The Maiden of Northland: A Hero Tale of Finland
Aaron Shepard, Carol Schwartz
(Atheneum, May 1, 1996)
Not so long ago, in the tiny, isolated villages of Finland, where prolonged summer days gave way to endless winter nights, people would pass the time by singing the many adventures of their favorite heroes: the mighty, magical men and women of ancient days. They sang of old Vainamoinen, greatest of sages and magicians, who helped create the world but never could find a woman to wed him. They sang of his friend and ally Ilmarinen, first among craftsmen, the blacksmith who forged the dome of the heavens. They sang of Louhi, the ancient lady of Northland, whose crafty wit and magical powers made her a worthy opponent for Vainamoinen himself. And they sang of Aila, Louhi's lovely daughter, who captured the hopes of the two old friends and drew them as rivals to the shores of Northland. The songs endure, the heroes live, in this poetic retelling of Finland's national epic, the Kalevala. TEACHERS AND LIBRARIANS -- A READER'S THEATER SCRIPT OF AN EXCERPT FROM THIS BOOK IS AVAILABLE FREE ON AARON'S WEB SITE. ///////////////////////////////////////////////// Aaron Shepard is the award-winning author of "The Baker's Dozen," "The Sea King's Daughter," "The Adventures of Mouse Deer," and many more children's books. His stories have appeared often in Cricket magazine, while his Web site is known internationally as a prime resource for folktales, storytelling, and reader's theater. Carol Schwartz is the award-winning illustrator of over 45 picture books.