Saturday, July 4, 2015

Shaun Tan's "The Singing Bones" Is Coming!

If you've been following the blog for a while, you will know I am in awe of Australian artist Shaun Tan's work and one of his most recent artistic forays delved deep into the world of Grimm's fairy tales, producing beautiful and simple* sculptures for the new Phillip Pullman's translation of Household Tales - but only for the German edition. I bit the bullet and ordered a German copy to refer to while reading the English version I already had. It was money well spent!

I put a rather detailed and image-filled post about the book HERE and another HERE.
          
I was delighted at the time, to learn that Tan became so enamored of the tales that he continued creating 'tale sculptures' long after the Pullman book was finished.

And now, soon, we will be able to have them all together in a book! (Squee! #sorry #couldntbehelped)

It's due to be released in October in Australia and I have yet to find concrete details of overseas releases. Here is the official description:

The Singing Bones: Inspired by Grimms' Fairy Tales by Shaun Tan 
"Hauntingly beautiful visual vignettes in paper and clay."
In this beautifully presented volume, the essence of seventy-five fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm is wonderfully evoked by Shaun Tan's extraordinary sculptures. Nameless princes, wicked stepsisters, greedy kings, honourable peasants and ruthless witches, tales of love, betrayal, adventure and magical transformation: all inspiration for this stunning gallery of sculptural works.
Introduced by Grimm Tales author Philip Pullman and leading fairy tale scholar Jack Zipes, The Singing Bones breathes new life into some of the world's most beloved fairy tales.'These little figures of clay, with their simplified features, their single attributes, are perfect realisations of the strangeness of the characters they represent.' - Philip Pullman
                     
Don't you love that little fox? It's a musical instrument! Like an ocarina, and meant, I'm sure, to reflect music being played on the bones of one of the characters in the tale "The Singing Bone". (I love that tale and it's related sister fairy tale ballad "The Twa Sisters"!)

I have to admit I went through a phase quite a few years ago (counting back it was perhaps fifteen or more years ago now!) in which I was tired of seeing versions of the Grimm's tales and various illustrations, even when it was the lesser known ones. On the plus side it sent me searching far beyond the range of tales I knew and into a bumbling use of translator programs (and, when I was lucky, people) to search non-English web sites to help me find different tales and discussions, and I was never bored. What I didn't expect though, was to find out more about how the Germans viewed these national (often to them) tales and, in context, about the life and work of the Grimms and the many people they worked with too. I came across a whole different range of artists, both East and West, who had fresh new takes on the Grimm's tales and it quickly revived my love of the Household Tales collection. The more I saw and learned, the more I realized the tales could function as a branching out point to discover many new and wonderful fairy tales, as well as be a touchstone for context while researching.
                            
In recent years I've felt almost spoiled with how much has come to light (and been published) with regard to the Grimm's process, collecting, editing and writing. When the internet took a giant leap into the visual communication age, including using memes and uploading images from obscure texts and out-of-print books being shared on the web, I suddenly felt I was collecting pieces of a story that wasn't so distant and isolated from my contemporary experience, but ongoing and still affecting the world today.** Almost*** every major tale collection around the world and through history either was influenced by the work of the Brothers Grimm or they themselves were influenced by it. The threads, though sometimes thin, are stronger than I first realized and I've found I can no longer be blasé about the Grimms' tales and work.

To top that, just in the last year or so, we've had Philip Pullman's fresh translation of the popular edition of Household Tales, Jack Zipe's wonderful translation of the Grimm's First Edition (with Andrea Dezso's gorgeous silhouettes, which you can see a post on HERE) and Kate Forsyth's The Wild Girl historical novel, which, though fiction, helps stitch together a lot of context and provides yet another fresh look at the tales themselves, both in a societal context and in a personal one (there will be more on this book very soon!).

Tan's sculptures are so very different from much of the work that's ever been done to represent and illustrate the Grimm's tales. In my linked posts, they details how uncomfortable Tan initially was in trying to illustrated the tales, and then he experimented with folk art-like sculpture. The interesting thing about simplicity is it's very hard to capture the essence of something so elegantly, yet despite being fairly new to the medium of clay and paper***, Tan has created a superb collection that clearly came out of the Grimm tales.


