Review: East of the Sun, West of The Moon by Jakie Morris

This cold and, so far, dreary winter makes me long to curl up a good book to lift my spirits. I just want to sit down with some hot cocoa while reading a cozy and fun pick-me-up story. East of Sun, West of the Moon by Jackie Morris was a natural choice. Morris’s beautiful re-telling of the classic Norwegian fairy-tail is one I return to again and again when I need a little bright spot in winter. I particularly love and connect with this story due to my own Norwegian heritage.

East of the Sun, West of the Moon is a classic Norwegian fairytale about a mysterious white bear that comes and asks for the daughter of a peasant family to come with him and live in his castle in the north and in return the girl's family will be rich. The peasant girl is reluctant at first but chooses to go with the bear willingly. The first part of the incredible story focuses on the girl living in the bear's secret, remote and beautiful castle. Here the girl is treated courteously with her every want and need magically attended to. But the girl notices the bear’s great sadness and the mystery around her white bear, and why he has brought her to his castle,  deepens. As the girl makes more discoveries and new secrets are revealed, the story moves on to even greater adventures and dangerous journeys. The girl encounters many more magical things on her travels to the home of the four winds and finally to the castle that lies east of the sun, west of the moon.   

Morris’s retelling of this classic tale is simply spellbinding. She gives it a modern backdrop which helps it feel more real as it moves from dark city alley’s to snowy moon-lit forests. While Morris's beautifully retold story is lovely to read, it's really the author's illustrations that bring it to life. Jackie Morris is known for her stunning water-color artwork and this book is filled with her beautiful full page and smaller detail work. Each gorgeous illustration helps to showcase another part of this beautiful story. 

I can’t recommend this book enough. Between Morris’s delightful writing and her ravishing artwork this book was just what I needed to read this winter. This new edition of Jackie Morris’s retelling of East of the Sun, West of the Moon is an exquisite example of this author's ability to uplift and infuse a simple tale with warmth and incredible beauty. This is the perfect book to cure any winter blues for yourself or others. It also doubles as an excellent late Christmas present too.