George Cruikshank's Fairy Library

George Cruikshanks' Fairy Library Hop O' My Thumb and the Seven League Boots by George Cruikshank cover, sketches of plants and small fairies on mushrooms

Interior page of George Cruikshank's Fairy Library

By George Cruikshank, The Bodley Head, 1981

George Cruikshank's Fairy Library

Written and Illustrated by George Cruikshank

Etchings, 1853-64

5.5" x 7"

Kerlan Collection, Children's Literature Research Collections

University of Minnesota Libraries

George Cruikshank gave his all to the depiction of the fearsome ogre of "Hop-o'-My-Thumb," a trickster tale first published in France in Charles Perrault's Histoires ou contes du temps passé. In the set-up scene shown here, Cruikshank presents the youngest of a poor woodcutter's seven children as the least likely of heroes. Later, in a reversal of fortune sure to delight child readers, small but quick-witted Hop proves to have more than enough tricks up his sleeve to save himself and his entire family.

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