Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Guest Blog--Revisiting Children's Books

I just read The Four Gallant Sisters by Eric A. Kimmel to my three daughters. This book retells a traditional fairytale by the Brothers Grimm. However, Kimmel changes the tale of "The Four Artful Brothers" into a feminist fairy tale.

Four sisters lose their mother and decide to disguise themselves as men to learn trades. Each sister picks a unique trade and after seven years of apprenticeship receives magical tools. The sisters then use their talents and tools to gain employment with the king. Problems arise when the king's mother is certain the "men" are women and puts them to various tests. She tells the king the "men" will be courteous and tidy when tested, a proof they are really women.

This story of strong women, who end up performing harrowing deeds, is a unique and positive tale. While the story emphasizes the abilities of women, the book doesn't try to proclaim that men and women are exactly alike. It allows for the fact that women often display some virtues more than men do and praises them for it.


Blogger said...

I know this question is totally inappropriate considering the empowering content of the book, but is there any romance in this fairy tale?

notaconnoisseur said...

It sounds like a book that I would like to read.