Of Heros, Queens and Kings

The Chess Piece Magician

Doublas Bruton

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$11.95

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Corrie's fingers closed round the small bone figure.  It grew warmer in his grip.  He could feel a pulse, as though it were alive . . .

When Corrie’s family returns to Uig Bay on the Isle of Lewis for yet another miserable summer holiday, he has no idea of the incredible adventure that lies ahead. He finds a strange figurine on a windswept beach, which looks very like the ancient chess pieces found there centuries ago ... but this one has a magician’s staff.

Corrie makes friends with local girl, Kat, who tells him the island’s legends—of a terrible sea serpent who summoned up never-ending winter, and of a powerful magician who finally banished him. When Corrie hears a voice in the night and the strange little figure starts to glow, he finds himself drawn into an incredible battle between good and evil.

Douglas Bruton’s gripping first novel tells a fictional fantasy story behind the famed Lewis chessmen, which date from the twelfth century and were found in Uig Bay in the 1830s.

(Ages 8–12)

The Coming of the Unicorn

Scottish Folk Tales for Children

Duncan Williamson

Softbound

$15.95

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Duncan Williamson came from a family of Traveling People. They told stories around the campfire for entertainment and for teaching, and as a child Duncan learned the ways of the world through those stories. “My father's knowledge told us how to live in this world as natural human beings—not to be greedy, not to be foolish, not to be daft or selfish—by stories.”

In this collection, Duncan passes on some of those wonderful folk and fairy tales for children. For more than sixty years, Duncan traveled around Scotland—on foot, then in a horse and cart, and later in an old van—collecting tales that come not only from the Traveling People but also from the crofters, farmers, and shepherds he met along the way.

The Coming of the Unicorn includes tales of cunning foxes and storytelling cats, hunchbacked ogres and beautiful unicorns, helpful broonies and mysterious fairies, rich kings and fearsome warriors, as well as stories about ordinary folks trying to make their way in the world. These stories have been written down to reflect as faithfully as possible Duncan's unique storytelling voice, full of color, humor, and life.

Ages 8-12

*****

Duncan Williamson was born in 1928 on the shores of Loch Fyne, the seventh of sixteen children.  He left home at the age of fifteen and spent the next forty years traveling, continuing the traditional trades of his people, and collecting tales from travelers, crofters, farmers and shepherds he met along the way.  Duncan died in 2007, leaving behind a worldwide reputation.

The Land of Green Ginger

Noel Langley

Softbound

Illustrated by Edward Ardizzone (of Sarah and Simon and No Red Paint fame)

$10.95

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This beloved classic is a funny, clever, and original novel that opens with Aladdin - now Emperor of China - trying to decide what to name his son, a child who won't stop talking and is already far too articulate for his own good. The Genie of the Lamp announces that Abu Ali should be the child's name and that his destiny is to rescue the magician who created the Land of Green Ginger - a sort of fabulous floating garden - and then turned himself into a Button-Nosed Tortoise by mistake. Abu Ali is told he is the only one who can find the peripatetic island, locate the Button-Nosed Tortoise, and reverse the spell. And so begins a series of adventures that invoke a memorable cast of characters, some despicable, some feckless, and some (no surprise) beautiful and feisty.

It's all here - Flying Carpets, Green Dragons, Magic Phoenix Birds, Boomalakka Wee, the dysfunctional infant son of the Genie of the Lamp, the displaced mouse who was supposed to have been a donkey, even Omar Khayyam himself. It all adds up to a fantastical tale of adventure and mayhem, fabricated by the screenwriter of The Wizard of Oz and illustrated by the inimitable and beloved Edward Ardizzone.

The Land of Green Ginger was first published in 1937, revised and expanded in 1966, and republished again in 1975, the text on which this edition is based.