* Simple is so very difficult to do!
** In case you hadn't guessed, this was an inspiration to follow the threads of fairy tale news happening in our day-to-day, and ta-da! Once Upon A Blog.. daily fairy tale news was born.
*** While this isn't true of every collection available, it's astonishing to see how many have at least a thread connecting them to the Grimm's work in some way - either back in time or forward in influencing them.
**** Tan also used string, wax, shoe polish, sand, paint, wire, anything that would support his sculpture. His Hansel & Gretel piece even has cake decorations.

Friday, July 3, 2015

WB's (aka Robert Downey Jr's) Pinocchio Gets Paul Thomas Anderson as Writer (& Possibly as Director) & Production Ramps Up

It would appear that the WB's live action Pinocchio (in development with Robert Downey Jr for some time now) has been put on the fast track.

First of all, the movie now has a new script writer that everyone is very pumped about: Oscar nominated writer and director Paul Thomas Anderson. You may know his work from such films as There Will Be Blood and Boogie Nights.

The news as first released by The Hollywood Reporter on July 1st:
Cover of Pinocchio from 1911
Warner Bros. and Team Downey are moving forward with their live-action take on Pinocchio and have enlisted Paul Thomas Anderson to write a draft with an eye toward directing. 
Though the film would seem far outside of Anderson's wheelhouse, the move shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. ... Downey and Anderson are good friends and have been looking to work together for some time. 
The Giver writer Michael Mitnick penned the latest draft of Pinocchio, and Downey has been quietly tweaking the script for the past six months. Downey has been developing Pinocchio for years, but the project has found new urgency in the wake of a string of live-action hits based on kids' classics, most recently Disney'sCinderella. 
Downey is onboard to play Geppetto in the tale about a wooden puppet who wants to become a human boy.Bryan Fuller and Jane Goldman wrote previous drafts of the story that is based on a novel by Carlo Collodi. Downey... will produce Pinocchio alongside Team Downey partner Susan Downey as well as Dan Jinks (Milk).

A few more details from Christian Post:
Downey is also cast to play Geppetto in the remake. According to the report, it will be a "traditional adaptation of the story" which is based on the 1883 novel by Carlo Collodi titled "The Adventures of Pinocchio." Disney's version of the tale was an animated movie that came out in 1940. 
Disney, on the other hand, is developing its own live-action version of the movie, with Peter Hedges writing the script. The Disney version is said to be based on the 1940 animated movie, according to a report in Variety

Some additional notes on how Anderson may influence the movie, via The Verge:
Anderson's script won't be entirely original. Several other writers, including Bryan Fuller and Jane Goldman, have made earlier drafts, and even Downey is said to have put some work into it. Now production on the film is apparently kicking into high gear over at Warner Bros. after seeing how successful live action films based classic kids' stories can be.  
Anderson still seems like an odd choice for Pinocchio, although he's very much not set as its director yet. As a writer, Anderson's help is hard to argue with. His scripts are consistently smart and compelling, and he does love to work with father–son relationships. It's not stated when Warner Bros. would like to have this film out in theaters, but it seems like the project now has the momentum to get there.

This is the edition my Dad gave me
from one of his trips when I was a child.
It's one of only a couple of items
he ever personally bought for me
and I greatly treasure it.
So, what are your thoughts? Do you think Pinocchio as a tale beloved by folk well beyond Italy and fairy tale realms will benefit from this take?

Pinocchio is a very dark serial story, though not without much humor of course, but I always worry when I hear about a live version of the traditional tale.

It's one thing to stylize a production so it doesn't come off as creepy (usually it becomes quite magical instead) but there are heavy issues and themes that a director/writer like Anderson could have a lot of fun with - and end up freaking out an entire generation with!

It's always hard to predict.

Artist and writers who have traditionally sunk their teeth into the darker side of things, not shying away from socially perturbing aspects in their work, tend to behave unexpectedly when it comes to properties that are considered family-fare, especially if they have kids of their own. While their take still tends to be 'fresh' (compared to traditional kid-friendly offerings), usually they want their own kids to see and enjoy the movie too which tends to bring out a conservative and protective vibe from otherwise in-your-face artists. This isn't necessarily a bad thing either - both for the film and for the artist.

"Traditional adaptation" tends to mean "once upon a time" or, at least, "a long, long time ago", complete with romanticized notions and representations of the past, especially for family films, but that doesn't mean we can't be surprised by an interpretation. If the film remains G or PG rated, for example, though we probably won't be seeing Pinocchio as an at-risk street kid, we may still see a street urchin vibe - think MGM golden age, just hopefully with a (needed) difference.

