The Steadfast Tin Soldier

A new version of the classic Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale about a tin soldier who falls in love with a ballerina. As in the original story, the tin soldier’s love for the beautiful ballerina is thwarted by a goblin. The tin soldier is separated from the other toys and washed down a sewer, where he encounters a rat and gets swallowed by a fish, but somehow, against all odds, he manages to end up back home only to be cast into the nursery fire. Rylant adds her own twist to the end of the tale, however, for in this version, the tin soldier and the ballerina are melded to each other, rather than melted, in the heat of the fire, so they’ll never be parted again.

The Samurai’s Daughter

A Japanese folk tale about the brave daughter of a samurai warrior and her journey to be reunited with her exiled father. When Tokoyo’s father, a samurai nobleman, is sent into exile on a lonely island in a distant sea, his young daughter is determined to join him. Despite her noble birth, Tokoyo has spent much time with the amas, the agile women divers of Japan who harvest shellfish from the sea, and she is strong and brave as any samurai herself. Setting out on her journey to join her father, Tokoyo encounters many terrors and trials, including bandits in the mountains, a ghost ship on the high seas, and finally a monstrous sea serpent. Finally, she reunite with her beloved father.

Robert San Souci retold a medieval Japanese legend.

The Bearskinner: A Tale of the Brothers Grimm

A dejected soldier makes a pact with the devil in this haunting, ultimately hopeful fairy tale. When a person gives up hope, is he still human? Such is the story of a soldier who has lost everything to war: his childhood home, his family and friends, his youth, and his innocence. Enter that sly opportunist, the devil, who wraps the soldier in the armor of a dead bear’s skin, fills its pockets with gold, and makes a dangerous and horrible wager.