[The Land of Green Ginger] is the perfect read-aloud anti-depressant. I am very very very very pleased to announce that it is now in print in this country, in a lovely edition. . . and I must say that the pleasures of the book are in the language: Whether or not you are a fan of magic carpets and button-nosed tortoises, you will know that you need this book as soon as I tell you that one of the chief villain's lines is, "This isn't About Cheating at Chess, is it? Because I adore Cheating at Chess; I shall Continue to Cheat at Chess; and if you Dare Try to Stop Me, I shall put Glue in your Beard."
—Ellen Kushner

Noel Langley was born in 1911 in South Africa and became a Broadway playwright as well as an author and screenwriter. His most famous screenplay was The Wizard of Oz, but he also wrote the scripts for Scrooge, Ivanhoe and The Prisoner of Zenda. He wrote for both children and adults, and died in California in 1980.

Edward Ardizzone, born in 1900 in French Indochina, became a war artist during World War II. He illustrated more than twenty children's books including classics by Dickens, Mark Twain, Dylan Thomas and Christianna Brand's Nurse Matilda series.

Delicious fun for ages 9 (or so) and above.

The Children of Odin

The Book of Northern Myths

Padraic Colum

Softbound

$12.95

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Meet Thor, Baldur, Freya, Odin and all the higher gods - and Loki too, mischief maker and clever deceiver. Filled with the most extraordinary tales of great depth, imagination and wisdom it is impossible to resist this wonderful book - and Colum's telling is outstanding. Filled with drama, intrigue, humor and adventure, this collection of tales begins with the building of Asgard, home of the gods, and ends with the final battle of Ragnarok when the world is deluged i water and made anew.

In between we meet Iduna and her golden apples, Freya of the ill-gotten necklace, Odin the Wanderer, Sigurd the Dragon Slayer, the mischievous, clever but vindictive Loki, and the whole Norse pantheon from giants to dwarves.  For richness, cultural wealth and sheer grandeur, the Norse myths stand alone and unique in the world.

This edition has been given a new cover by Reg Down and the type has been reset, making this edition much more readable than previous editions.

The content of The Children of Odin is identical to that of Nordic Gods and Heros.

Sir Gillygad and the Gruesome Egg

Reg Down

Softbound

$16.50

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Sir Gillygad is a knight, a doughty knight who rides about on his trusty frog called Gorf.  They sally forth on adventures bold and exciting: to the Twinkle, to Holey Hill, to the Plain of Dreams - even as far as World's End.  The rumors are heard, rumors of an egg, a Gruesome Egg with two leggs, a left leg and a right leg, and the leggs are bird's leggs - which makes sense in an eggy sort of way.  The egg is haunting the Daark Foreset, close to teh Mumbly Mews and the gerwine Greneff.  So off Sir Gillygad gallops (well, hoppedy-hops), there to meet and confront this unique and remarkable beast.

Sir Gillygad and the Gruesome Egg is an adventuresome tale, suitable for children aged 9 to 12 or thereabouts - and adults, too, if they are still young at heart and open to the wonders that speak of the mystery of becoming.

Legends of King Arthur

Medieval Stories Collected and Retold

Isabel Wyatt

Softbound

Formerly published as Tales the Harper Sang

$16.95

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Enter a world of duels and jousting, where knights battle to protect the honor of fair maidens and defend King Arthur’s castle. Knights meet in fellowship at Camelot, where they are entertained with feasts and pageantry. Honor and chivalry are valued above all else, and courageous knights fight strange, unearthly foes to prove themselves worthy of a place at King Arthur’s table.

These ancient tales have been told since the fifth century, when Welsh bards traveled the countryside, entertaining lords and ladies with stories and songs. Those exciting tales were retold in verse by Chretien de Troyes in his twelfth-century Le morte d’Arthur and in prose by Sir Thomas Malory during the fifteenth century.

The book includes a selection of these enthralling legends, skillfully retold by renowned storyteller Isabel Wyatt.

The Dragon Boy

Book One of the Star Trilogy

Donald Samson

Softbound

$14.99

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Orphaned twice by the time he was nine, he was living on the streets and did not even know his own name. He was not allowed to set foot inside the one place he was determined to find work. To complete the disaster of his young life, the object of his affections was Star, an immense, emerald-green dragon.

