Cover of Good Griselle by Jane Yolen

Good Griselle

An original fairy tale about a good woman, the devil, a bet between the angels and gargoyles on a French cathedral, and an ugly little boy. The climax takes place on Christmas eve. I began the story after a visit to Paris with my husband, where we spent the weekend with one of my editors who was in France for half a year with her scientist husband. The entire story came to me in a flash. Rare for that to happen. But it took about six weeks to get the story into the shape I wanted. I was in Tucson with yet another editor, and we went into an art/book gallery to see the work of a young artist, David Christiana. I knew immediately that he should do the illustrations for this book. When I sent his name and address to the art director at Harcourt Brace, he said, “I’ve been looking for a project for Christiana. Thanks for reminding me.” Nominated for the 1995 Mythopoeic Award.

Fascinating article in Disabled Studies Quarterly.


  • GOOD GRISELLE is told by Milbre Burch in her storytelling tape, “The Ready Heart: More Jane Yolen Stories.” KindCrone Publications.
  • Recorded Books, narrated by John McDonough, 1997.

Reprinted in GIRLS LIFE, December/January 1996

Featured in the New Yorker’s Year End Round-Up of Children’s Books


  • *STARRED* “Yolen reaches new heights in this flawless tale. . . .The prose is lush but exquisitely restrained, and moves to the measured cadences of another, more gracious era. . .the illustrations reveal a world where crouching gargoyles hint of dark purposes and the shadowed and oblique are infinitely more intriguing than the overt. In a word, heavenly.”–starred review, PW
  • “Written in Yolen’s rich and layered prose. . .Yolen has created a strong, memorable character who faces a moral dilemma and makes decisions that readers will understand. . . . Don’t save this one for Christmas; it’s a story for the whole year.”—SLJ
  • “Told with language as precise—and illustrated with watercolors as delicate—as the “miracles of lace” the heroine creates.”—Kirkus
  • “It will touch anyone who imagines a story about those strange figures carved in stone.”—Booklist
  • “Jane Yolen’s deep knowledge of folklore and fairy tales is immediately evident in this tale of her own devising.”—Children’s Book Review Magazine
  • “This fascinating story of love conquering evil is beautifully illustrated by David Christiana. His soft pastels being the story to life; a story that is to be read and read again since each reading adds something new to the telling. Another winner for Jane Yolen!”—Catholic Library World
  • “Once in a while a book comes along that is pretty near perfect; its text is outstanding; its illustrations complement the words and take the story a step further; its paper is of high quality, the colors are faithfully reproduced. . . .All in all, a class act. The book is an elegant piece of work and deserves to be read by all ages.”—Montreal Gazette
  • “This may well be destined for the classics shelf for all listeners over 5 years old.”—Read-Aloud Service
  • “Yolen wears her title of award-winning author extraordinaire perfectly in his magical faiy tale.”—Kid’s Home Library

Out of print.