PPBF/ Iron John, adapted from the Brothers Grimm

Hi Friends!

Another Friday with another Perfect Picture Book Friday! And then what’s better than that? Why, the weekend, of course. Here’s my pick for this week. 

Iron John book cover sent over facebook by friend Joanne Roberts after she read my post and wanted to help. *YaY! Joanne!*

Iron John book cover sent over facebook by friend Joanne Roberts after she read my post and wanted to help. *YaY! Joanne!*

. My selection of the week brought me great enjoyment but also a great surprise. Apparently Amazon thinks it is only video games and Marvel Comics and avengers series. My hope therefore is that you can find it in a library. If I had known before I started that it would be so hard to find a copy, I probably would not have reviewed it. However the hour is late and it stands. I loved this book and obviously everyone else did too making so many off shoots from it. 

Title: Iron John , adapted from the Brothers Grimm

Author: Eric A. Kimmel

Illustrator: Trina Schart Hyman

Publishing info: Holiday House/ NY, adapted from Brothers Grimm, fairy tale, 1994,

Ages appropriate for: whoever enjoys fairy tales


Here is a theatre company pdf that gives a grand teachers guide: http://www.ptgo.org/pdfs/ironjohn.pdf

This is not specifically about this book but gives silent signals in a teacher classroom, thereby making it less chaotic and everyone stays engaged. https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/student-silent-signals  It came from a   site while I was looking for resources for Iron John . since Iron John is full of archetypical images most of the resources I found were for the Making of a Man and how a boy becomes a man by the way his father teaches him and I did not want to include that here in a picture book review. So here is my teacher guide for videos on teaching specifics, like common core and setting the tone from day one. It is from the “TEACHING CHANNEL”.


Themes: Fairy Tales, folklore, Brothers Grimm 1786-1859

First Three Sentences: A king once lived who took great pride in his menagerie of beasts. He owned creatures of every description, from quivering shrews to trumpeting elephants. But the jewel of his collection was a wild man called Iron John, after the matted gray hair that covered his body from head to foot.

Summary: With help of Iron John, the wild man of the forest who is under a curse, a young prince makes his way in the world and finds his true love.

Why I love it: Ever since I sat in third grade in the back of class, being allowed to read anything I wanted,  I have loved fairy tales. This one meets all the requirements of magic, a wild man and the prince who finds his true love in the end. The author, Eric Kimmel, changed the original somewhat in that the prince marries the garden girl who truly loves him and not one of the stuck up princesses. He says “Fie on princesses!” And it makes the story so much more endearing. The art makes for a rich tapestry. As the jacket says “Ms, Hyman achieves a new dimension of psychological and aesthetic expression in her artwork. The art takes the reader to the fairy world where this is all believable and true. And it is a beautiful world indeed.

Do you think you will like reading this book?

And what Patricia Tilton says in her blog Children’s Books Heal: “Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book.  To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.”

Here is my gift to my writer friends:

HERE is a list of the 100 Most Important Things to Know About Your Character. 

And as

To make your writing life less lonely try these tips: Read more.

See you on Tuesday!


© 2014 Clara Bowman-Jahn aka Clarike Bowman-Jahn




About ClaraBowmanJahn

Journal writer. Author of "Annie's Special Day" And coauthor of Edmund Pickle Chin, A Donkey Rescue Story." Proud mother and grandmother of wonderful kids. Wife of brilliant husband. Servant of two cats. Member of Pennwriters and SCBWI.
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24 Responses to PPBF/ Iron John, adapted from the Brothers Grimm

  1. Okay, you had me at the King keeping a wild man! The Brothers Grimm really have a way with storytelling! Btw, love the 100-question character list. That’s such a great checklist which I must use!


    • clarbojahn says:

      Thanks, Emily! And Hi! So glad to meet you.

      I know it’s hard and fun to hear about, right? A king holding a wild man in his zoo! Outrageous! Those two brothers did have an imagination. I wish it would come my way. 🙂


  2. Iron John made me think of Big Foot — at least your description. I like fairy tales and I love what the author did with this story. The artwork sounds beautiful.


  3. I love this book, and I adore Trina Schart Hyman. I’ve sent a scan of my copy. I hope it isn’t too big. Thanks for the great review.


  4. Just put this on hold. I love Kimmel’s writing and Schart Hyman’s art, so I bet this will be a win-win for me!


  5. Cool! We get to go on a quest…..be back in a few…….Huzzah!! My library has it and I put it on hold!! Sounds like an awesome read – will look forward to it.


  6. Joanna says:

    Eric Kimmel is a master storyteller especially of more traditional folk tales. I want to see a picture of a quivering shrew.


  7. I love fairy tales, Clar, and I’ve never heard of this one! Maybe I should read it quick and use it for the fractured fairy tale contest sample 🙂 Thanks so much for adding it to our list 🙂


  8. I do love retold fairy tales. Thanks for telling me about this. It seems I somehow fell off your subscription roll a while back, but I have now resubscribed. Nice to see you again.


  9. So Amazon thinks you are looking for Iron Man not Iron John. Yikes!


  10. I’ve heard of Iron John, but never read the tale. This sounds like a pretty cool book. I’ll have to check it out. Thanks!


  11. Darlene says:

    Thanks for the 100 Most Important Things to Know About Your Character.A great resource. Doesn’t everyone love fairy stories?


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