cover image Elinda Who Danced in the Sky: An Estonian Folktale

Elinda Who Danced in the Sky: An Estonian Folktale

Lynn Moroney. Children's Book Press (CA), $14.95 (26pp) ISBN 978-0-89239-066-3

This Estonian folktale features kind, beautiful Princess Elinda, who hatches from a tiny bird's egg and grows up to guide migrating birds. Her many suitors include the North Star (she finds him too ``distant and unmoving'') and Moon (who ``always takes the same narrow path''). But Prince Borealis, Lord of the Northern Lights, dances across the night sky with Elinda and wins her heart. When the Prince's people refuse to let him marry, Elinda is grief-stricken. Her bird friends lift her gently to the sky and crown her with stars. Though she and the prince can never marry, they still dance in the sky in deepest winter. And Elinda's wedding veil, floating out behind her, is what we know as the Milky Way. The lovely tale retains a timeless quality although it has a thoroughly modern bent (Elinda has a mind of her own, and her sense of self-worth helps her to regain her strength). The highly stylized art, dramatic in its colors, patterns and evocations of a fairy-tale Eastern Europe, further enhances the story's appeal. Ages 6-12. (Dec.)