Children's books and book reviews - reading resource for kids, teachers, librarians, parents

*Dwarf Nose* by Wilhelm Hauff, illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger
Also illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger:

The Selfish Giant

The Night Before Christmas


Aesop's Fables
Dwarf Nose
by Wilhelm Hauff, illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger
Ages 6-10 54 pages minedition April 2016 Hardcover    

This German fairy tale by Wilhelm Hauff is about a boy named Jacob who gets turned into a dwarf after trying to stand up for his mother while they are out selling fruits and vegetables. The woman he insults gets her revenge by making Jacob a slave and transforming his appearance so that it matches her own: long nose, bony fingers, and a head that is down between his shoulders.

During the seven years heís with the old woman, he loses contact with his family, but he also learns how to cook. His talent for making anything, including Sovereign Pie, helps him find the love of his life and a way back to his family.

This lengthy story is too long for a storytime read-aloud for preschoolers, but older children may enjoy reading it or having it read to them. Itís a story about perseverance against impossible odds. Jacob is 12 years old and helpless because heís under a spell from a soup the woman made him drink. He has no one who can help him, until he meets a goose girl. But just like he cared for his parents when he was young, Jacob cares for the goose until she changes back into a girl.

The full pages of text are contained in a simple line border. A few pages have small illustrations incorporated into the text. The full-page illustrations show Jacob and his family at the beginning and end of the story, as well as scenes from Jacobís hometown in Germany. Much of the story involves a certain herb, and when itís shown, itís realistic in style and labeled.

The other drawings include the goose girl, characters drawn with out-of-proportion or exaggerated body parts (the Duke and the foreign Prince), and scenes that evoke feelings of heartbreak. Jacob is shunned by many people because of his cursed appearance. His eyes are always downcast. The guinea pigs and squirrels wear clothes and work for the old woman too. They cower in the illustrations when she is near.

Children who enjoy fairytales should find this story entertaining.

click here to browse children's board book reviews
click here to browse children's picture book reviews
click here to browse young readers book reviews
click here to browse young readers book reviews
click here to browse young adult book reviews
click here to browse parenting book reviews
web reviews
  Tanya Boudreau/2016 for curled up with a good kid's book  

For grown-up fiction, nonfiction and speculative fiction book reviews,
visit our sister site Curled Up With a Good Book (