A Magical Storyteller: Sophie Anderson

Ever since I first discovered Russian fairy tales, I have been both fascinated and a bit frightened by the character of the Baba Yaga. She so captured my imagination that no other fairy tale character could compete with her. When I discovered The House With Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson on the shelf of my local…

John Bauer: Into The Forest Of The Trolls

  Once upon a time, there was a boy named John, who did not fit in. At least not with the people around him. John was prone to daydreaming and drawing when he was supposed to be learning; much to the displeasure of his teachers. Other children found him strange and offish. Whenever the boys…

The Spinner Of Dreams: An Interview With K.A. Reynolds

When I first read The Land of Yesterday, I was blown away by both the imagination and the emotion that this story was filled with. With each page, I was drawn more and more into the world that author K.A. Reynolds created. She was able to translate trauma into a tale that made the reader care deeply…

Walking With Tolkien

After finding a paperback copy of Tolkien: A Celebration at Goodwill (one of my favorite places to shop for books), I sat one day by a stream in a nearby wood, reading George Sayer’s account of his friendship with J.R.R. Tolkien. He writes of being invited to go walking with C.S. Lewis and his brother Warren, and…

Ursula Le Guin: The Cost Of Creativity

I was first introduced to the world of fantasy through C.S. Lewis’ Narnia series, but it was Tolkien’s Middle Earth and Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea that solidified my love for the genre. To be honest, I cannot remember at what age I exactly encountered Earthsea for the first time, but I remember picking up…

For Dauntless Dreamers: The Spinner Of Dreams

My childhood was often one of loneliness. I was shy, introverted, and deeply anxiety-ridden. So often, I turned to books, my imagination, exploring the woods behind my house, and, of course, to dreams. Since I never felt a sense of security at home or at school, I was always waiting for the worst to happen….

The Girl Who Speaks Bear

For as long as I can remember, I have adored Russian fairy tales and folklore with its amazing creations of the firebird, Koschei the Deathless, and, especially, the Baba Yaga. When I read The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson, I was enthralled with how she was able to bring such a fresh and original perspective…

Fairy Tale Focus On Illustrator Virginia Frances Sterrett

It was my Great-Aunt Annie is the one who first introduced me to fairy tales. She was a retired teacher who had a house filled with books. It was she who gave me my very first collection of fairy tales with the inscription, “May these tales remind you that there is always magic to be…

Fairy Queen Of Animation: Lotte Reiniger

In 1926, eleven years before Walt Disney’s Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs, German animator Lotte Reiniger released her full-length silhouette animated film The Adventures of Prince Achmed. While generations are familiar with Snow White and recognize the name Walt Disney, very few, sadly, have even heard of Lotte Reiniger. How did such a pioneer in the…

Snow White Learns Witchcraft

For as long as I can remember, I have loved fairy tales. Fairy tales were dark and scary places where children could be eaten by witches or even their own mothers. Fairy tales were populated by wolves and goblins and dragons. There was always the possibility that one would have to perform three tasks to…