Cover image for The elves and the shoemaker
The elves and the shoemaker
Grimm, Jacob, 1785-1863.
Uniform Title:
Wichtelmänner. English
Publication Information:
New York : Barefoot Books, [1998]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 cm
A pair of industrious elves bring prosperity to a kindly shoemaker and his wife.
General Note:
Based on: Die Wichtelmänner.
Reading Level:
AD 930 Lexile.
Program Information:
Reading Counts RC K-2 3.9 2 Quiz: 18123 Guided reading level: M.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PZ8.G882 EL 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales

On Order



The story of a poor shoemaker and his wife who are helped by a pair of industrious elves."

Author Notes

Wilhelm K. Grimm (1786-1859) and his brother Jacob W. Grimm (1785-1863) pioneered the study of German philosophy, law, mythology and folklore, but they are best known for their collection of fairy tales. These include such popular stories as Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty and The Frog Prince. Commonly referred to now as Grimm's Fairy Tales, the collection was published as Kinder-und-Hausmarchen (Children's and Household Tales, 1812-15).

The brothers were born thirteen months apart in the German province of Hesse, and were inseparable from childhood. Throughout their lives they showed a marked lack of sibling rivalry. Most of their works were written together, a practice begun in childhood when they shared a desk and sustained throughout their adult lives. Since their lives and work were so collaborative, it is difficult now to differentiate between them, but of course there were differences.

Wilhelm, the younger of the two, was said to have been gentle and poetic, and his brother claimed that he was a gifted public speaker. He studied at Marburg, then went to Cassel. In 1825, at the age of 39, he married Dorschen Wild, a playmate from his childhood, who accepted his close ties to his brother without question. Wilhelm enjoyed being married and was a devoted husband and father.

Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm are buried side by side in Berlin.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-Smoothly and competently written, this is a straightforward retelling of the familiar tale of a poor craftsman and his wife who are aided by two selfless elves. The illustrations, inspired by towns in southern Switzerland and Florence, Italy, are pastel in tone, with carefully added details. Outdoor scenes show a bustling waterside village, and indoor scenes are decorated with patterned curtains, tiles, and plates. The attention to detail extends to the endpapers, which feature elaborate shoes. One or both elves are hidden on each double-page spread, and children will enjoy searching for them. A good choice as a read-aloud or read-alone.-Donna L. Scanlon, Lancaster County Library, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.