: Green Books (Part 1)

Continuing with the bookshelf tour with my stack of green books – check out red, orange and yellow books by clicking on each colour.

bookshelf rainbow


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The Complete Grimm’s Fairy Tales,  illustrated by Arthur Rackham

Originally titled Children’s and Household Tales, The Complete Grimm’s Fairy Tales contains the essential bedtime stories for children worldwide for the better part of two centuries. The Brothers Grimm, Jacob and Wilhelm, were German linguists and cultural researchers who gathered legendary folklore and aimed to collect the stories exactly as they heard them. 2012 marked the 200th anniversary of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, and what better way to celebrate than to include all 211 stories into the Knickerbocker Classic Series?

Featuring all your favorite classics, including “Hansel and Gretel,” “Cinderella,” “The Frog Prince,” “Rapunzel,” “Snow White,” “Rumpelstiltskin,” and dozens more, The Complete Grimm’s Fairy Tales is also accompanied by 40 color plates and 60 black and white illustrations from award-winning English illustrator Arthur Rackham, whose books and prints are now highly sought-after collectibles.

The third title in the Knickerbocker Classic series has 800 pages of classic fairy tales to enjoy and will also feature a full-cloth binding, ribbon marker, and will fit neatly in an elegant slipcase for your personal library collection.

Also includes a selection of stunning color reproductions by the famous illustrator, Arthur Rackham.

This beautiful book was a gift for my birthday and I love it. It may have been slightly overshadowed at the time by the fact that my other birthday presnt was tickets to Paris, but thsi book has been treasured and dipped into many times since then. I was even more impressed when I saw that this edition has illustrations from Arthur Rackham, one of my favourite illustrators. Turns out that this was just a coincidence rather than my partner listeing avidly to every little hing I say, but it’s still great!


The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

Set in Victorian London and an Essex village in the 1890’s, and enlivened by the debates on scientific and medical discovery which defined the era, The Essex Serpent has at its heart the story of two extraordinary people who fall for each other, but not in the usual way.

They are Cora Seaborne and Will Ransome. Cora is a well-to-do London widow who moves to the Essex parish of Aldwinter, and Will is the local vicar. They meet as their village is engulfed by rumours that the mythical Essex Serpent, once said to roam the marshes claiming human lives, has returned. Cora, a keen amateur naturalist is enthralled, convinced the beast may be a real undiscovered species. But Will sees his parishioners’ agitation as a moral panic, a deviation from true faith. Although they can agree on absolutely nothing, as the seasons turn around them in this quiet corner of England, they find themselves inexorably drawn together and torn apart.

Told with exquisite grace and intelligence, this novel is most of all a celebration of love, and the many different guises it can take.

I ahve yet to read this but have heard nothing but good things from people around me. The cover is also beautiful which helps!


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The Wonderling by Mira Bartok

Mira Bartok tells the story of Arthur, a shy, fox-like foundling with only one ear and a desperate desire to belong, as he seeks his destiny.

Have you been unexpectedly burdened by a recently orphaned or unclaimed creature? Worry not! We have just the solution for you!

Welcome to the Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures, an institution run by evil Miss Carbunkle, a cunning villainess who believes her terrified young charges exist only to serve and suffer. Part animal and part human, the groundlings toil in classroom and factory, forbidden to enjoy anything regular children have, most particularly singing and music. For the Wonderling, an innocent-hearted, one-eared, fox-like eleven-year-old with only a number rather than a proper name — a 13 etched on a medallion around his neck — it is the only home he has ever known.

But unexpected courage leads him to acquire the loyalty of a young bird groundling named Trinket, who gives the Home’s loneliest inhabitant two incredible gifts: a real name — Arthur, like the good king in the old stories — and a best friend. Using Trinket’s ingenious invention, the pair escape over the wall and embark on an adventure that will take them out into the wider world and ultimately down the path of sweet Arthur’s true destiny.

I borrowed this from the library to read after initially seeing it on Netgalley and thinking it sounded just like something I would enjoy.

Reminiscent of Oliver Twist or Matilda, with beautiful illustrations, this is a lovely book.
Arthur is sympathetic and naive, sometimes unrealistically so as the story continues, yet he maintains his child-like awe and does not develop any coping strategies to make changes to his lot.
Trinket drives a lot of the story with her inventions and I loved Quintus, who started out almost as a villain yet became a great ally. This book has lots of wonderful, original ideas but I was left feeling quite confused about the rules of the world, how groundlings came about and what it means to be a wonderling.
Beautiful book with stunning illustrations but a confusing story.


The Giant Under the Snow by John Gordon

Three children find an ornate Celtic buckle. To them it is treasure, a fantastic find. They have no idea that it has awakened a giant who has lain at rest for centuries. Little do they know that an evil warlord and his Leathermen have also awaited this moment, this chance to wield their deadly power. In a chilling tale full of menace and suspense the final battle between good and evil must be fought. Beautifully written, subtle, and evocative, this story transcends age, transporting the reader into an intensely atmospheric world where the imagination knows no bounds.

I picked this up in my local library as it seemed like it would be my cup of tea, reminiscent of The Dark is Rising or books by Alan Garner and Rosemary Sutcliff. It is based on a story from English folklore and set in East Anglia, not generally a popular setting for stories. It is fast-paced with some genuinely creepy baddies ( the leather men) and imaginative set pieces involving the three main children swooping over a starlit, snowy landscape. I would have liked more background on the warlord and the guardian, Elizabeth as well as finding out more about the black dog who haunts their footsteps. The fast pace of the story does mean that the characterization and world-building does suffer somewhat, but this is a worthy addition to a collection of stories based on folklore, further reading for those who have enjoyed Susan Cooper’s books or as an atmospheric read around Christmas.


What did you think?

Have you read any of these books or will you be reading any now?

Do you have any favourite green books to recommend?

Let me know in the comments!


While you’re here, why not take three minutes to learn some Korean?

Or check out my book reviews of On The Spectrum, The Circus, Flower Moon or The Cruel Prince?

Learn some book characters you should avoid and others that would make great friends.


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Thanks for reading!


 

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