Children's Lit Book Reviews

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sweetheart Roland-#56

By: The Brothers Grimm
Ages: 8-12

Summary: There was once a witch who had a daughter whom she cared for very much and had a stepdaughter whom she hated. Out of pure jealousy, the daughter of the witch coveted the apron the stepdaughter wore. The witch promised her daughter that she would kill the stepdaughter and made up an elaborate plan to do so. However, the stepdaughter had overheard the witch's plans to kill her and was prepared to switch places with the daughter at night. Once the stepdaughter switched places, the witch came in the night to kill the stepdaughter but instead killed her own daughter. The stepdaughter then fled to her loving sweetheart, Roland.
Eventually, the stepdaughter would have to return to steal the wand of the witch. The girl took the wand and turned herself into a duck and her lover into a pond in order to flee from the witch. Later, to disguise herself from the witch, she once again turned herself into a rose in a hedge and her lover into a fiddle player. Once the witch came, she recognized them and asked to pick the rose. As the witch bent down to pick the rose Roland played his fiddle causing the witch to dance in a thorny hedge until she died. Immediately, Roland returned home to his father to arrange the wedding with the stepdaughter, leaving behind stepdaughter behind until the plans were made. Roland ran into another girl who caused him to forget about the stepdaughter, and he makes plans to wed the new girl. Eventually the stepdaughter was picked by a local shepherd and was revealed but promised to be the keeper of the shepherd. At the wedding it was tradition that the girls must sing for the groomsmen. Others refused to sing, but the stepdaughter, who was one of the girls. didn't refuse. Her song reached the ears of Roland. He married the stepdaughter, and they lived happily ever after.
Who would benefit from reading this fairy tale?: This fairy tale is a classic and will always remain a Grimm Brothers favorite. I think that this is a part of literature history and should be read to all. Everyone would benefit from reading it.
What problems/conflicts would this fairy tale potentially cause?: There are several problems with this fairy tale and there are probably good reasons to why some parents and even teachers would be hesitant to share it with their children. One would be the way that the characters die. With younger readers, it could potentially scare them because of the death of both the daughter and the witch.
My reaction: This was my first time reading this fairy tale and, at first, I was apprehensive about it because of the death of the daughter in the beginning. But I ended up really liking the fairy tale and would share it with older readers who would enjoy a piece of old fairy tale literature.
posted by Jon Dale at 10:54 PM


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