Ferradiddledumday: An Appalachian Version of Rumpelstiltskin by Becky Mushko, copyright 2010, folklore, ISBN 978-0-9842449-1-1
Becky Mushko’s Ferradiddledumday is a delightful variation of the Grimm’s fairy tale of a young girl spinning straw into gold. Becky has taken this European story and given it an authentic Appalachian flavor.
Throughout her story one learns about the plants and animals common to the Appalachian Mountain ecosystem, as well as the farming practices and culture of the Blue Ridge Mountains of the 19th century.
Unlike the original version where the father’s boasting puts the young girl’s life in jeopardy, here the economic struggles common to this era and place threaten the family homestead. Like the Grimm’s version, the young daughter must give her first born to the leprechaun-like creature unless she can solve the mystery of his name.
The illustrations by Bruce Rae are as rough hewn as the hard scrabble life of the Appalachian people.
Becky includes a study and discussion guide for teachers who are studying folk tales. This guide covers multiple disciplines: literature, geography, history and science.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this tale because of its authenticity to the life and times of Appalachia. Also there are sufficient differences between this and the Grimm’s version that makes it an interesting read.
The author provided a copy of the book for this review.