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Blackberry Blue: And Other Fairy Tales

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4.03  ·  Rating details ·  176 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Prepare to enter a world of magicians, enchanted forests, talking animals and wicked witches . . .

Here are six magical stories to thrill and enchant you. Watch Blackberry Blue rise from the bramble patch; follow Emeka the pathfinder on his mission to save a lost king; join Princess Desire as she gallops across the Milky Way on her jet-black horse.

These beautifully written
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Hardcover, 240 pages
Published November 7th 2013 by Tamarind
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4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  176 ratings  ·  40 reviews


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Mercy
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novels
Finally I get to read the captivating stories in this book. Reading blackberry blue, I couldn't think of any other story than Cinderella, so similar yet so different. Gavin has brought alive a multicultural Cinderella, with beautiful dark skin and brown eyes and wears a gown that is made of flowers but will wither at dawn, if she doesn't leave the ball on time. Blackberry attends the ball on three occasions before she finally gets to be with her prince charming, in this case, Prince Just. I just ...more
Mathew
A collection of newly written Fairy Tales by Jamila whose themes and characters may, to some extent, seem familiar yet with added twists. Lush illustrations and encourages a re-thinking of those established tales.
Kym
Fascinating fairytales that transported me to new worlds. Such creative, yet familiar, storylines that allow all children to see themselves reflected in the main characters.

- The tiny little baby girl with lips like crushed damsons; her tightly curled hair shone like threads of black gold and her eyes glistened like blackberries. The most beautiful girl anyone had ever seen.
Jordan Wheeler
Dec 27, 2017 rated it liked it
A very mixed bag of stories. 'The night princess' is absolutely beautiful, with gorgeous imagery and a heart wrenching ending. 'The purple lady' has a fantastically scary villain, beautifully and hauntingly described, and reads almost like a Greek legend, with the hero having to complete a number of tasks to fulfil his purpose. However, I generally didn't enjoy the other stories, especially the golden carp. Whilst the book did introduce some much-needed racial diversity into the mix as well as s ...more
Andy Verschoyle
In traditional style, an omniscient narrator tells a story with a philosophical introduction - “The Giver of Life and Death treats everyone equally, and Happiness is like a butterfly.” In a world where there are “…dark forces…like the Raven Witch and her Wolf Son….”. We note that the capital letters are the author’s own, so this is not a morality tale where good behaviour is rewarded, it is a confrontation between good and evil, where there is not necessarily a happy ending, though the reader su ...more
Gabriella
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: year-5, year-6
I have just read Blackberry Blue and Co. The book contains short stories. Some are based on similar traditional tales but adapted and re-modelled. Some were sinister and may not be suitable for younger children. All engaging and gripping stories. The stories include morals/ messages in each story. Some illustrations/ borders included, however, there are big chunks of writing.

There are many teaching opportunities for the stories:

Questions:
Is the forest a safe or a threatening place in this story?
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Becky Allen
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Gavin creates a collection of fairy tales reminiscent of the Grimm tales, with their darker, unfriendly sides, yet given a slightly more modern spin. The tales have elements of the traditional folk/fairy tales we all know, a quest or adventure or seeking the truth, good overcoming evil, persistence and patience for the good things to come to you. What Gavin does is to give us some slightly different protagonists to inspire us. Gavin herself says that she was aiming to depict a more modern repres ...more
Nadhira Ramadhani
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
''Who is most likely to be happy: the king in his castle, with all his lands and wealth, or the woodcutter living in his little cottage in the forest? The Giver of Life and Death treats everyone equally, and Happiness is like a butterfly. Who knows whether it will settle on you?''

Wowww.. Beautiful story.. Simply beautiful.. Made me reflect about the things that make us truly happy, content and grateful. It about the real 'stuff' in life... :') (tears)
Mathew
The premise behind this retelling of European fairytales was to rewrite stories which cover a diverse range of cultures and societies. The book tells six stories which are both familiar and unfamiliar and, for me, this was part of their appeal. I like some more than others but especially loved The Purple Lady which I thought was magnificent in its telling and scope. Recognition should also go to Richard Collingridge's illustrations which, I felt, supported the sense of diversity.
Kira
May 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is so incredibly wonderful. Jamila Gavin knocks it out of the park with this, at times grim, hopeful, macabre collection of original stories. Illustrations are delicately woven through the book lending to the magic of the stories themselves. Notable: all of the heroes and heroines are persons of color. Some stories get a bit dark, there are monsters, bones, dismemberment.

