Off the Shelf: Jack and the Beanstalk

Jack and the Beanstalk is definitely more of a boys’ fairy tale, but I couldn’t resist this cute picture book by Jim Harris published by Rising Moon in 1997. He’s taken the story out of storybook land and thumped it … Continue reading

How to Modify a Crochet Pattern — Plus, a Wonder-ful Read

So, for the past few weeks, I’ve been in search of a free dolphin pattern. I couldn’t find anything that matched what I was looking for. I tried making my own, but it was a miserable failure. So, I went into … Continue reading

Off the Shelf: Puss in Boots

Check out the cover of this book. Notice anything interesting? No title. No author byline. No illustrator name. No display text whatsoever. Crazy, huh? This wonderful version of Puss in Boots is taken from Perrault’s tale and illustrated by Fred … Continue reading

Off the Shelf: The Little Mermaid Illustrated by Michael Hague

I’m so excited to tell you about what I found at a bookstore in Phoenix a few weeks back. It’s a copy of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid illustrated by the wonderful Michael Hague.


It was first published by Henry Holt and Company in 1981, but this is a 1994 sturdy hardback edition.


I just love Michael Hague. I don’t pretend to be an expert or anything, but just look at the details. Here’s the Sea King’s palace at the deepest part of the ocean.


And here is the little mermaid astonished by everything she sees at the surface of the ocean.



And here she is playing with the dolphins.



I know it’s difficult to see, but here is a two-page spread showing the prince drowning with the ship. Hague reminds me a lot of Michelangelo — lots of twisted, muscular bodies. Even the women look manly.



Love the rich colors and billowing fabrics here.



It’s time for a heart-to-heart with grandma. Sheesh. Grandma has a great bod.



Again, what wonderful details. This is the mer-kingdom’s court ball.



But the fun and frivolity can’t satisfy the little mermaid. Here, she’s on her way to see the sea witch to bargain for some legs.



Cover your eyes, children.



That poor girl.



What a perfect image of the sisters, when they visit the little mermaid for the last time and give her the enchanted knife.




Here is that clueless prince doing the unthinkable.



And here’s our last glimpse of the little mermaid before she makes the ultimate sacrifice.



I know I’ve asked this before, but what’s your take on the original version of The Little Mermaid? Too sad? Appropriately realistic? Metaphoric? I’d love to know.



Off the Shelf: The Steadfast Tin Soldier

It isn’t often that you find an entire book dedicated to just one of Hans Christian Andersen’s lesser known tales. I found this copy of “The Steadfast Tin Soldier” at this great secondhand bookstore here in San Diego, and I … Continue reading