cover image Seven at One Blow: A Tale from the Brothers Grimm

Seven at One Blow: A Tale from the Brothers Grimm

Eric A. Kimmel, Wilhelm Grimm, Jacob W. Grimm. Holiday House, $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8234-1383-6

This faithful retelling of the Grimms' tale about a confident tailor who becomes a king boasts many appealing garnishes. After a tailor kills seven flies with one swipe, he embroiders the words ""Seven at One Blow"" on his belt and sets out to advertise his prowess to the world. Time and again, the tailor's confidence and self-reliance get him out of trouble--whether he is facing giants, ogres, a ferocious unicorn, a wild boar or a conniving king and princess. Kimmel (Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins) keeps the language clear and simple yet leaves his mark on the classic tale with understated humor (""Who is this insect? We'll grind his bones!"" growl two giants upon meeting the tailor) and whimsical flourishes (e.g., finding the giant's bed too hard, the tailor crawls into one of the giant's socks, ""which made a fine sleeping bag""). Lloyd (Too Many Pumpkins) sounds just the right note with her expressive illustrations in watercolor and pen and ink; she keeps the tailor's cockiness comical and devoid of arrogance. Her monsters are never scary; readers can see that the tailor always has the upper hand. Ages 4-8. (Nov.)