One challenge I see is that if Gepetto is the focus of the story, that's going to be a difficult thing to endear the retelling to a whole new generation of children. Adults, sure, but kids are harder. One of Inside Out's big criticisms (along with it leaving you feeling down and hopeless rather than 'up' and inspired) is that, despite being told well and looking amazing, it's a story that's really for adults reflecting on their own childhood, rather than for kids, so kids just aren't taking to it as expected. Not that kids don't understand it or the themes, they do, but just that kids don't relate in the same way that adults looking back do. Telling a deep - and classic/resonating story that children will relate to - right now - as well as adults, is no small task. (Which is why writing for children is much harder than it looks.) While Collodi did that, albeit in a culture-specific, and old-fashioned fashioned way that some people have trouble with, it's all there in the stories but it's easy to lose that balance.

If nothing else, this news certainly is interesting and brings a lot of potential to the story-retelling plate.


Thursday, July 2, 2015

"Erstwhile" Says Goodbye With "Mother Holle"

Would you believe Erstwhile, who have been bringing us wonderful comics of lesser known fairy tales, has been going for eight years? Sadly for us, the wonderful team of Gina, Elle and Louisa now feel it's time to bring this adventure to an end and to free themselves up for other things they've been wanting to do. While many of us sort of half-expected them to continue until all the tales were tackled, it should be acknowledged how much wonderful work in writing, designing and illustration these girls have done, consistently beautifully, over many years now. The web comic now unfolding twice a week, Mother Holle, is their final installation but well worth following, especially as it's the last chance we will have to do so - at least like this.

A note from the creators from their official website:

We are most honored to present to you our final story for the Erstwhile series, Mother Holle, by Gina Biggs. Yes, this story will indeed be our swan song, though it will be a song that carries on to the end of August and end with a Kickstarter for our third collected volume of fairy tales. 
Louisa, Elle, and myself have worked on Erstwhile for eight years now, though not all of those years was the series available online as a webcomic. In that time we have tackled twenty-four of our most favorite lesser-known fairy tales and we are quite proud of that work. 
We agree that it has been an amazing eight years together, but all feel that it is time to say goodbye. We want to move from this structure and possibly branch out with new comics, new fairy tale inspirations, and new adventures. We thank you so much for sharing in this love of fairy tales with us. We hope you will read to the end and in August grab the final hardcover volume of the collection. Thank you all, from the bottom of our hearts! 
Now, please enjoy the comic!
There are a few pages out already and if you logged in while they were having glitch and server issues and were unable to see their pages, that's now been resolved. Although comments (which are always wonderful to read and a great discussion center) have been lost for those pages, they are once again showing in order and the new pages are stable.

If you haven't yet, you can purchase previous volumes of Erstwhile tales via HERE and, after Mother Holle is complete, they will be Kickstarting a campaign for the third and final volume of fairy tales as well. (All are/will be available in print and in e-copy form.)

This wonderful team have done amazing work in bringing lesser known tales back into circulation and we're so grateful for all their work. I can't wait to see what they plan to do next, especially with regard to fairy tales.

Note: The artwork shown within the post are the covers for the two volumes to date, which are still available to purchase. We'll keep you updated on the Kickstarter campaign for the third and final volume when it happens.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

"Poor Unfortunate Soul: A Tale of A Sea Witch" by Serena Valentino Now Releasing 2015


If you've been a fan of fairy tales and comics in particular, you're probably aware of the name Serena Valentino. She's also a multi-published novel author and is currently under contract with Disney Press to do a series of novels telling the stories of classic Disney villains. (Apparently, her fairy tale comics, Nightmares & Fairy Tales, were a major factor in her getting the Disney contract, which is interesting since they're very far from what is usually considered the "Disney brand" style and subject material.) Her first, Fairest Of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen, first published in August 2009 was impressive: lyrical, poetic, fresh and somehow still very true to the movie. I really loved it - both as an alternate look at Snow White and the character of the Queen and as a very different stand alone book. (We had an overview back in 2009 HERE.) To her credit, it didn't feel "Disney" as we usually think of either. I didn't expect it to stay on my "fairy tale retellings to keep in reach" bookcase, but it has a permanent place there.

