Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Blackberry Blue: And Other Fairy Tales” as Want to Read:
Blackberry Blue: And Other Fairy Tales
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Blackberry Blue: And Other Fairy Tales

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  183 ratings  ·  46 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
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published November 7th 2013 by Tamarind
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Blackberry Blue, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Blackberry Blue

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  183 ratings  ·  46 reviews

More filters
Sort order
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
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.
Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great collection of short fairytale style stories with both similarities and differences to the traditional fairy tales. This book would be perfect for use in KS2 as a storybook to read and enjoy but could also be used in English lessons as the descriptions in this book are beautifully detailed. Some of the stories could also be read to children in KS1 making this a perfect universal book for a primary school teacher. There are lots of opportunities for predictions to be made by the children t ...more
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
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: year-6, year-5
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:

Is the forest a safe or a threatening place in this story?
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
Alice Bennett
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a captivating book filled with fairytale stories that feel familiar to traditional tales such as Cinderella and Hansel and Gretel and yet, there are new twists and unexpected endings that made me want to keep reading.It falls very much into the fantasy and fairytale genre and would be best for a KS2 class as both a storybook and a vehicle for some lovely writing in Literacy.

I really liked Gavin’s use of beautiful phrases to describe fantastical settings: and the way that the weather was
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)
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.
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.
Jun 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was an enchanting book with beautiful stories and illistrations
Isobel Smith
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
Novels Blackberry Blue Jamillia Gavin

How is the story told ?

This book is full of short fairy tales and each story enters a new world of magic and mystery. Each story is different; there are scary stories, romantic stories and magical stories. In each story the author has written words in bold and words and phrases are sometimes wiggly. This is effective because the author has chosen important events in then stories to bring dramatic effect and tension.

Does the novel belong to a particular gen
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
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
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
Zoe Hickey
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I liked this book because it included lots of different spin offs from normal fairytales and they weren’t too long. I think a class may enjoy hearing these fairytales and pulling them apart to think about what the characters included learnt. I would recommend this book as the fairytales are unique and interesting so you could do a lesson on comparing these fairytales to the more traditional ones.
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.

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.
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 .
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.
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.
Lois MacDonald
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fairy-tales, death
The book was engaging and unique. It offered a range of stories, with creative storylines and believable characters.
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!
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...
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!
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Little Red Quacking Hood (Princess Pink and the Land of Fake Believe, #2)
  • The Bread We Eat in Dreams
  • Twisted Fairy Tales
  • A Touch of Honor (The Honor Trilogy #1)
  • Very Superstitious: Myths, Legends and Tales of Superstition
  • Sun Horse, Moon Horse
  • The Pyramid of Souls (Magickeepers, #2)
  • To Spin a Darker Stair
  • Red Run
  • Hunting Monsters (Hunting Monsters #1)
  • The Case of the Good-Looking Corpse (The P.K Pinkerton Mysteries, #2)
  • Crusade
  • Stop the Train! (Cissy Sissney, #1)
  • Transported: The Diary of Elizabeth Harvey, Australia, 1790
  • Fir
  • Roses and Bones: Myths, Tales, and Secrets
  • Silent Saturday (Forbidden Spaces, #1)
  • The Goldsmith's Daughter
See similar books…
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