But, good fortune finally smilled upon him: Star was a Luck Dragon. Suddenly he was admitted as a barn boy into the elite Dragon Compound. He was given three warm meals a day, work, and even a name. And best of all, Star took him on as his secret apprentice.

The Dragon Boy is enjoyable for any age from 4th grade and up. In the classroom or at home, teachers and parents can easily read it to their students. It is useful as a reader in the fifth or sixth grade to stimulate conversation around good and evil, bullying, finding a purpose in life, destiny, perseverance, and above all, courage.

The Dragon of Two Hearts

Book Two of the Star Trilogy

Donald Samson

Softbound

$14.99

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The tale of the the Dragon Boy continues in The Dragon of Two Hearts!

Answering a call of distress, the knight Michael find the king of Gladur Nock surprisingly reluctant to be rid of the shadow of fear the dragon casts over his land. And then he meets Princess Aina, a warrior maiden who first imprisons men and then trains them to do battle against the dragon.

With whom should he align himself? And what chance does he stand anyway against a ruthless, violent, and remorseless dragon? What good has all his training with a Luck Dragon been to prepare him for this moment?

Find out in The Dragon of Two Hearts - rivetting reading for ages 9 and up.

Homer's Odyssey

A Retelling

Isabel Wyatt

Softbound

$17.95

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This is a book I've been hoping to see for years - it is happy news that it is now available. Isabel Wyatt's retelling of the Odyssey is masterful and engaging. Without sacrificing any of the grandeur or scale of the original, she tells the complete story in a way that makes it a bit more immediate, more alive than the translations. This is the perfect reader for Grade 5 students in the Waldorf Curriculum, and a great story for everyone else.

A Wonder Book

Heroes and Monsters of Greek Mythology

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Softbound

$4.00

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What could be better than to have riveting stories from Greek mythology told by one of America's finest writers? Not much, at least not from my perspective.

Nathaniel Hawthorne remains one of my favorite authors, despite the treatment he was meted out during my high school years. His ability to engage the reader and unfold a story far surpasses most of the literature that followed him - I still go back to his books when I want the uprightness and intelligence he brought to the page, and when I want a book that inspires such interest that I can hardly put it down.

It is just these qualities that he brought to A Wonder Book. Children will be captivated by both the Greek myths and by the storyteller who is the 'outer story' of this book. The warmth of the narrator and the imaginations of the Greeks combine to make A Wonder Book one of the treasures of children's literature for all time.

Ages 10 and up.

Nordic Hero Tales from the Kalevala

James Baldwin

Illustrated by N. C. Wyeth

Softbound

$8.95

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One of the finest collections of stories from the Finnish epic, the Kalevala, Nordic Hero Tales is filled with heroes, rivals, maidens, gods and goddesses. Centered on the sampo, the magical artifact around which the epic revolves in much the same way as the Ring features in both Wagner's opera cycle and Tolkien's Lord of the Ring, these stories speak of the classic struggle of good against evil in ways that are still alive and meaningful today.

Highly recommended for ages 9 and older.

Viking Gods and Heroes

Told by E. M. Wilmot-Buxton

Softbound

$7.95

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This captivating collection of stories handed down centuries ago from the hardy people of the Far North tells of handsome gods, lovely goddesses, giants and dwarfs who lived in a land dominated by fire and ice. Twenty-five astonishing tales, just right as an extension of the Waldorf 4th grade (9 year olds), recall the dramatic creation of earth, sea, and sky and the chilling struggles between titans, trolls, and mighty heroes.

Ages 9 and older.

The Story of the Golden Fleece

Padraic Colum

Softbound

$5.95

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When one of the finest storytellers turns his attention to one of the worlds richest stories, the results are simply wonderful. Colum's rendition of the Golden Fleece creates a world where Jason, Medea, Heracles (Hercules), Orpheus and others come to life in stirring detail. The Story of the Golden Fleece is itself an invitation to enter the world of Greek lore and and share the adventures of heroes and gods. Truly wonderful stuff!