Recommended for fans of Gidowitz's Grimm series.
Jon Shanks
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great collection of fairy tales which manage to be both new and timeless at the same time. Jamila Gavin's tales are also enhanced by Richard Collingridge's beautiful illustrations which intermingle with the text and sometimes have the text curling around them. An instant classic.
Leona
Jun 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was an enchanting book with beautiful stories and illistrations
Anna Penniston
Apr 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Blackberry Blue: This short story cuts to the point, and demonstrates how fast paced a fairy tale should be in order to tell the story in only a few pages. This could be a great example to use with children when focusing on fairy tales. I liked the fact there was a lot of room for the readers to stop and make predictions about what may happen. I also enjoyed the use of the font that changed shape and direction depending on the story.
I noticed many patterns in this fairy tale where the storyline
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Jo Birt
Apr 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: novels
The Golden Carp:
Boys family got taken advantage of and the mum ended up marrying a horrible guy who bled them dry of their money. Then at the river a golden carp would give the boy jewels which the mean family would steal. He got pushed in the water and asked to pick apples for a horrible lady, he did so and got repaid in jewels. The same thing happened to the horrible son but he collected jewels instead. Then both boys went to meet the princess who was very ugly, the horrible boy got sent away
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Catherine
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
An enticing group of stories which the author says are intended to build on the European tradition of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson but to appeal to more diverse readers. The title story is the most like a re-working of a traditional tale (Cinderella) but it draws on other stories too. Blackberry Blue herself is endearing and the story has a gentle and happy ending. The remainder of the stories contain elements of traditional tales but vary more in terms of setting (eg city, non ...more
Farah Deeba
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was so AMAZING!!!The texts were so illuminating and vivid that I felt the stories were happening right in front of me!My favourites were Blackberry Blue and The Purple Lady. The illustrations were so beautiful and they were even making ugly monsters beautiful like butterflies or princesses.

Alveena(10)
Emily
Jan 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Some of the sort stories I enjoyed more than others. I found the book used good descriptive language and I enjoyed the quirkiness of how occasionally some of the text was laid out- words written diagonally/ falling down the page. I feel this makes it more appealing for children to read.
I enjoyed the modern feel the book created towards older, traditional tales.
RhiannaH
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: magic, fear, short-stories
This book is full of stories that will excite and intrigue readers. The elements of fear keep you on the edge of your seat. As a result, I would be mindful of which age group you share this book with.
Nichola Harris
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful collection of short fairy tales that will capture any child's imagination and take them to a new world of magic and enchantment. With many similar themes to our own, more familiar, traditional fairy tales such as Snow White and Sleeping Beauty.
Emma Adams
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful set of six magical fairy tales beautifully written with wistful illustrations .Fanciful and elaborate with pictures created in the minds eye that can transport the reader miles away from the present .Some stories stronger than others but all good .
Lois MacDonald
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: death, fairy-tales
The book was engaging and unique. It offered a range of stories, with creative storylines and believable characters.
Ruth
Jan 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great little stories to read. I absolutely love fairy tales. They're not just for children! Great to read in a spare 20 minutes. I find my imagination just runs with it...
Birgitta
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful set of stories that transported me to the magical and wondrous world of childhood. I highly recommend this collection of fairy tales!
Andrea
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding rewriting of European fairy tales. I personally loved the first story. Plus I found astonishing the illustrations!
Tamsin
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I am simply blown away with this collection of fairy tales. I thoroughly enjoyed every single tale in this book.

I appreciate what Jamila Gavin has done by creating this beautiful collection 'so that more diverse children could look at the heroes and heroines and say, 'That could be me.’' That is the goal, to get more children reading and reading more diverse texts.

6 short stories in total, some with similarities to the 'traditional European tales' but others, just a delight to read and felt unpr
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Hebe Way
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Six magical short stories about wicked witches, talking animals, enchanted forests and magicians. In some of these stories, Gavin cleverly takes 'traditional' fairy tales and subverts them by adding a multi-cultural twist! The beautiful illustrations that are present are a wonderful accompaniment to the narrative and bring it alive.

The stories in this collection follow the traditional fairy tale structure and with very clear language throughout they are quick and easy to read. However, Gavin use
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Sophie Freeman
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ks2
Each of the fairytales are well written, flow and are easy to read. They are hugely descriptive, offering opportunity to discuss what images the text brings to mind and exploring how individuals may interpret the descriptions.

Each story is short and concise with a clear moral message, showing how kindness and justice will suceed over deceit and greed. As they are short they are ideal for a whole class to study, starting with group reading, individual reading to recap and delving into the langua
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Sarah Ann
Sep 11, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5

I like the idea of this fairy tale collection - stories based on the tradition of European fairy tales with diverse characters - and it definitely is that though sometimes the tales seemed too similar to familiar tales.

My favourite fairy tales in this collection were the title story and the last story, The Night Princess, and generally I think the themes of love and sacrifice are strong in this collection.
Jen Lynes
Oct 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: listofbetterment
I was hooked as soon as I opened this book. It contains six quirky fairytales which relate to original ones. There are magical characters such as witches and wolves which have plot twists. The style of writing is similar to traditional fairy tales and I think children would love this book! So many great things can be done with it!
Fatma
Mar 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book was meant for my boy , but I think he was to young for it( 8 years old) , he found some of the stories scary . So I start to read it and loved the fairy tales, It remained me of my childhood fairy tale stories. I feel this book is beautiful written and the illustrated nicely , great addition to any girl :).
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Jamila Gavin was born in Mussoorie, India, in the foothills of the Himalayas, to an Indian father and an English mother. Jamila has written many books with multicultural themes for children and young adults. She won the Whitbread Children’s Book Award in 2000 and was runner-up for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize. Her work has been adapted for stage and television. Jamila Gavin lives in Engla ...more