When I was emailed by Mystic World Press about this book, I was ever so slightly prejudiced in favor of the book because I love fairy tales. And their message is amazing. I thought instead of giving you a short version, I'd let their message speak for itself:
At Mystic World Press we endeavor to produce Children's stories that have true Depth and Beauty, stories that can inspire young Hearts and Minds.
We believe that Children's stories should never fall short of the potential of the brilliant young minds they are presented to. At Mystic World Press we recognize that Children need stories that are as Beautiful, Profound and Magical as Childhood itself.And I couldn't agree more. Children are very impressionable and fairy tales are the perfect way to guide them into reading and enjoying it. Also, the morality in good fairy tales is so subtle yet strong children pick it up very quickly which can also only be beneficiary. But let's get back to the actual book: 'Beautiful Wild Rose Girl' by B. Magnolia.
In short, we believe Children deserve nothing less than Literature.
Beautiful Wild Rose Girl is an original, classically told fairy tale, about a poor, sad girl who lives in a swamp, a place where every night bullfrogs sing to her: “Trooonk! Troonk! Trooonk! What a stupid ugly girl!"
Every day the sad girl goes to the village to sell her wild roses, and because everyone finds her so beautiful, they call her “Beautiful Wild Rose Girl” but the poor girl hears instead “Stupid Ugly Swamp Girl” and she lowers her head and takes a step back because she is sure she smells like the awful swamp.
Beautiful Wild Rose Girl is a story about the mysterious forces that can haunt a person's self-image, and about how through love and self-realization these demons can be overcome.This story is both simple and heart warming in the way that classic fairy tales are. In straight forward yet beautiful language, the story of the Girl is set out for the reader. Fairy tales were always meant as a warning, in the kindest sense of the word. In a world where there are less and less true dangers, the pressures of society have become even heavier, especially on young girls. The importance of a story like this, which shows the reward for hard work, a good character and forgiveness and that what others say is often not reflective of the truth, cannot be underestimated. Encouraging stories like these can definitely help in preventing a generation of girls to grow up expecting to be scrutinized and wanting to be perfect. B. Magnolia herself said "In these uncertain times there is nothing more needful than the comfort of fairy tales." and I couldn't agree more.
B. Magnolia manages to tick all the right fairy tale boxes. There is the right amount of despair in the Girl's surroundings, there is just enough magic to give the tale something mystical and there is a Boy who would give anything. The ending is therefore perhaps predictable but also satisfying in the way that only fairy tales can be. There are no frills to the way Magnolia describes the Girl, the Boy and the Village, giving enough space to the imagination of a child to come up with its own images. I truly liked the illustrations by Jamila Keba. They somehow reminded me of prints with a South-American twist to them. The 4 major illustrations are set a key scenes in the story, highlighting the most important elements. The little illustrations throughout the book are also very nice.
s sent three different copies of the book by Mystic World Press because they put such an emphasis on their handmade copies and I thought I'd give all of them some attention too. The one at the beginning of the review is the Paper Pocket Book Illustrated, 8.5" x 5.5" which has 32 pages. I loved the feel of this copy in my hand. The cover is soft, the binding secure and the pages turn without a problem, not obscuring any of the text. This is a beautiful copy to give as a present. The Large Soft Cover Illustrated Japanese Stab Binding, 11"x 8.5" to the left has 34 pages. This is probably the best version to buy if you plan on reading it to your children. The print is bigger, the pages more sturdy and can therefore be viewed more easily by two or three people. The Paperback Edition also has 34 pages and can be seen in the middle of the review to the right. This might be the perfect version to get if you have a messy child. The glossy cover has a different illustration to the others but I quite like this cover. All version carry the Children's Literary Classics Seal of Approval. My favourite version was probably the Large Japanese one. It lies in the hand very comfortable and is just generally beautiful. I have to say it feels very special to hold a hand made book.
I give this book...
This is a charming fairy tale that your children are bound to love. The care and love with which the books are created definitely shows and it therefore really pays to invest in a handmade copy. The story is sweet and inspiration and not too long to be read to a child before bed. It is sure to inspire belief inside girls that hard work is worth it and a good character worth much more than beauty.
What do you think? Doesn't this sound like a charming fairy tale?