REVIEW: Through the Water Curtain by Cornelia Funke
International bestselling children’s author Cornelia Funke has long been inspired and fascinated by fairy tales. This wonderful anthology is Funke’s personal selection of fairy tales from all around the world – not just from her native Germany but from Russia, Japan and the Native American tradition. It’s the perfect Christmas gift for any young reader wishing to discover the wider world of fairy tales.
Dear Ms. Funke,
Once again it was the cover that lured me in. Like a fairy tale character tempted by something irresistible, I had to give into temptation and ask to review it. I agree with you about how children are far more willing to eagerly listen to stories with death and mutilations and imprisonments while not batting an eyelash – I listened to and read plenty of them myself as a child. I have to keep reminding myself of that when I read fairy stories today and my eyes get big in astonishment. I read that as a child and it never bothered me?
I liked the idea you started with about finding and presenting stories with strong women though this theme fell by the wayside in a few stories. There was also no story included from Native American traditions though I’d love to read some. There are some nice tales from Asia which I enjoyed seeing and reading. Along with some dark stories and ones which have (mainly) heroes who seem to do little to earn their HEA (Vasyl in “The Frog Princess” and Ivan in “The Tale of the Firebird” I’m looking at you two), there is a hilarious one I’d never read before that seemed a bit of Monty Python meets a fairy tale called “The Story of One Who Set Out to Study Fear.” And while I wish there had been more in this vein, the heroines of “The Frog Princess,” “The One-Handed Murderer,” and “The Girl Who Gave a Knight a Kiss Out of Necessity” were great in saving themselves or getting a little revenge. Ah and the front page illustrations for all the stories were lovely, too. B