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Title: Kindertales, Volume 2. More Stories for the Children of
Authors: John Mainer, Freydis Heimdallson
Available at Lulu.com, Softcover, 124
"Kindertales" has appealing cover art, a prancing goat and an all-round knotwork
pattern in red and blue.
Additionally, each story a features a b/w drawing. Big font and good line
spacing make for comfortable reading, and especially reading aloud, of the eight
stories, of which Iīll try not to give too much away.
"Thorīs Troll-Goat" narrates an unusual encounter during one of Thorīs
excursions on his chariot with Thialfi and Roskva. The humorous story centers on
taking responsibility for oneīs actions, and making appropiate amends... even
when itīs not easy!
"The Lay of Goldenlocks and the Three Bears" conveys the well-known fairy tale
in unrhymed four-line stanzas, and places emphasis on hospitality and a guest's
rights and duties.
"Vargus the Vegetarian Troll" is a very original tale of an orphaned troll
childīs quest for his identity, religion, and finding kinship outside of his
troll-race, which is dwindling due to manīs expansion. Finding acceptance among
his new chosen family, the Aesir, proves quite hard for various reasons...
including the need for a radical change of diet! The plot also demonstrates the
dangers of being an overweight, lazy youngster in the vicinity of a lapsing
In "Wolf and Word", we learn about Fenris' growing danger, his binding, and the
central decision that even - or especially - for a warrior, itīs more important
to keep your honor than your hand.
"Snjóa" is none other than Snow White, but told so differently in plot and style
that it has become a story well in its own right. It has the ring of a true folk
tale rather than of a fairy tale. Again, one of the themes is doing the right
thing, in this case paying off an old debt.
The "Draugr of Hudiksvall" sleeps soundly in his barrow until Thorgerdīs cheeky
young brother decides to steal his sword right off his chest just for the fun of
it. This, of course, cannot go unavenged, and soon both siblings and the reader
experience the fine chill of a Norse horror story in the best manner of "The
Waking of Angantyr". The resolution is achieved through courage, fast wits,
negotiation skill, and a strong sense of honor. Honoring an ancestor by
recounting their deeds and names, and keeping oneīs word throughout the years -
again, heathen customs and values are smoothly woven into and explained by the
"Gifts" expands upon the perhaps best known heathen tenet, "A gift calls for a
gift". Karl saves a young rabbitīs life, and the next winter finds the rabbit in
a position to help Karl and his kin in return.
Lastly, "The Story of the Mistletoe" not only tells of Balderīs death, but also
of Mistletoeīs unwitting denial to join the non-aggression pact, the shattering
realization of the consequences, and the offered wergild to replace part of what
All characters are portrayed sympathetically and convincing; the dialogues are
The use of Norse names and expressions roots the stories firmly in the northern
regions. The pronounciation of "Snjóa" or
"Vajbjorn", and unusual letters like ð and ü might prove a challenge for
reading children, or for adults reading it the first time aloud. "Vargus" partly
features rhyming couplets within the flow of the prose text. Many tales are
recounted with a smaller or greater hint of archaic diction, which adds to the
folktale feeling, but again might be challenging to younger children, especially
Each story is entertaining and at the same time conveys its own message and
lesson, thus unobtrusively furthering a heathen mindset, including good measure
of common sense. This book is well suited to being read aloud. During reading,
depending on the childīs age and background knowledge of the mythology, perhaps
the wording should be modified in some places, or supplemented with explanations
(as certainly is par for the course for any childrens' tale.) Like its
predecessor "Kindertales", "Kindertales Volume Two" makes a fine addition to a
heathenīs library - especially, but not only for parents.
Đ Michaela Macha
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