Friday, February 27, 2015

Two Bargain Ebooks for the Day

Scarlet by A. C. Gaughen is on sale for $1.99 today only in ebook format. It's Robin Hood, so a folklore retelling, of course.

And while we're here, another book of interest to some readers here, Agatha H. and the Clockwork Princess (Girl Genius Book 2) by Phil and Kaja Foglio, is also on sale for a short while for $1.99. It usually ranges in the $9.99 range and is full of steampunk fun. Very well reviewed, too.

Book description for Scarlet:

Posing as one of Robin Hood's thieves to avoid the evil Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only Big John and Robin Hood know the truth-that the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. It's getting harder to hide as Gisbourne's camp seeks to find Scarlet and drive Robin Hood out of Nottinghamshire.

But Scarlet's instinct for self-preservation is at war with a strong sense of responsibility to the people who took her in when she was on the run, and she finds it's not so easy to turn her back on her band and townspeople. As Gisbourne draws closer to Scarlet and puts innocent lives at risk, she must decide how much the people of Nottinghamshire mean to her, especially John Little, a flirtatious fellow outlaw, and Robin, whose quick smiles and temper have the rare power to unsettle Scarlet. Full of exciting action, secrets, and romance, this imaginative retelling of the classic tale will have readers following every move of Robin Hood and band of thieves.

Book description for Agatha H. and the Clockwork Princess (Girl Genius Book 2):

Intrigue! Subterfuge! Circus Folk!

In a time when the Industrial Revolution has escalated into all-out warfare, mad science rules the world… with mixed success.

With the help of Krosp, Emperor of All Cats, Agatha has escaped from the massive airship known as Castle Wulfenbach. After crashing their escape dirigible, Agatha and Krosp fall in with Master Payne's Circus of Adventure, a traveling troupe of performers dedicated to staging Heterodyne shows—dramatizations of the exploits of Bill and Barry Heterodyne and their allies—who are unaware of Agatha’s connection to the Heterodyne line.

Pursued by the ruthless Baron Klaus Wulfenbach, his handsome son Gil, and their minions (not to mention Othar Tryggvassen, Gentleman Adventurer), Agatha hides in plain sight among the circus folk, servicing their clanks and proving herself adept in performing the role of Lucrezia Mongfish, nemesis to—and later wife of—Barry Heterodyne. She also begins training under Zeetha, swordmistress and princess of the lost city of Skifander. Together, Agatha, Krosp, and the performers travel across the treacherous wasteland of war-torn Europa, towards Mechanicsburg, and the ancestral home of the Heterodynes—Castle Heterodyne.

But with many perils standing in her way—including Wulfenbach’s crack troops, mysterious Geisterdamen, savage Jägermonsters, and the fabled Storm King—it’s going to take more than a spark of Mad Science for Agatha to get through…

From Phil and Kaja Foglio, creators of the multiple WCCA and Hugo Award-winning webcomic Girl Genius, comes Agatha H and the Clockwork Princess, a gaslamp fantasy filled to bursting with Adventure! Romance! And Mad Science!

Fairy Tales in Advertising: NACC (Children's Cancer Support Center): Snow White

NACC (Children's Cancer Support Center): Snow white
Once upon a time a girl dreamed to be just like other children.

Okay, so from looking at so many of these international advertisements, they get away with more Disney imagery in their ads in Brazil than we do in the US. Worthy cause, so Disney isn't wise to pursue too vigorously, but they don't like this stuff without their permission. And without their logo, I don't think they did provide any information. And they also don't like messing with images of their iconic characters either in professional advertising,so this would ever receive permission in this iteration.

I did some freelance work with Disney catalog back in my poor newlywed, living in California days and nope, just nope. I was REALLY HORRIBLE at Disney copy writing by the way. We parted ways with great relief on both sides. Amicable separation.

This is cease and desist territory here. This is an example of what not to do. And there's ways to do this just as effectively without infringing on copyright. But it takes more effort. Don't be lazy! And you would never get away with this in the US. Never, ever. Do a Google search on Disney's legal pursuits on these matters and be aware. Some of those stories are legendary among a certain segment of the population.