Ages 10 and older.

The Light Princess

and Other Fairy Tales

George MacDonald

Softbound

$9.95

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When our children were young, there were several collections of George MacDonald's fairy tales available. Now, it seems there is only this one remaining. It is our good fortune that between its covers are some of MacDonald's very best stories, still in print for young and old to enjoy and grow by.

Good and evil fairies abound in this rich collection of compelling tales by one of the foremost fantasy writers of the nineteenthy century. So do magical lands, sinister monsters, giants, ogres and other creatures from the realms of imagination.

In "The Light Princess," a young royal, bewitched at birth by her spiteful aunt, is cursed with uncontrollable bouts of lightness. (Gravity, it seems, doesn't affect her!) A little boy in "The Golden Key" is told he can find a magical key a the end of the rainbow. What the key will open, though, is part of its mystery. And in "The giant's Heart," the monster in question is truly heartless, for he's hidden his heart, and it's up to two determined children to find the awful thing and put an end to the colossal ogre.

These and five other beguiling tales are here, ready for another generation.

Ages 9 and up as read-to-me; ages 12 and up for reading to themselves

Dragonfire

Anne Forbes

Softbound

$11.95

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Ill-tempered pigeons in Edinburgh’s Old Town? It’s not a normal part of daily life—but things are never going to be the same again.

Clara and Neil have always known the MacArthurs, the little people who live under Arthur’s Seat, in Holyrood Park, but they are not quite prepared for what else is living under the hill. Feuding faery lords, missing whisky, magic carpets, firestones, and ancient spells ... where will it end? And how did it all start?

Set against the backdrop of the Edinburgh Fringe and Military Tattoo, this is a fast-paced comic adventure, full of magic, mayhem and mystery—and a dragon.

(Ages 10-13)

Wings of Ruksh

Sequel to Dragonfire

Anne Forbes

Softbound

$12.00

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“Strange as it may seem, as he came in to land at Edinburgh Airport last year, the captain of the London flight reported sighting a dragon...”

A year on, and life has calmed down for Neil and Clara MacLean. A quiet meal in the Sultan’s palace restaurant. What could go wrong? But they hadn’t counted on the mirror! How is it connected to the missing Sultan’s crown, and what secrets does the mysterious Black Tower hold? Winged horses, snow witches, magic mirrors—how did they get here and where are they going?

From an Edinburgh literally cloaked in tartan, through the forbidding Highland hills, Neil and Clara set out with old and new friends on a perilous journey full of danger, daring—and a reluctant broomstick.

(Ages 10-13)

East o' the Sun and West o' the Moon

The Complete, Unabridged Edition by George Webbe Dasent

Softbound

$13.95

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I have been wanting to write about this collection for some time. It is an old, classic collection of Scandinavian folk and fairy tales, on a par with that of the Brothers Grimm and originally published in 1888. Many of you have probably heard of it or even read it.

I've been wanting to say two things about it, the first of which is that the fairy tales I remember most vividly from my own childhood are those that I read to myself in 4th grade (that year, I did a lot of story reading while I was supposed to be doing math problems). It turns out that all of them came from an abridged version of East o' the Sun. Most especially, I remember "Katie Woodencloak" and "Tatterhood," but there are several others that live on in warm places in my heart also.

More importantly, and beyond simply wanting to share with you a lovely slice of my past, I want to tell you what I've discovered in dipping into this treasure house of stories: namely, that this collection more than any other I know is comprised of what are clearly post-Christian stories. There is an element of hardship and redemption that plays out in these tales in ways no other region's tales have done. Mother Mary even appears in at least one of them ("The Lassie and Her Godmother").

