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“It was all as grand as grand could be.”


Feathers, Paws, Fins and Claws
Presentation and Reception
Christine A. Jones and Jennifer Schacker
Weller Book Works
Trolley Square
Thursday, May 26, 6:30PM

This event is free and open to the public

A wide variety of creatures walk, fly, leap, slither, and swim through fairy tale history. Marvelous animals are deeply inscribed in current popular culture — the beast redeemed by beauty, the frog prince released from enchantment by a young princess, wolves in pursuit of little girls and little pigs. Feathers, Paws, Fins, and Claws: Fairy-Tale Beasts presents lesser-known tales featuring animals, wild and gentle, who appear in imaginative landscapes and exhibit a host of surprising talents. The offbeat, haunting stories in this collection, illustrated by Lina Kusaite, are rich and relevant, and provoke the imaginations of readers of all ages.

Editors Christine Jones, University of Utah Associate Professor, and Jennifer Schacker, University of Guelph Associate Professor, chose ten stories that represent several centuries and cultural perspectives on fairy tale animals — rats as seductive as Little Red Riding Hood’s wolf, snakes who find human mates, dancing sheep and well-mannered bears. These beasts move between animal behavior and acts that seem more human than beastly. Each tale is presented as closely as possible to their original print versions, reflecting the use of historical spelling and punctuation.

Join Weller Book Works for a presentation by Jones and Schacker, and an interview by University of Utah Associate Professor Anne Jamison.

Read the tales, feast on treats from Fillings & Emulsions and Passion Flour, and have your very own copy of Feathers, Paws, Fins and Claws signed by the editors.


Rare Books celebrates this publication with its own collection of fairy tales, including:


Le XIII piaceuoli notti del S. Gio. Francesco Straparola di Carauaggion diuise in due libri…
Giovanni Francesco Straparola (ca. 1480- ca. 1557)
In Venetia: 1580
PQ4634 S7 P5 1580

The Pleasant Nights, a collection of seventy-five stories, was first published in 1550 with twenty-five stories. Giovanni Straparola added stories to the next two editions, including what are considered to be the first “fairy tales” printed in a European vernacular. The collection of stories was reprinted in at least twenty-three editions between 1550 and 1620 and translated into German, Spanish, and French within only a few years after the first printing. The book was placed on the Index of Prohibited Books in 1624, for its descriptions and seeming justification of magic.

Several of these tales, such as “Beauty and the Beast” and “Puss-in-Boots,” were retold and made famous by Charles Perrault and the Grimm Brothers.


East of the Sun and West of the Moon: Old Tales from the North
Peter Christen Asbjørnsen (1812-1885)
London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1924
PT8802 N813 1924

First published in 1914 as a luxury gift book, East of the Sun and West of the Moon is a collection of fifteen fairy tales gathered by Norwegian folklorists Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Engebretsen Moe in the mid-nineteenth century. The two spent years traveling across Norway transcribing local lore made up of trolls, ogres, and witches from the ancient pagan mythology of Scandinavia.

London publisher Holder and Stoughton chose Danish artist Kay Nielsen (1886-1957) to illustrate their publication of the tales. The book has since become one of the most well-known and well-beloved of children’s books.