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Jack Zipes of Minneapolis may not be in the classroom anymore, but once a teacher always a teacher. Now retired from his position as a Professor of German and comparative literature at the University of Minnesota, these days he is on a mission to breathe new life into old fairy tales that deliver important messages. The fairy tales he is re-releasing this September are both about fascism and teach lessons that are very timely right now.
Keedle the Great, originally written by Deirdre and William Conselman, Jr., and illustrated by Fred L. Fox in 1940, is the story of a scrawny little kid who is cruel to animals. As the story progresses and Keedle becomes a bigger bully, he gets smaller and smaller. It shows that bullies don’t last forever. Yussuf the Ostrich, originally written and illustrated by Emery Kelen, one of the great political caricaturists of the twentieth century and released in 1943, is the story of a young idealistic ostrich who has to overcome racism, war and separation from his mother.
The books were officially launched at a virtual event hosted by Magers and Quinn of Minneapolis on Sept. 27, 2020. A preview story appeared in the Sept. 18 Star Tribune.The books were also featured in the Pioneer Press (Sept. 20), which named them the literary pick of the week, and Jack was also interviewed on WJON-AM Radio St. Cloud on Sept. 24.
Copies of Zipes’ books can be purchased through the website, Magersandquinn.com. They are also available through the distributor, Itascabooks.com. To learn more about Jack Zipes' work, please check out his website, JackZipes.com and his new publishing house, LittleMoleHoneyBear.com.