As such, this collection can hold a unique place in the context of the goals of Waldorf education. I think it can become a wonderful counterpoint during the 4th grade to presentation of the Norse Myths. This is a time when the Norse gods resemble very much the children: a bit more in possession of their (rather raucous) power than they are capable of self-control. The tumultuous tales of Loki and Baldur and Thor are just right for that age, and so we teach them. But were we to add some of the stories in East o' the Sun, we would be giving our children pictures of what the coming out of this chaos and into the more fully human can look like, and Who it might be that accompanies us. It would allow the students to recapture some of their delight from first grade, but in an older and wiser form. I think it would enhance the developmental effect of the Norse myths and offer a heartfelt image of the paths we walk on earth.

I should add that because of the perspective and content of these tales, I recommend them for children 9 years and older, not for the younger ones.

Book of Fairy Princes

Isabel Wyatt

$16.95

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With the wise counsel of the Golden Fish, the Fisher Boy sets out to win the heart of a beautiful princess. But first he must travel far and wide to find a golden eagle, a leaf-green bull, and a lion with a snow-white heart. Written for third-graders, this is another treasure from Isabel Wyatt.

Thorkill of Iceland

Viking Hero-Tales

Isabel Wyatt

$16.95

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King Gorm of Denmark sends the hero Thorkill of Iceland on a mission to the land of the Giants. Thorkill's enemies plan for him never to return from this journey. Thorkill's adventurous success is told with Isabel Wyatt's characteristic touch of drama and beauty. Included also in Thorkill of Iceland is the story of The Dream of King Alfdan, in which Prince Guthorm loses his inheritance after his father Sigurd is Banished from the Norwegian court and endures many adventures before fulfilling his destiny. Perfect for your adventurous 4th grader!

Gilgamesh - Man's First Story

Bernarda Bryson

Softbound - elegantly illustrated

$19.95

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This is a powerful - and powerfully beautiful - retelling of one of the oldest stories known to humanity. Bernarda Bryson tells this story with simplicity and grace - retaining as she does the uniquely Sumerian view of the world, some of the poetic responses, and above all, the heart and soul of this story that combines in equal measure the elements of both transcendent victory and deep tragedy. This retelling was written for children, but I can't think of any adult who wouldn't enjoy it as well. Ms. Bryson is rightly remembered as an author whose sensitivity was matched by her literary skill - and who used the fullness of her capacities in the making of this book.

The story of Gilgamesh was first written down about 3000 BC in Sumeria. It tells of a great flood and of one man, befriended by the gods, who survived by building an ark. In the feats of Gilgamesh and his companion, Enkidu, a monster who turns into a gentle man who loves and respects the King, are found the sources of great mythological heroes: Hercules, Jason and Theseus.

In addition to its vital importance in the history of literature, Gilgamesh is an exciting and often amusing tale - setting jealous god against jealous god, god against man, and man against man in remarkable battles of wit and strength.

A must for fifth graders - wonderful for the rest of us!

The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings

J.R.R. Tolkien

4 Volume Deluxe Boxed Set

Paperbound - large trade paper format

$45.00

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I once knew a young father - a professional storyteller - who steadfastly maintained that he had children so that, when they were old enough, he could tell them The Lord of the Rings. I didn't really believe that was his primary motive for raising children, but on the other hand, The Lord of the Rings is without doubt one of the all-time greatest stories ever. Tolkien created a masterpiece of epic proportions, where the joy of goodness shines radiantly pure and the chill of evil creeps with unmistakable darkness. Through it all, the imperfect, comfort-loving Hobbits uphold the destiny of the world one uncertain step at a time. A great story to read to children 9 and up or for teens and adults to read to themselves.

Dragonsblood

Eugene Schwartz

Illustrated by Kris Carlson

Softbound

$14.95

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In olden times, the dragon appeared at the village gate every evening and demanded his due. Frightened villagers one after another brought him a prize sheep, or cow, or goat and the dragon then went away . . . for another night.

Then came a drought and there were no more animals to feed to the hungry dragon. Threatening to burn down the village if they refused him, the dragon told them to bring him their children instead. The children had been planning a long time for this day and surprised both the dragon and their parents by rising to fight and defeat the dragon.