Her second villain novel was The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty's Prince published July 2014. (Don't jump on me for calling The Beast a villain - you need to read the book to see just whom it's about and why it's a villain's story.) It shared some aspects of the first novel, in particular three intriguing, yet bizarre characters - Odd Sisters - who are very much like The Fates. Personally I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as the first, although some of the pre-Belle's story scenes of The Beast trying to figure out relationships and friendships were wonderful.

We've known for a while now that she's been working on the third installment, based on Ursula from Disney's The Little Mermaid. (Yes, all of the books take the disney story as the starting point and develop from there, sometimes weaving back into classics, and Angela Carter, other times, moving somewhere altogether new.) While the title is yet to be confirmed, it looks like it will now be Poor Unfortunate Soul: A Tale of a Sea Witch, and that the release date will be moving up from sometime in 2016 to this year instead. Ms. Valentino is currently working on the first pass editor notes for the completed draft (which was very favorable, hence the hint at an earlier release), and just this past week shared little bits from the first chapter.

Here's a sneak peek at the first glimpse:
And here's what she shared with her Facebook friends this week:
As you can see above, so far the covers for the series all show the "classic villain" on the outer dust jacket and the hard cover of the book shows the "unseen" side. I'm curious to know what the inner one will be for Ursula...
Note: A fan put this pic of the dual cover for Fairest together - creepy cool:
You can follow Serena Valentino for all her fairy tale writing news via her Twitter HERE and see her journal updates on her website HERE.

"Lamp Black, Wolf Grey": Review by Madison Lindstrom

"Lamp Black, Wolf Grey"
by Paula Brackston

Review by Madison Lindstrom
Editor's Note: Normally I wouldn't accept the offer of a review ARC that is mainly fantasy rather than having a fairy tale emphasis. However, I know many of those who love reading fairy tales, also love the Arthurian legends so I'm making an exception, especially knowing there are quite a few Brackston fans among readers here. Take it away Madison!
Jacket description: 

Some landscapes hold more magic than others. Artist Laura Matthews finds her new home in the Welsh mountains to be a place so charged with tales and legends, so teeming with the force of the supernatural, that she is able to reach through the gossamer-fine veil that separates her own world from that of myth and fable. She and her husband Dan have given up their city life and moved to Blaencwm, an ancient longhouse high in the hills. Here she knows that the wild beauty will inspire her to produce her best art. And here she hopes that the powerful nature of the place will give her the baby they have longed for for so many years. But this high valley is home to others, too. Others such as Rhys, the charismatic loner from the croft, who pursues Laura with a fervour bordering on obsession. And Anwen, the wise old woman from the neighbouring farm who seems to know so much but talks in riddles. And then there is Merlin. 'Lamp Black, Wolf Grey' tells both Laura's story and Merlin's. For once he too walked these hills, with his faithful grey wolf at his heel. It was here he fell in love with Megan, nurse-maid to the children of the hated local noble, Lord Geraint. Merlin was young, at the start of his career as a seer and magician, but already his reputation had gone before him. When he refuses to help Lord Geraint it is Megan who will pay the price.
The heart of any story is belief.  The reader must trust the author to lead them through the narrative and fairy tale stories have the added dimension of dealing, by nature, with the unbelievable. Paula Brackston’s latest novel, Lamp Black, Wolf Grey, delivers vivid world-building and a location-rooted story you can trust to take you through the elements of the unknown. Similarly to her novel, Silver Witch, this book also brings together characters from separate times, past and present. For Lamp Black, she 
combines the mythic world Merlin inhabits with our own mundane present, and draws each in lyrical and authentic prose.

Merlin is the story’s major rooting point to the mythic and his story transcends the separated worlds and characters.  He exists in a romanticized medieval time with his lover Megan, but lives also in present day, where he meets Laura Matthews. Laura and her husband have moved to the hills in a last-ditch attempt to have a baby and save their marriage. By happenstance, these are the same hills Merlin haunts. While Merlin is the connecting character between the plots of two mortal women, it’s unclear whether he is immortal or if his presence in the present day exists only in a separate story realm which Laura has insight into.

