The Wonder Clock by Howard S. Pyle (1887)


I decided to read Jadzia some fairy tales early this year. So… we read The Wonder Clock together way back in February. Yes, it’s now November, and I hardly remember the individual stories. Whoops.

But here’s what I do remember.

Our copy smelled musty. That was a minus.

But I remember enjoying the book anyway. There are twenty four fairy tales in the book, one for each hour of the day. Before each tale, there was a short little poem written by the author’s sister; the verses corresponded to the hour of the day the story was for.

I’ve been reading lots of the less common fairy tales, particularly Slavic ones, and I was surprised to find that Howard Pyle had probably been reading the same ones. I found several elements from Slavic fairy tales recombined into fresh tales of Pyle’s own making here.

Jadzia loved the stories. She’d bring me the book every night, and listen intently… She didn’t usually fall asleep until the story was over, and sometimes asked me to read a second one. I remember one in particular that really enchanted her—it had an ogre in it and she kept interrupting me asking why the hero was doing this, and why the ogre had done that… I worried that she wasn’t getting the story after so many interruptions, but hey, the next day she was still thinking about the story and asking questions. I’d say she liked it, too.



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