Children’s Book of the Week: Elfwyn’s Saga

Elfwyn’s Saga written and illustrated by David Wisniewski

We get this book out of the library every few months, and I’m not sure I can say exactly why we find it so compelling. Part of it is the lush and amazingly intricate cut-paper illustrations, but I think we all love those stories that sound like ancient folk tales (even if they were really imagined for the first time by the author). This is the Nordic tale of good Anlaf Haraldsson and bad Gorm the Grim, fighting over land and casting spells, including one that blinds Anlaf’s daughter Elfwyn. But the magical Hidden Folk are mad that Gorm’s curse affects an innocent baby, so they protect Elfwyn, and she grows into a spunky heroine who races around on her horse, and, in the end, saves her family and the kingdom from Gorm and his Grimmies. Pretty straightforward, I suppose, but really lovely, and again, those illustrations are inspiring and fascinating.

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