But the dragon promised to return, and dragons always keep their promises . . .

Ages 8 through 10 or so (approximately grades 2 through 5).

The Midwife's Apprentice

Karen Cushman

Softbound

With a new introduction by the author

$6.99

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Here's another great Medieval tale by Karen Cushman. On a frosty morning sometime early in the fourteenth century, in a village somewhere in England, a girl known only as Brat was sleeping on a dung heap.

"You, girl.  Are you alive or dead?"

When she opened her eyes, she saw an important-looking woman with a sharp glance and a sharp nose and a wimple starched into sharp pleats.  This woman was Jane the Midwife, and she needed a helper . . .

Thus begins the funny, wise, compassionate story of the homeless waif who became the midwife's apprentice -- a person with a name and a place in the world.

A family favorite, ages 10 and up.

The King of Ireland's Son

Padraic Colum

Illustrated by Willy Pogány

$12.95

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This edition contains the identical text as the Floris edition, but is graced with the original illustrations by Willy Pogány. It is a reproduction of the 1916 first edition and is printed in the United States - hence, the lower price. I find the older style of the illustrations very in keeping with the story, serving to carry the reader into the realm of Old Ireland. I am also delighted to be able to offer our customers a less expensive, worthy alternative.

Padraic Colum, an award-winning Irish storyteller whose children's stories always ring with the music of the spoken voice, weaves a tale of long ago, when the King of Ireland's son set out to find the Enchanter of the Black Back-Lands. He meets the Enchanter's daughter, Fedelma, falls in love and is betrothed to her. Then, he loses her. His adventures to find her again lead him to the Land of the Mist, the Town of the Red Castle and the worlds of Gilly of the Goatskin, the Hags of the Long Teeth, Princess Flame-of-Wine and a meeting with the Giant, Crom Duv. Our children had a wonderful time with this story when they were in 2nd and 3rd grades. Ages 8-11.

  

The Story of King Arthur

and Other Celtic Heroes

Padraic Colum

Softbound

$9.95

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After more than a thousand years, the Celts stand among the world's greatest story tellers. Even now, their tales are alive with wonder and excitement. To have Padraic Colum, one of the best storytellers ever retell the Celtic tales of King Arthur and his knights is almost too good to be true. These are story young and old will enjoy and return to time and again.

Very highly recommended for ages 9 and older.

The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood

Written and Illustrated by Howard Pyle

Softbound

$10.95

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I grew up at a time when Robin Hood and his Merry Men were a vibrant part of popular culture -- all the children I played with knew the stories as well as I did, and all of us loved Robin Hood and wanted to be just like him. The amount of pretend sword fighting and arrow shooting that we did was enough to leave even our energetic rabble ready for dinner and bedtime.

Looking back on my Robin Hood days, I still feel happy and grateful to have had them -- they provided all of us with wonderful adventures requiring real courage and derring-do. And, they gave us a model of someone who stood outside an unjust law, yet upheld a truer law and with a generous heart. Really, how could anyone ask for anything more for a child's imagination?

Howard Pyle's classic retelling of the Robin Hood tales is, in my opinion, the best available. The language is wonderful, Pyle's illustrations capture each moment while leaving lots of room for more imaginings, and he has told the greatest number of Robin Hood legends between two covers. Here are stories to nourish our childrens' brave hearts. Wonderful stuff!

Otto of the Silver Hand

Written and Illustrated by Howard Pyle

Softbound

$8.95

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Pyle created a gem of story when he wrote Otto of the Silver Hand. With his wonderful command of language and consummate skill as an artist, he weaves the tale of Otto, the motherless son of a valiant robber baron in Medieval Germany. Young Otto is born into a warring household in an age when lawless chieftans are either fighting each other or despoiling merchant caravans. He is raised in a monastery only to return to his family's domain and become painfully involved in the blood-feud between his father and the rival house of Trutz-Drachen. Pyle captures the sound and feel of an ancient story in this book -- it's an adventure youngsters who hear or read it will not soon forget.