Campaign info from Ads of the World:

Advertising Agency: MMS, Recife, Brazil
Creative Director: Márcio Gomes
Art Director: Filipe Cavalcanti
Copywriter: Leo Farache
Illustrator: Fernando Raposo

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

New Book: The Turnip Princess and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales by Franz Xaver von Schonwerth, translated by Maria Tatar

The Turnip Princess and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales (Penguin Classics) by Franz Xaver von Schonwerth (Author), Erika Eichenseer (Editor), Engelbert Suss (Illustrator), Maria Tatar (Translator) is released this week. I received a review copy in the mail last week but I have been felled by a cold and haven't had a chance to peruse it without the influence of fever and meds. Such as it is. No one wishes more than me that I was healthy! But enough about me.

This is not the first English translation of Franz Xaver von Schönwerth's fairy tales, Original Bavarian Folktales: A Schönwerth Selection: Original bayerische Volksmärchen – Ausgewählte Schönwerth-Geschichten (Dover Dual Language German) translated by M. Charlotte Wolf Ph.D. was released last year. That said, even if you already own that edition, this one is of value (and vice versa) because the art and science of translation is such a complicated one. Even the tale titles offered between these two books are different, making cross referencing them a challenge. Wolf's edition provides the German text for cross referencing, this one does not.

That said, this new book is translated by Maria Tatar, one of the current top scholars in the field of fairy tales and folklore. She brings her Germanic expertise and fairy tale knowledge to this translation. As lovely as the tales themselves are, of most value to me in this edition are the 28 pages of endnotes about the tales by Tatar. Utterly fantastic! There is another bonus of "Notes on Sources and Tale Types" by Nicola Schaffler. So you can look for common tale types here, such as easily discovering that "Ashfeathers" is ATU 510A, a Cinderella tale. And if you have a little experience at this, you will discover that "The Howling of the Wind" is ATU 425E, a rare Beauty and the Beast/East of the Moon and West of the Sun variant. Overall, most of the tales represented are lesser known tale types, meaning not the most common top 20 (i.e. ones I would edit e a SurLaLune book compilation for). But you can easily learn that with the extra materials provided.

And did I mention there is a fine introduction by Tatar, too?

So, yes, this is a great book to add to your personal folklore library, offered at an affordable price. Which is what happens when you have a name like Tatar's on the book, too. I know over and over so many of you are confounded by the academic books that are priced high. Right now, this is a bestseller and is 38% off the list price of $17.00 on Amazon and well-priced at other retailers, too. For less than the price of a lunch out--and haven't you missed some of those with all this year's snow?--you can add a great book to your library. I'm saying this because I get comments from you readers about how cost prohibitive many of the nonfiction titles you want are. Here's one that isn't!

Finally, here's an article from Salon that explains the book's background better than I can right now: Down and dirty fairy tales: How this rediscovered stash of darker-than-Grimm stories destroys our Prince Charming myths: The translator of a newly discovered trove of 150-year-old tales on the gender-bending surprises found there by LAURA MILLER.

Book description:

A rare discovery in the world of fairy tales - now for the first time in English. With this volume, the holy trinity of fairy tales - the Brothers Grimm, Charles Perrault, and Hans Christian Andersen - becomes a quartet. In the 1850s, Franz Xaver von Schönwerth traversed the forests, lowlands, and mountains of northern Bavaria to record fairy tales, gaining the admiration of even the Brothers Grimm. Most of Schönwerth's work was lost - until a few years ago, when thirty boxes of manu­scripts were uncovered in a German municipal archive. Now, for the first time, Schönwerth's lost fairy tales are available in English. Violent, dark, and full of action, and upending the relationship between damsels in distress and their dragon-slaying heroes, these more than seventy stories bring us closer than ever to the unadorned oral tradition in which fairy tales are rooted, revolutionizing our understanding of a hallowed genre. 'Schönwerth's tales have a compositional fierceness and energy rarely seen in stories gathered by the Brothers Grimm or Charles Perrault' -The New Yorker 'Schönwerth's legacy counts as the most significant collection in the German-speaking world in the nineteenth century' - Daniel Drascek, University of Regensburg Franz Xanver von Schönwerth (1810-1886) was born in Bavaria and had a successful career in law and the Bavarian royal court before devoting himself to researching the customs of his homeland and preserving its fairy tales and folklore. Maria Tatar chairs the program in folklore and mythology at Harvard, and has edited and translated many collections of fairy tales. Eeika Eichenseer is a historian and preservationist working for the Bavarian government and the director of the Franz Xaver von Schönwerth Society.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

