cover image Enchanter's Spell

Enchanter's Spell

Gennady Spirin. Dial Books, $14.95 (84pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-0320-9

Exquisite paintings by the Soviet artist of Once There Was a Tree decorate and expand the texts of George MacDonald's Little Daylight, Alexander Pushkin's The Princess and the Seven Brothers, E.T.A. Hoffman's The Nutcracker, Miguel de Cervantes's The Beautiful Kitchen Maid and Hans Christian Andersen's The Emperor's New Clothes. Spirin carves the space for his work out of the page, using for borders tall spindly trees, a winding path of wildflowers and the curling length of entwined snakes. There is not just one enchanted land for the tales, but five, for he creates a world faithful to the origin of each story. Each one is a miniature costume dramanot still portraits but robust paintings. A glittering collection, timeless and beautiful. All ages. (January)