"Into the Woods" series, 43: The Folklore of Rabbits & Hares
All we have...

Speaking of animals....

The Beastly Bride, edited by Datlow & Windling

Many books for young readers have explored the common childhood desire to run wild with the animals, from Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book to Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are -- but even better  The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kiplingthan dancing with the wolves would be to have the power to become an animal oneself.
T. H. White tapped into this fantasy in his Arthurian classic, The Once and Future King. Here, Merlin educates the young Arthur by transforming him into a badger, a fish, an owl, an ant, etc., and Arthur must learn to live as they live, gaining knowledge, even wisdom, in the process. This isn’t a standard part of the Arthur myth, but White hasn’t made it up from whole cloth either. He’s drawn on a worldwide body of tales even older than Arthur mythos: tales of shape-shifting, therianthropy (animal-human metamorphosis) and shamanic initiation. Animal-human transformation stories can be found in sacred texts, myths, epic romances, and folk tales all around the globe, divided into three (overlapping) types:

First, there are stories of immortal and mortal beings who shape-shift voluntarily, altering their physical form at will for purposes both beneficent and malign. The second kind of story involves characters (usually human) who have their shape The Once and Future King by TH Whitechanged involuntarily—generally as the result of a curse, an enchantment, or a punishment from the gods. The third type of story concerns supernatural beings who are a blend of human and animal; they have the physical and mental attributes of both species and belong fully to neither world. Animal bride and bridegroom stories (in which a human man or woman is married to an animal, or an animal-like monster) can fall under any of these three categories: the animal spouse might be a shape-shifter, or an ordinary mortal under a curse, or a creature of mixed blood from the animal, human, and/or divine realms.

The Beastly Bride is an anthology of original stories and poems (for teen readers and up) inspired by animal transformation legends from around the world, retold and reimagined by Christopher Barzak, Peter Beagle, Jeffrey Ford, Gregory Frost, Hiromi Gotto, Ellen Kushner, Tanith Lee, Lucius Shepard, Delia Sherman, Midori Snyder, Jane Yolen and many other fine writers. The charming cover art and interior decorations are by the always-wonderful Charles Vess.

"Animal" is defined rather loosely here, for in addition to stories of bears, cats, rats, deer, and other four-footed creatures there are also birds, fish, seals, a fire salamander, a yeti’s child...and yes, a beastly bride or two.

"Any glimpse into the life of an animal quickens our own and makes it so much the larger and better in every way."  - John Muir

So true.

If there's a shawl lying on the floor, even if it's for photography purposes, I claim it as mine

Beastly Bride cover art by Charles Vess This volume was published as the fourth installment of our Mythic Fiction anthology series for Young Adult readers, each book dedicated to a different aspect of world mythology: The Green Man: Tales of the Mythic Forest, The Faery Reel: Tales of the Twilight Realm, The Coyote Road: Trickster Tales, and The Beastly Bride: Tales of the Animal People. It's available in hardcover and ebook format from Viking Children's Books. 

Comments

I definitely want to read The Beastly Bride!. Terri, is it true that you are going to be at Hollins this summer? Will you be teaching there? This is very exciting for me, as I am in Virginia.

Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman will be teacher there again this coming summer, and I'll be there for about two weeks as writer-in-residence at the beginning of July.

Once again Tilly steals the show.

It was a book filled to the brim with lovely, lovely tales and it still curdles my milk (and frustrated me no end at the time) that the publisher decided that they would offer me LESS for this book than for the previous 3 in this series, for MORE work. I was only ever contractually obligated to produce 8 - 10 interior illustrations as well as the painted cover) for each volume but out of respect for the editors involved and the stories themselves I had always drawn a small vignette for each individual tale. And each volume had more stories than the last, this one especially. Heavy sigh...

Ah Charles, I understand your "heavy sigh" from the the tip of my aging toes to the tip of my once broken nose. I write short pieces for a local newspaper, and I've not been ever paid. The reason? The local editor's editor is too tight to even reward me $5 per article + personal photo. Even hearvier sigh + a sob.

Since I'm not quite comfortable airing publishing laundry on a public forum, I'll just say yes, I thoroughly agree, working with Viking was tough on that one. And toughest of all on you, Charles. I'm very glad that you have a supportive publisher now. I absolutely adore Cats of Tanglewood Forest, and can't wait to see the illustrated Earthsea books.

Excellent!

Can't wait for this summer at Hollins! Looks like Terri's talk, open to the public, will be on June 29th:
http://www.hollins.edu/academics/graduate-degrees/childrens-literature-graduate-program/summer-2015-events/

And by the way, the Summer MA/MFA program is open now for applicants for this summer, if anyone's tempted…..

This book looks marvelous. This year, my guy purchased the remaining books I was missing in the Snow White, Blood Red anthology series. Happy day! Now I can start adding more to my library with this series. :)

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