New Picture Book: Little Red's Riding 'Hood by Stein and Gall

(US/UK Links)

Little Red's Riding 'Hood by Peter Stein (Author), Chris Gall (Illustrator) is released this week in the US and UK. See Little Red's Riding 'Hood (UK Link).

I mention the nieces frequently on the blog but I have nephews, too. The youngest is Clark who is currently vehicle obsessed. I am tempted to try this one out with him. He's two and knows many fairy tales thanks to an older sister, but he will only care that this has scooters, trucks, and cars in it. Which is why the publisher chose this, of course.

Book description:

When Little Red's Granny Putt Putt gets sick, the tiny moped scooter races over the river and through the dark woods to bring her a basket of get-well goodies.

But when Little Red crosses paths with Tank, the biggest, loudest, meanest machine around, that no-good monster truck has plans of his own.

Why, Granny, what big wheels you have!
Why, Granny, what big headlights you have!
Why, Granny, what a big hood you have!

From the sparkplug, creative minds of Peter Stein and Chris Gall comes a full-throttle version of the classic LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD tale that will have everyone revving for more.

Monday, February 23, 2015

New Release: A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas

(US/UK Links)

A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas is released this week in both the US and UK. See A Wicked Thing (UK Link). A new Sleeping Beauty novel for your reading pleasure.

Book description:

Rhiannon Thomas's dazzling debut novel is a spellbinding reimagining of what happens after happily ever after. Vividly imagined scenes of action, romance, and political intrigue are seamlessly woven together to reveal a richly created world… and Sleeping Beauty as she's never been seen before.

One hundred years after falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince and a broken kingdom that has been dreaming of her return. All the books say that she should be living happily ever after. But as Aurora understands all too well, the truth is nothing like the fairy tale.

Her family is long dead. Her "true love" is a kind stranger. And her whole life has been planned out by political foes while she slept.

As Aurora struggles to make sense of her new world, she begins to fear that the curse has left its mark on her, a fiery and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once ensnared her. With her wedding day drawing near, Aurora must make the ultimate decision on how to save her kingdom: marry the prince or run.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Fairy Tales in Advertising: Instituto do Sono Sleep Care Clinic: Snow White

Instituto do Sono Sleep Care Clinic: Snow White
Get back into sleeping happily ever after.

I'm afraid to start a dialog on this one. So I won't. I just won't. But clever idea playing with bedtime stories.

Campaign info from Ads of the World:

Advertising Agency: Bora Comunicação, Natal, Brazil
Creative Director / Copywriter: Patrício Jr
Art Director: Nilo Thiago
Published: March 2013

Thursday, February 19, 2015

TODAY ONLY: Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George for $1.99

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George is on sale TODAY ONLY for $1.99 in ebook format. I laughed that this was on sale today considering the weather we've had in Nashville this week. Ice and snow has defined the week!

The book retells East of the Sun and West of the Moon, a Beauty and the Beast tale. It's the tale I wish Disney would make and bring attention to. Because it is awesome.

Book description:

Blessed-or cursed-with an ability to understand animals, the Lass (as she's known to her family) has always been an oddball. And when an isbjorn (polar bear) seeks her out, and promises that her family will become rich if only the Lass will accompany him to his castle, she doesn't hesitate. But the bear is not what he seems, nor is his castle, which is made of ice and inhabited by a silent staff of servants. Only a grueling journey on the backs of the four winds will reveal the truth: the bear is really a prince who's been enchanted by a troll queen, and the Lass must come up with a way to free him before he's forced to marry a troll princess.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

New Book: A Wish Your Heart Makes: From the Grimm Brothers' Aschenputtel to Disney's Cinderella by Charles Solomon.

