The Ballad of Belle Dorcas by William H. Hooks

The Ballad of Belle Dorcas by William H. Hooks, illustrated by Brian Pinkney (Suggested reading level: Grades 2 – 4) This is a wonderful re-telling of a traditional American story, but one I’ve never heard before. According to the author, this is one of the many “conjure” tales he was …

The Ice Maiden by Hans Christian Andersen

“The Ice Maiden” by Hans Christian Andersen This is one of the longer works of Andersen and one of the longest fairy tales we’ve looked at.  It tells the story of Rudy, who we first meet as a little boy selling toy houses his grandfather makes. We learn that both …

Thumbling by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

“Thumbling” by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm The story of Thumbling is an odd little fairy tale. It starts like many others with a couple wishing they had a child. At last their wish is granted, although their son is only as long as a thumb. He’s not helpless however, and …

The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen

“The Little Match Girl” by Hans Christian Andersen Earlier this year, I asked people to share what their favorite Christmas story is and several mentioned this tale by Hans Christian Andersen. It’s one I’ve heard of but I’m not sure that I ever actually read it before. The Little March …

The Elves and the Shoemaker by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

“The Elves and the Shoemaker” by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm This is one of three elf stories that follow each other in the Grimm’s Household Tales. This one is the funnest to me and it takes place just before Christmas, so it’s appropriate to the season. There a poor shoemaker …

The Snowman by Hans Christian Andersen

“The Snowman” by Hans Christian Andersen This is such a sad story. It starts with a snowman enjoying the nice crisp winter air, and then a bitter old dog comes around and starts to taunt the snowman. The dog first tells the snowman that the sun will make him melt …