Brackston uses Merlin as archetype rather than character. This Merlin is a younger version than typically seen in Arthurian legend and has been given a new lover, Megan. Having Merlin in this story, considering he is such a solitary character, is an interesting juxtaposition with the other theme of the story—love, both romantic and maternal.  Two main plot points revolve around Laura’s desire for a child, as well as Merlin’s relationship with Megan.  Placing Merlin against this background humanizes him to an extent that most legends don’t. 

Lamp Black, Wolf Grey, has all the elements which make this a wonderful fantasy tale. A mythic past, Celtic magic, true love, and the most recognizable of all wizards: Merlin.   If your interest lies in the nitty-gritty of the Merlin legend, this book is not for you.  For the rest of us, however, Paula Brackston creates a sensory world, and her book offers an undemanding, entertaining experience. Her descriptions of medieval life made me want to curl up in a castle turret and watch the world go by. I recommend Lamp Black, Wolf Grey to lovers of the country-side, and to readers looking for an accessible story.
Disclosure: A complimentary ARC was given by St, Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review.

Madison Lindstrom is currently an undergrad in Creative Writing. She lives in a small, mountainous town, but dreams of traveling the world. She also loves reading, writing,  mythology, and of course, fairy tales.   Find her at  https://brontesbennetsbibliophiles.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Theater: "Neck of the Woods" Tells the Wolf's Story Like You've Not Heard Before

I will admit, I was skeptical too when I first read this claim: haven't we seen Red Riding Hood and every incarnation of the Wolf and wolves, done to death? But Neck of the Woods promises something a little different, and certainly, the approach is quite unusual.

Here's the description:
MIF (Manchester International Festival) has invited Turner Prize-winning artist Douglas Gordon (Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait, Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno) and celebrated pianistHélène Grimaud to create Neck of the Woods, a portrait of the wolf brought to life in a startling collision of visual art, music and theatre. 
On the stage of HOME’s intimate new theatre, legendary actor Charlotte Rampling (The Night Porter,Broadchurch) will recite and perform the story of the wolf as never before. 
Grimaud will curate and perform a series of works for piano, while Gordon will create the visual world. They have collaborated with Rampling and New York-based novelist and playwright Veronica Gonzalez Peña, weaving together stories, music, motifs, phrases and fragments to build this lyrical and beguiling work. 
In a new partnership to support their ongoing creative development, the Sacred Sounds Women’s Choir, first formed for MIF13, will perform as part of the soundscape to the production.

The Guardian has a lengthy and in-depth write-up on the show and the creators, (wonderfully titled "What Large Teeth You Have!") something which those who are interested in exploring the darker themes of fairy tales and LRRH in particular will find very interesting. (Note: this article does get a little dark with it's language and descriptions but also talks about the wolf as portrayed in literature and myth - why so negatively and the nature of man in contrast. It's a very interesting, recommended read.) Here are some excerpts:

