Most of us are familiar with the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. It’s an old legend that cautions listeners about the dangers of trusting strangers and/or not paying your debts, depending on which side of the story you fall on. Regardless, it’s a creepy story, and so when I saw Steven Kellogg had written his own version… Well, I could resist!
What I found was not necessarily the story of the Pied Piper we all know, but rather a beautiful tale about the power of words, names, and having a kind heart.
The Pied Piper’s Magic
by Steven Kellogg
Our story begins with the piper, Peterkin, helping an old miserable witch fix up her house. Even though she says she has nothing to give him for his kindness, she gives Peterkin a magical pipe.
This pipe can do all sorts of amazing things by spelling out words and bringing them to life! By spelling out the word S-W-A-N, Peterkin is able to summon a swan into existence, as well as a host of other amazing creatures and things.
The story continues in Hamelin, where the Great Duke not only has a rat problem, he also has a bad attitude problem. The children of Hamelin ask Peterkin for his help, so he uses the pipe to summon the rats out of the city.
Of course the people are overjoyed… but the Great Duke? Not so much.
This story ends with a great twist, so I’ll let you guys find this one and read it for yourselves. The illustrations in this are colorful and lively, and the characters are fun and memorable. Trust me, this one is definitely worth checking out.
What are your favorite retellings of classic stories? How did they help you see things in a new light? Tell us in the comments below!