Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Ruth Manning-Sanders tale in Cricket magazine

While I was sorting through a stash of old Cricket magazines, I was delighted to find that one of them contained a story by Ruth Manning-Sanders, the folk and fairy tale author I mention often in posts and asides on this blog.1

Cricket has been around since 1973 and is described as "The New Yorker for children." It has always had a strong editorial board. For this January 1980 issue, the board included Lloyd Alexander (author of The Chronicles of Prydain, which was one of my bridges to J.R.R. Tolkein), Isaac Bashevis Singer, and Virginia Haviland.

Who has memories of reading Cricket as a child or has a subscription to Cricket for their children or grandchildren today?

The Manning-Sanders tale contained in this issue of Cricket is "The Teapot Sprout," an Irish folk tale. It had been originally published a couple of years earlier in the Manning-Sanders anthology "A Book of Kings and Queens."2

The tale in Cricket has been adapted slightly from the version in the book. It's been tightened and shortened a bit. And some of the vocabulary has been tweaked for the magazine's readership. For example, the phrase from the book "my kerchief round my head to keep off the draughts" has been changed to "my kerchief round my head to keep off the drafts."

Also, the Cricket version features illustrations by Jan Brett, not the original illustration for this tale by Robin Jacques that appeared in "A Book of Kings of Queens."

1. And with her 125th birthday coming up later this month, you can expect to be reading even more about her on Papergreat.
2. "A Book of Kings and Queens" also includes tales from the Greek Isles, Russia, Sicily, Madagascar, Czechoslovakia, Pomerania and Bosnia. Manning-Sanders retold stories from all over the world in her anthologies, and usually did a great job of noting the source country or region for each tale. As a further aside, one of the tales in "A Book of Kings and Queens" is "The Two Enemy Kings," which features a primary character named Otto.

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