If you are a fan of Disney's Cinderella, you will most likely adore A Wish Your Heart Makes: From the Grimm Brothers' Aschenputtel to Disney's Cinderella by Charles Solomon.

Despite the book description below, be assured that this book is primarily about Disney's versions of the tale, lushly illustrated with great photography. I own the Sleeping Beauty version of this book, Once Upon a Dream: From Perrault's Sleeping Beauty to Disney's Maleficent, also by Solomon, and the history not directly related to Disney is sparse in relation to page count. So get this as a film fan with a desire for a little bit of Cinderella history, not as a definitive history of Cinderella book. There are plenty of other books that will serve that purpose better. They are not as photogenic as this one.

And, yes, I am assuming based on my experience with the Sleeping Beauty book. The tale's history provided in that one was pretty much summarized in the book description. I am sure it would also make a fine introduction for a younger Cinderella fan, just as the Sleeping Beauty one does. My five year old niece would adore thumbing through either of these books, too, although the content is somewhat over her head at this point. So it is a safe coffee table book for the family that will provide a brief overview of the tale's history, too. With lots and lots of pretty pictures which we all love, yes?

Book description:

With its kind heroine who receives her just reward-and a dashing prince-with the help of her Fairy Godmother, "Cinderella" is one the most beloved fairy tales throughout the world. Although the most popular versions appeared in Charles Perrault's Histoires ou contes du temps pass ("Stories or Fables of Times Past") (1697) and the Grimms' "Fairy Tales" (1812), the story can be traced back to the story of Rhodopis, a Greek slave girl who marries the pharoah of Egypt, which Strabo recorded in the first century B.C.E. In the late nineteenth century, British follklorist Marian Roalfe Cox catalogued 345 variations of the story.

For more than two thousand years, children and adults have read and watched as Cinderella endured cruel mistreatment without complaining-and met her prince before the stroke of midnight. A Wish Your Heart Makes will trace the history of the fairy tale, emphasizing its strong ties to Walt Disney and his studio.

Major artists who illustrated the story of Cinderella range from Aubrey Beardsley, Edward Burne-Jones, and Walter Crane, to Gustave Dor , Edmund Dulac, John B. Gruelle, and Arthur Rackham. The story has been adapted to the stage many times, including the operas La Cenerentola by Giacomo Rossini and Cendrillon by Jules Massenet, the ballet by Sergei Prokofiev, and musical adaptations by Rogers and Hammerstein and Stephen Sondheim.

There have been scores of Cinderella films, beginning with a black and white short in 1907. But the most celebrated is Walt Disney's, one of his most beloved fairy tales-and the film that saved his studio, which had languished in the doldrums after the end of World War II. Years later, when a lunch guest asked Disney what his favorite piece of animation done at his studio, he replied, "I think it would be when Cinderella got her ball gown."

Monday, February 16, 2015

Bargain Ebook: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman for $1.99

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman is on sale in ebook format for $1.99, down considerably from its usual $9 or so. This book was a Nebula nominee and won the William C. Morris Award and was all around well received. Leighton, my oldest niece, also loved it and so the long awaited sequel is already preordered for her when it comes out next month, see Shadow Scale: A Companion to Seraphina.

Book description:

Lyrical, imaginative, and wholly original, this New York Times bestseller with 8 starred reviews is not to be missed. Rachel Hartman’s award-winning debut will have you looking at dragons as you’ve never imagined them before…

In the kingdom of Goredd, dragons and humans live and work side by side – while below the surface, tensions and hostility simmer.

The newest member of the royal court, a uniquely gifted musician named Seraphina, holds a deep secret of her own. One that she guards with all of her being.

When a member of the royal family is brutally murdered, Seraphina is drawn into the investigation alongside the dangerously perceptive—and dashing—Prince Lucien. But as the two uncover a sinister plot to destroy the wavering peace of the kingdom, Seraphina’s struggle to protect her secret becomes increasingly difficult… while its discovery could mean her very life.