Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Classic Double Challenge: East of the Sun, and West of the Moon

The Classic Double Reading Challenge is hosted by Melissa @ One Librarian's Books Reviews.

East of the Sun, and West of the Moon:

This is a story that I wasn't familiar with AT ALL. I'd never heard about it until I started blogging, and it wasn't until very recently that I read an original version. I'm very curious to read more of the re-tellings, because I think it holds an incredible amount of room for imagination. I'm looking forward to how the different authors fill in the blanks.

If you would like to read an original version of East of the Sun, and West of the Moon, just go to the SurLaLune Fairy Tales website. CLICK HERE for a direct link to that particular story. I've mentioned before how much I love that site. They have a big list of old fairy tales. When you click on each one, it will take you to the story, along with click-able annotations. You can read it straight through, and then go back and click on certain words or phrases to read the annotations. On each story's page, there's also a list of books and movies that are re-tellings of that story. LOVE it!

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George:


Disgusted by the birth of yet another girl, the mother of Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow doesn't have the desire to give her daughter a name. Throughout the story, she is simply referred to as "pika"(meaning girl) or "the lass". "The Lass" is given the gift of speaking to animals. One day a polar bear asks her to come live with him in a castle for a year and a day, in exchange for her family's wealth. When she arrives at the castle, she discovers there a great mystery to be solved.

My Rating: 3/5 stars(I liked it...)

My Thoughts:

When I read books, sometimes my imagination plays out as a cartoon and sometimes it's "real life". Do any of y'all read like that? Well, this book gave me the cartoon characters. I never decide what I'm going to imagine. It's just an automatic response based on the writing style. Neither one is necessarily a bad thing, by the way!

Overall, I liked this book. I enjoyed seeing the life that George breathed into the characters, and some of the little details that she added to the original. I simply enjoy fairy tales! So, I enjoyed Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow.

That said, I wanted more details. Looking back at my thoughts on the only other book I've read of hers(which even after re-wording, I didn't portray the thoughts I wanted to....at all), I realize that my thoughts were sort of the same for both books. I enjoyed the characters and story, but I wanted more of the blanks filled in. I wanted to know and love the characters, as opposed to just reading their story. In both books, I also felt the ending was rushed. I think it would have been much better with a bit more length. I think more details would have brought this book from good to great! It is extremely close to the original. If you've read the original, there's really not many, if any, surprises at all. I like a little more variation in my re-tellings, for the most part.

There is imagination in the story, though. I really liked the addition of the brother and his background story. I would have loved to hear more about it.

Overall, I think my reading style just clashed a little with the writing style, but I still had fun getting lost in the land of snow!

If you're looking for a really quick fairy tale fix, definitely give this one a try!

Perfectly and wonderfully clean! :)

*I also want to add in how much I appreciate when authors create respectful characters! The mother in this story needs a nice big smack in the head, but "the lass" remains respectful throughout, and I think that's awesome!


  1. Great look at this pairing! I've never read an original of the tale, but I think I've read three or four versions of this fairy tale. I especially loved East by Edith Pattou - it definitely has a LOT more detail than this one does :)

  2. I actually JUST picked East up to read. I'm only about 25 pages in, though. It's definitely longer! :)

  3. I've never heard of the original tale. Interesting. I have heard of this book though, and it's been on my to-read list for awhile. I really need to pick it up. I'm glad you liked it.

    1. It's been fun reading the original stories! There's so many of them I didn't know the "real" story. :)

  4. I really like Sun and Moon, along with Jessica Day George's Princess books. I love reading retellings. Try teh Once Upon a Time series. It's a great series of retellings for almost all of the fairy tales.

    1. I definitely want to read that whole series eventually! :)