Posts Tagged ‘folklore’

A few days ago, Fuse #8 posted a bit of news saying that Lotte Reiniger’s The Adventures of Prince Achmed was going to be shown at a theater in Brooklyn.  It made me so happy — as some of you may know from this previous post, I’m something of a shadow puppet enthusiast and a definite fan of Reiniger’s work.

Case in point: this past Saturday I did a shadow puppet production of Hansel & Gretel at my library.  I think it turned out rather cute, so I thought I’d share a few images with you.

The first show our hero and heroine (volunteer kids from the audience) talking to their father in the forest.


Here the kids look hungrily at the fabulous gingerbread house.


Lastly, the evil witch casts a spell on Hansel.  See that green glow?  That’s the magic spell.  Green is always the color of magic, right?


The more astute among you will see the great debt I owe to David Wisniewski’s Worlds of Shadow for this production.  If you’re interested in shadow puppetry, I highly recommend picking up a copy.

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The Metropolitan Opera is currently showing a new production of Hansel und Gretel, and also exhibiting a collection of art inspired by the folktale. The New Yorker is hosting a gallery of images from the collection, featuring these lovelies:




It’s worth taking a gander at all of them — note the William Stieg — especially after spending a night handing out goodies to kids from the front porch. Good grief, my teeth hurt just remembering it . . .

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Yes, yes — I’m lifting this idea directly from Betsy Bird’s A Fuse #8 Production, but it’s such a good idea, and I’m always up for a blog posting that doesn’t require me to come up with original content in any way. Besides, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? Right?

First up is a beautiful children’s puppet show from Lotte Reiniger. Never heard of her? She was a shadow puppet artist and pioneering animator back in the 20s and 30s. Even though Disney would have you believe otherwise, her lovely Adventures of Prince Achmed was truly the first full-length animated feature (and it’s recently been released on DVD, so go check it out). When I was in college, I found her books on shadow puppetry and read them cover to cover — they were fascinating. Almost all of her films were adaptations of folktales — this one’s from 18th-century England.

Here’s “Jack and the Beanstalk” — in TECHNICOLOR!

And go here if you’d like to learn more about this fascinating artist.

Next, up an animated version of Edward Gorey’s Gashlycrumb Tinies. The animation is crude, but silly enough that it works. Thanks to A Blog of Bosh for the link.

And this has nothing to do with children’s literature, but I think this happens to be the best song about office supplies and world peace ever written:

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Forgotten BooksWhoo. In the course of schlepping all of my junk from The Evil Blogger to The Somewhat Less Evil WordPress, I’ve decided to make a handy-dandy archive of what has always been this blog’s most popular feature: The Forgotten Bookshelf. Here you’ll find picture books, fiction, poetry, folklore, and even the (very) occasional non-fiction from the Days of Yore. These are classics reclassified — gems from years past that are raring to be unearthed and enjoyed by a new generation of readers. Read on and happy hunting!

Picture Books





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