4.5 Stars Beautiful Wild Rose Girl B. Magnolia Mystic World Press No. Pgs: 32 Ages: 4+ .................
From Back Cover: If everyone in the village calls her “Beautiful Wild Rose Girl,” why does this poor, sad girl live in a swamp? And why, when she goes to bed every night, does she hear bullfrogs sing to her:
TroOonk! TroOnk! TroOnk!
What a Stupid Ugly Girl!
This is a story about learning to see yourself as the beautiful person you really are. And how, sometimes, to break a terrible spell, you need love, the understanding of a pure-hearted shepherd, and the help of a Very Mysterious Moth.
Outside of the village lived a young girl who lived in a swamp. At night, the young girl slept with bullfrogs who sang to her, “TroOnk! TroOnk! TroOnk! What a stupid Girl!” She had heard this song so often she believed every word was about her. Each day the girl went into the village market and sold a basket of wild roses. Every man in the village called the young girl “Beautiful Wild Rose Girl,” but what she heard was “stupid, ugly girl.”
Though each wanted to take her for his wife, they believed themselves not worthy of such a beautiful girl. The men found her beauty overwhelming and enticing at the same time, for the wild roses perfumed every bit of swamp smell off the young girl as she picked her basket of roses.
Up on the hill lived a poor shepherd boy. The young girl mesmerized him. But alas, he would never own a single gold coin, to buy one rose, so he could look into her eyes. Then one day a mysterious moth chewed a hole in a rich man’s coin bag and dropped a gold coin in front of the shepherd boy. He ran to the market in time to buy the wild rose girl’s last wild rose.
Beautiful Wild Rose Girl is a traditional fairy tale. The beautiful girl, who does not believe she is beautiful, and the poor man, who loves her dearly but does not stand a chance of meeting her, much less marrying her. There is also the happily ever after. Beautiful Wild Rose Girl will speak to girls and become a favorite story of many.
The story is part Ugly Duckling and part Cinderella. The roses definitely represent the fairy godmother in that they do everything in their magical power to transform the young girl into an irresistible wild rose, without the thorns. The bullfrogs, as a group, seem to be step-mommy, and in looking back, may possibly be the fairy godmother’s help. This is a traditional fairy tale destined to become a classic.
Beautiful Wild Rose Girl contains a few black and white line drawings. These are acceptable interpretations, yet play no real part in the story. The clearer illustrations, in the larger formatted books, visually show the four major parts of the story. The prints become jumping off points for your imagination.
There are four editions of this book available. The story remains the same while the presentation varies from a paperback edition from Createspace, to a deluxe hardcover “Japanese Cloth” edition. There is also a small “paper pocketbook” and a large “soft cloth” edition. These last two are bound with delicate ribbon. The two larger editions have two extra pages due to the full page illustrations, which are more exquisitely rendered in the larger format.
Not having seen the hardback edition, I think the larger soft cloth edition is the most beautiful and the sturdiest book. The paper is thicker, the ribbon stronger, and the font cleaner. This edition has the classic look of a fine book, yet remains affordable. Again, I did not have the opportunity to read the hardback Japanese cloth edition, which has a Japanese stab-binding.
Girls will definitely love this tale. It is readable in one sitting, making it a great bedtime story. Kids, again mainly girls, will not grow tired of hearing the story and parents will enjoy reading and holding this book. Mystic World Press, a new independent press, has its goal “to produce children’s books that are truly great stories, that contain lasting literary qualities, and to demonstrate that it is possible for an author to publish handmade books that are both beautiful and affordable, and that may be made available to the public in any quantities.”
Beautiful Wild Rose Girl is the first of twelve original fairy tales to be released over the next few years. I think it has met the goals its publisher strives to meet. Beautiful Wild Rose Girl has won the Seal of Approval from The Literary Classics, an organization dedicated to promoting excellence in literature.