The Wild Swans

tr. from Danish by Misha Hoekstra. illus. by Helen Crawford-White. 64p. ebook available. Pushkin. Feb. 2017. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781782691228.
Gr 3–5—Magical swans, evil queens, and a beautiful singing nightingale initiate fantastical ideas and dreams of lands far, far away. Eleven prince brothers are dashed from their royal lives when the evil new Queen transforms them into 11 magnificent wild swans. Their younger sister, Elisa, astonished by her brothers' absence, is transformed by the Queen to such a hideous exterior that even her own father fails to recognize her. Thus begins Elisa's quest to solve the mystery and discover the fate of her beloved brothers. Accompanying this tale is Andersen's "The Nightingale." Hoekstra's translation brings these wondrous tales up to the surface for a new generation. The quick pacing and simple vocabulary will attract and keep the attention of eager and reluctant readers alike. Overall, these "folk fantasy" stories may delight younger readers and bring the traditional tales into 2017.
VERDICT Recommended for elementary libraries with budding readers who have a taste for all things fantastical.

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