Children everywhere are familiar with the fairy-tale world of the Brothers Grimm, who made "once upon a time" a part of our universal vocabulary--but few people know much about the brothers themselves. Inspired by their desire to document their national literary heritage, the two devoted brothers spent most of their adult years collecting and publishing German Märchen and Sagen, fairy tales and legends. This thorough and compelling biography addresses the social, political, and historical influences that shaped the lives and stories of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm.
"Gr. 5-8. When one thinks of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, it's obviously their collections of folktales that come to mind. But the Grimm brothers were also respected teachers, librarians, lexicographers, and scholars known throughout the German states and abroad. Hettinga writes the story of the brothers, born only a year apart, with their passion for Germanic "household" tales as only one small part. Mostly, this is about Jacob and Wilhelm's devoted relationship to one another (young readers may find their sentiments a bit overwrought) and the political forces that swirled around them and deeply affected how they lived their personal and professional lives. Remarkably, Hettinga makes the Grimms' lives interesting without concentrating on the one element most familiar to children. Although he assures readers that quotes and descriptions are accurate, he provides no individual source notes. More detailed is a list of publications of the Brothers Grimm and bibliographies. The book includes photographs and historical illustrations, and there's a complete list of the tales as well as a time line. The handsome cover art will draw readers into this well-conceived, well-executed biography. --Ilene Cooper"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"What emerges most clearly in this biography of the men who preserved "once upon a time" for generations of readers is their distinctly different personalities and enduring friendship. The elder Jacob Grimm proved the natural scholar, writing widely on poetry, music and language, while Wilhelm possessed a gift for teaching and storytelling. The two were inseparable; even after Wilhelm married, Jacob lived with the couple. With conversational language and colorful historical references, Hettinga (Presenting Madeleine L'Engle) makes the account accessible ("Once upon a time, a very real time in fact, a time when George Washington was still General Washington and was just thinking about becoming the first president of the United States," he begins). He effectively places the brothers' childhood in the context of what is now Germany, but at the time was one of numerous fiefdoms within the Holy Roman Empire thus explaining the many mentions of kings and queens in the tales the siblings collected. The brothers did not turn to studying the German fairy tales that would endure as their legacy until the French-controlled government forbade all Germans from working and writing in their own language. "They collected the fairy tales because they hoped the stories would help remind their countrymen of what it meant to be German," the author asserts. Black-and-white etchings, paintings and drawings round out the volume, which ably portrays the personalities of the two brothers and those who influenced them. Ages 9-14. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
-- Juvenile literature.
-- Juvenile literature.
Kinder- und Hausmärchen.
|| New York :Clarion Books,2001
xi, 180 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 162-164) and index.