The Vine: February 12, 2010
I've always enjoyed reading your advice, but didn't think I had anything to write in about. Then, I remembered how great you and your readers are at finding difficult-to-remember books, and I was wondering if you'd be able to help me.
There was a children's book I read several times in first, possibly second, grade, so it was published no later than 1991-1992. The copy I read was from the school library, and I haven't seen or heard of it outside of there. It's possibly a Welsh or Celtic fairy tale, maybe about the gwragedd annwn.
It was about, as best I remember, a young man who goes underwater (the sea? maybe a lake?) and falls in love with the daughter of the underwater lord/king. I think he may have had to perform tasks to prove that he was worthy of the daughter's hand. At the end, the king finally agreed to the marriage, with one condition: the young man would have to pick his beloved out of many identical copies of her. He did, I think with her help (she signaled him, maybe?), and they lived happily ever after.
The illustrations were lovely and not childish-looking, possibly watercolor paintings, and the colors (again, from what I remember) were darker/more subdued than you'd expect in a children's book. The only picture I remember for sure was the one where the young man is trying to pick the correct daughter. He and the king are near the front, and stretching behind the king are dozens, if not hundreds, of identical daughters.
I've tried searching for it online, but I don't remember enough to narrow down the search field. If you can help me, I'd be very grateful!
Memory Like A Rusty Sieve, I Swear
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