A brilliant, inclusive collection of traditional tales from around the world featuring amazing women and girls.
Once upon a time, there was a handsome prince who – no, that’s not right! Once upon a time, there were strong, fierce women who plotted, schemed, took action, showed kindness, used magic and trickery, and made their own destiny. From the long-haired Petrosinella who escaped the tower and broke the spell that the ogress had cast over her and Nana Miriam who beat a hippo using politeness and magic, to Kate Crackernuts who tried to save her stepsister from her mother’s curse, these are stories of girls doing it for themselves!
With stories drawn from all over the world, including China, Scotland, Armenia, Italy and Nigeria, Lari Don presents heroine stories that don’t leave girls sitting around waiting to be saved by the handsome prince.
As I am on the bookstagram tour for Fierce Fearless and Free, I am lucky enough to have a guest post from Lari Don on her favourite folktale heroines! Also, many thanks for my copy of the book to Bloombury Education and Faye Rogers PR. Without further ado, onto the guest post!
I love folktales! Folktales don’t try to explain the creation of the world or the soap-opera lives of the gods. Folktales are about the lives of the people who told them, with a little bit of added magic. Because of their domestic settings – usually farms and villages – these stories are often about girls and women. And I do love a heroine! I’m particularly keen on stories about strong active girls who deal with their own problems, rather than passive enduring girls who wait for blokes to sort problems out for them.
To celebrate the publication of my new collection of heroine tales, Fierce, Fearless & Free, here are some of my favourite strong girls in folktales:
Kandek is an Armenian heroine who meets a werewolf at the edge of the forest. Kandek is thrown into a sack and carried off to be stewed up for supper but she uses agility and trickery to escape, and leaves the werewolf in hot water instead. One of my favourites because: she’s determined, clever and ruthless.
Nana Miriam is a heroine from Nigeria, whose village is threatened by a fierce fiery hippo. She drives the hippo away from their rice fields after the villagers and her father (a warrior and magician) have failed. One of my favourites because: because she’s brave, clever, and rescues her dad.
Neringa is a Lithuanian giant, who grew up in a human fishing village. She saves her friends and neighbours when a sea dragon threatens to sink their boats and destroy their homes, building a wall of sand to protect the village. One of my favourites because: she’s kind, fierce and a skilled engineer.
Kate Crackernuts is a Scottish heroine who rescues her stepsister from an enchantment which has turned the sister into a sheep-headed monster. On her quest, Kate needs brains, a knowledge of magic, and a pocketful of hazelnuts. One of my favourites because: she loves her stepsister, which we don’t see often enough in fairy tales.
Sister Lace is a lace-maker from China who resists the emperor’s unreasonable demands that she marry him and make lace only for him by creating a lace dragon who burns down the palace. One of my favourites because: she’s skilled, determined and makes her own dragon.
Petrosinella is an Italian girl with extremely long hair, trapped in a tower by an ogre. She finds three hidden acorns which allow her to leave the tower, is chased through the forest, then defeats the ogre by throwing the magic acorns over her shoulder. The last one turns into a wolf with jaws big enough to swallow an ogre… One of my favourites because: she’s persistent, has one of the best chase scenes in folklore, and is possibly Rapunzel’s more athletic cousin…
All these heroines and more appear in Fierce, Fearless & Free, and their stories are illustrated by the wonderful Eilidh Muldoon.
Buy Fierce, Fearless and Free from Amazon UK.
Don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog tour stops!