The collection was just ok. “Bland” and “average” also come to mind to describe the text and illustrations, which was disappointing because Tasha Tudo The collection was just ok. “Bland” and “average” also come to mind to describe the text and illustrations, which was disappointing because Tasha Tudor was usually so good at recreating whole worlds with her delicate drawings.
Her illustrations of Little Women looked like Civil War era New England, her illustrations of the Secret Garden looked like Edwardian era northern England, her illustrations of a Little Princess recreated Victorian London, etc.
So here she does a so-so job creating a fairy tale world that was light on detail or imagination. She probably would have been better off to have picked specific time and places to put her stories rather than this generic fantasy land.
Some credit for including the lesser known fairy tales next to the main stream ones, but still, not the best version of this type of collection I’ve seen. ...more
A fun collection of re-told fairy tales. The stories are aimed at a younger audience and act as a great way to introduce young readers to re-thinkingA fun collection of re-told fairy tales. The stories are aimed at a younger audience and act as a great way to introduce young readers to re-thinking heroes and villains after they have just graduated from the picture book versions.
Wizard's Apprentice by Delia Sherman – a retelling of an old Russian fairy tale, set in Maine here, which, of course, is the perfect place for an old wizard to set up shop – he blends right in with the Stephen King atmosphere that nowadays permeates in any little town set in Maine in the minds of the audience.
An Unwelcome Guest by Garth Nix – a Rapunzel tale that delightfully sets the tale on its ear. Plus, the mix of modernity and magic was hilarious – seeing a pizza delivery boy arriving at a medieval castle totally made my day.
Faery Tales by Wendy Froud – a wonderful examination of girl characters who become women characters in poem form. The use of contrasting words throughout – “diamonds and blood / bones and gold” – was delightful and haunting at the same time.
Rags and Riches by Nina Kiriki Hoffman – Honestly, Emma Donoghue did this much better in "The Tale of the Handkerchief."
Up the Down Beanstalk: A W Remembers by Peter S. Beagle – Meh, wasn’t quite sure where this story was trying to go with it.
The Shoes That Were Danced to Pieces by Ellen Kushner – Hah! The main character is named “Cara”! Squee! And she’s the oldest daughter who always has to be responsible for her younger sisters! Was this written just for me?
Puss in Boots, the Sequel by Joseph Stanton – In poem form the cat takes his just desserts. Cleary written by a cat lover.
The Boy Who Cried Wolf by Holly Black - A nice examination of how one first becomes the monster
Troll by Jane Yolen – The poor troll is very dim witted – he’s not mean, just easily befuddled.
Castle Othello by Nancy Farmer – Combines Othello with Bluebeard, and gives everyone a happily ever after – though not quite how you’d expect.
Skin by Michael Cadnum – Rumplestiltskin, dark, and yet, not dark
A Delicate Architecture by Catherynne M. Valente – the best in the series. Hands down best version of Hansel and Gretel I’ve ever come across. You will be repulsed, since cannibalism will do that, but the descriptions of the candy, the chocolates, the sugars and caramels and toffees and creams, all are described lovingly, beautifully, and mouth wateringly.
Molly by Midori Snyder – Once again, the giant tells his side of the story
Observing the Formalities by Neil Gaiman – Neil Gaiman takes Sleeping beauty and examine sin poetic form why the 13th fairy would be so upset – and why should would choose the curse she did. Very, very, good.
The Cinderella Game by Kelly Link – dark look at how fairy tale patterns get played out in a contemporary setting ...more
A collection of short stories, both original and re-tellings. Overall, good, but one stands out. 'Lost Girls' is the best re-telling of Peter Pan EVERA collection of short stories, both original and re-tellings. Overall, good, but one stands out. 'Lost Girls' is the best re-telling of Peter Pan EVER!...more
A collection of the traditional fairy tales retold in a dark and twisted manner.
Dame Nigran’s Tower – This retelling of Rapunzel starts out strong, wiA collection of the traditional fairy tales retold in a dark and twisted manner.
Dame Nigran’s Tower – This retelling of Rapunzel starts out strong, with a great back story for the “witch” character, but after building and building there is no dramatic resolution or any sort of climax.
Pipe Dreams – One of the best in the collection. The Pied Piper story climbs and climbs in tension to the heart breaking conclusion that even though I knew was coming I couldn’t stop myself from anxiously turning each page.
Mother Love - Pardon the expression, but it gets down to the “bare bones” of the story of Hansel and Gretel. It’s gruesome.
Ashes – Cinderella turns out to be both blood thirsty and rather simple minded. This might work as expanded into novel form.
Evelyn’s Song – Again, starts out strong by exploring the back-story of a character, in this case the singing harp in the beanstalk story, but falters towards the end with a somewhat meh ending.
Diamonda – A sad story of a love unreturned.
Naked – One of the best here, the lady Godiva story is retold into one of love and forgiveness. A beautiful love story of a husband and wife rediscovering their love. ...more
I think if you liked the Weetzie Bat books you'd like this. She's really cornered the market on magical realism. What's scary is how plausible some ofI think if you liked the Weetzie Bat books you'd like this. She's really cornered the market on magical realism. What's scary is how plausible some of the stuff is, and yet still it's little girls acting out fairy tales, only here apples and spinning wheels are replaced by substance and sexual abuse....more