Helene Grimaud working in wolf preservation
“For me, the most important thing is to be as close to the dark as possible, and then, when the lights come up, it should be the same as when you’re a child, when you have a nightmare and then you wake up and you feel safe and then you’re frightened to go back to sleep.” In his gravelly, laconic Glaswegian voice, the Turner-prizewinning artist Douglas Gordon is painting me a picture of a new play about the Big Bad Wolf that he is directing, designing and performing in at this year’s Manchester international festival. 
Entitled Neck of the Woods, it is a retelling of the Little Red Riding Hood story, and brings together an impressive group of talents: Gordon, the concert pianist and wolf conservationist Hélène GrimaudCharlotte Rampling and the acclaimed Mexican-born writer and film-maker Veronica Gonzalez Peña. 
...For the story, Gordon asked Gonzalez Peña for something “very loosely based onLittle Red Riding Hood”. Her script will draw on the many different takes on the wolf myth in literature, bringing them together in a collage of narrative, sound, lighting and singing. 
The wolf has not had a good press in literature. For Aesop, writing 600 years before the birth of Christ, it is a creature without virtue. It is insatiable. It is deceitful and selfish. It eats children.
Gustav Dore 
...in western culture the rapacious reputation has conquered all others. And so the wolf, and its humanoid incarnation the werewolf, has stalked its miscreant way through legend and literature, from the tales of Perrault, the brothers Grimm, De La Fontaine and Hans Christian Andersen, through DraculaTolkienCS Lewis and Prokofiev. When film came along it took up the baton and countless werewolf ripper movies have been inspired by Guy Endore’s 1933 cult novel The Werewolf of Paris. 
For all this negativity, the last century has seen a change in attitude to the wolf. Kipling casts the wolves in a benign role in The Jungle Book, as the saviours of Mowgli. JK Rowlingoffers a sympathetic portrait of a man fighting his inner werewolf in the character of Remus Lupin in her Harry Potter novels, while Stephenie Meyer’s tribe of shape-changing werewolves are warriors against the forces of evil in her Twilight novels. And of course there is the short story by Angela Carter, “The Company of Wolves”, which subverts traditional sexual attitudes to Little Red Riding Hood and ends with the girl stripping off to take her pleasure with the beast.
"Neck of the Woods" 
It is against this backdrop that Gonzalez Peña, in conversation with Gordon, has woven her script, bringing in references to Freud and the little-known but influential early 20th-century American writer Sherwood Anderson. I ask her whether, with a mind to Grimaud’s conservation activities, the play will try to right the malign image of the wolf. No, she says, it’s not going to be a polemical piece. Grimaud acknowledges that a didactic approach would not work artistically: “In the beginning, I suppose a part of me thought, ‘Great, we’re doing a piece about the ecology and the behaviour of wolves. We are rectifying the story and telling the facts,’ and, of course, it couldn’t be that.” 
For Gordon, it’s not about real wolves at all. “It is more to do with the metaphor of the wolf. There is the history of the she-wolf, but mostly wolves represent a bad man. One of the things I wanted to explore with this project in Manchester was that there is badness, there are bad reputations and they’re not without any foundations. I think men are worse than wolves, for sure.”
And a note from the actress Charlotte Rampling, who narrates the play, as the "third wolf", via the Manchester Evening News:

Charlotte Rampling, Douglas Gordon & beloved arctic wolf (preserved)
..Rampling would be the first to admit that she was once a child scared of the big bad wolf. 
“When you re-read those stories when you’re older - the Hans Christian Andersen ones, the Brothers Grimm - they really are terrifying, they teach you really wild things,” she laughs.“You might say, ‘Oh gosh, children can’t hear this!’, but children do need to get a handle on primitive violence and the difference between right and wrong, who’s going to get eaten and how we’re going to adjust to rather terrifying situations.“Those stories have been read to children for so long there must be something essential in them that we believe children do need. And nursery rhymes - they’re pretty cruel too.” 
Cast by Turner Prize winning artist, writer and director Douglas Gordon and co-writer and pianist Hélène Grimaud in Manchester International Festival production Neck Of The Woods, Charlotte will be tackling the topic of the wolf in fiction - in particular, picking apart the reputation of this majestic woodland beast. 
...Charlotte is a multi-part interpreter of the story: as narrator and actor, she switches between the role of parent reading to their child and the protagonist of the story.
I want to include this final note from Rampling's interview as it speaks to storytelling today, something which is (unfortunately) often run over by film, TV and 'moving image' entertainment. I think what she says speaks to an re-emerging interest in live storytelling once again, albeit in a different form of multi-media. It's something I think we, as people who watch fairy tales continue to live in being told and going from one incarnation in popular thinking to another, as they're told, retold, spread, discovered and re-discovered, should take note of:
Charlotte Rampling
Having the innovative creative environment of MIF to transform into this multifaceted character is what encouraged Charlotte to take the role. “It is enabling these forms of creation to happen,” she says about the festival. 
“If everything is filmic language, we don’t give people a chance to express where they really are in the world. With experimental language, it means you can really research areas that you won’t at all be able to do in the theatrical system.”
"Neck of the Woods" plays in Manchester at HOME, as part of the Manchester International Festival, from July 10th-July 18th 2015.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Ukranian Folklore & Riddle Illustrations by Valentina Melnichenko


I promised to share these a while back and thought it about time I did, now that I've tracked down all of them (I think!). These are, as far as I can make out, from a book published in 1988 in the Ukraine, on folklore and riddles. (Valentina Melnichenko also illustrated the very "red" Little Red Riding Hood illustrations I shared HERE.)

I love these characters! And there are a couple of familiar looking ones in there too. The patterns are whimsical and fun but take a lot of skill to balance and still look carefree. Amazing work.

 























 
I regret I simply don't have the research time to hunt down where each illustration might be from tale-wise, but if you recognize any (or suspect a certain tale) please do share!