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Fat & Bones: And Other Stories

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Welcome to Bald's farm. Well, perhaps it's not Bald's farm anymore. The old man has kicked the bucket, setting off a wave of conflict from the flooded farmhouse kitchen to the muddy pig pen to the tall wheat fields. In this darkly funny, slightly supernatural chain of tales, no creature is safe. Not Leonard Grey, a spider with sophisticated tastes. Not Esmeralda, a resentful one-legged pig. Not Tulip, a plant with a mean streak. And as for Bones, the old man's son, and Fat, his winged rival? They'll learn that danger lurks in the strangest of places...

112 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2014

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About the author

Larissa Theule

9 books26 followers
Larissa Theule lives with her family in Southern California.

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5 stars
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4 stars
22 (22%)
3 stars
24 (24%)
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19 (19%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 34 reviews
Profile Image for Ionia.
1,430 reviews66 followers
June 11, 2014
Have a kid in your life who is a bit...different? This book might be just the thing. This book, to say the least, is strange, but that is not a bad thing. This book has the dark feel of the old stories from the Grimm brothers. The illustrations are wonderful and really help you get a feel for the story.

The author did a good job in teaching some important lessons through the stories and there is a lasting sense of irony in the overall book that I quite liked. The things that happen as a result of the character's actions are funny rather than disturbing, and there is nothing really gross that you wouldn't want your kids to read.

This is not happy sunshine and unicorns by any means, but the darker, more thoughtful approach to story telling really appealed to me. This was a fun way to spend an afternoon.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided by Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Marna.
303 reviews
January 23, 2018
Not sure about this book. I probably would have enjoyed it more, had I not been reading it for a purpose (which I don't believe it suits), although if i were to take the whole thing to heart, I might not want to get out of bed in the morning. To quote Lemony Snicket, "If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book. In this book, not only is there no happy ending, there is no happy beginning and very few happy things in the middle." And "Fat & Bones" is somewhat more graphic and morbid and not nearly so upbeat as "A Series of Unfortunate Events". That said, for a discouraging book, it is well written and the artwork is exceptional.
Profile Image for Me.
473 reviews16 followers
July 19, 2016
Ick! These very dark fairy tales had too much violence for me.
Profile Image for Amanda.
99 reviews
October 30, 2020
On a not-so-ordinary farm, the farmer Bald has died. His son Bones is now unchecked and free to release his wrath on his arch nemesis, Fat the Fairy. This starts a chain of unusual and often unfortunate events. The farmer’s wife cries until there are inches of water on the floor. A little mouse must sail across this new ocean to reach the mouse he loves on the other side. Fat makes a potion for Bones that requires spider blood, and the not-so-adventurous spider Leonard must save the day. From a sneezing dog to a dancing pig, animals and humans wreak havoc upon the farm until the Man in the Moon himself wonders if it could ever be fixed.

Several short, fairy-tale like stories intertwine to make up this unique book. With distinctive characters, descriptive imagery, and exciting suspense, the story is well crafted. However, the content is unusual and often unpleasant. Like the original Grimm tales, these stories to do not shy away from strange violent content, such as pigs who live with few to no feet for the sake of pig foot soup. Unlike some fairy tales, these stories have no obvious morals, although digging deeper may reveal some obscure lesson. The writing style is suitable for children as young as eight, however the content will probably be better appreciated by older readers who favor the dark and peculiar.

*Contains moderate violence++

++Review originally published on Children's Book and Media Review+++
Profile Image for Kitty Jay.
333 reviews20 followers
November 25, 2018
Fat & Bones: And Other Stories by Larissa Theule is the story of the rivalry between a winged fairy, Fat, and a farmer's odious son, Bones. It also is the tale of a dog with a cold, a mouse in love, a cat without a tail, and a spiteful tulip. It is, in sum, a very weird book.

And yet, it is no less delightful for that. It very much reminds me of something, but I struggle to think of what. The illustrations are heavily reminiscent of Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories and their remarkable illustrator, Stephen Gammell. They have that black-and-white, splotchy, oozy feel that is genuinely unsettling. Or maybe the story reminds me of the old rhyme, "Hey Diddle Diddle (The Cat & the Fiddle)", with its collection of weird, offbeat animals and creatures on a farm. Whatever it is, it is unique and a good blend of gross, funny, and just a dash of horror.

Fat & Bones is the first book from this author, if the bookflap is to be believed, and it does show. A few stories felt like they ended prematurely, seemingly caught on that perfect moment of showing too much, but ultimately erring in the opposite direction. Still, if one is to err, then that is probably the better direction, and it never spoiled the book. Theule manages to spin a great yarn in these stories.

If you're looking for an off-beat, interesting read, this is a good one.
Profile Image for James Biser.
2,958 reviews17 followers
December 6, 2018
This is a decent fantasy about a farm and a fairy or two that watch over it and have a disagreement with the farmer. It also discusses the mental and emotional anguish of a few of the farm animals. There are better fantasies available.
February 22, 2019
This was up my ally and seeing as these books are either a dying breed or just hard to find. I have a deep lust for odd and strange.

A bit of gory, splat with blood that screams weird stories.
Profile Image for Bruce Gargoyle.
874 reviews144 followers
July 18, 2014
I received a digital copy of this title from the publisher via Netgalley.

Full review at http://thebookshelfgargoyle.wordpress... (Oct 1)

Ten Second Synopsis:
An atmospheric and unearthly set of interconnected stories about the inhabitants of a slightly bleak farm.

This book has a feel of magical realism, with strange and unexpected twists emerging in every one of the interlaced stories. The characters are at once likeable and a bit off-putting, their actions two parts self-serving and one part self-sacrificing. In each of the stories there’s a little bit of humour to offset the overarching fog of bleakness and decay that seems to surround the farm and its residents.

The illustrations perfectly complement the tone of the stories and are masterfully completed, really adding to the overall reading experience. Once again I would recommend getting this book in print, rather than in digital form, because it was hard to get the full impact of the illustrations having to flick back and forth through digital pages to see the whole image in most cases.

The stories are short and interspersed with interjections from the mysterious narrator and I easily managed the book in one sitting. As the book is for younger readers though, it would be perfect for a read-aloud as the tales provide obvious stopping points during which readers may muse about folk of the farm. I very much enjoyed this book for its original characters and the atmospheric setting and narrative style. The illustrations are just a beautifully crafted bonus.

Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Hollowspine.
1,422 reviews31 followers
December 3, 2015
When I got this in audio I thought that it was a children’s book, I was thinking grades 4-6 or so, but having read it I would say that 6-12 would be a more appropriate age range and even then, parents may balk and children may squeam at the bloodiness and cruelty of the stories. The book is a collection of interwoven stories surrounding one event. Mr. Bald dies and this finally frees two enemies, his son Bones and the fairy Fat, to fight to the death. The two face off and their resulting scuffle takes a toll on the entire farm, from the flowers, to the mice, pigs, cat and dog. Everyone has a story and most of them are fairly dark.

Weaving in and out of the initial story we have other narratives all happening in conjunction and sometimes causing a domino effect. Bones wants pig foot stew for dinner and thus there is a story about the pigs, only one of whom still retains all her feet. A story of jealousy and ultimately redemption follows as the farmer’s wife comes out to collect the pigs foot. Each story is like that, something that links it to the overall story of the day of the showdown between Fat & Bones and something that links love to bad advice or anger to being stomped into the dirt, or self-sacrifice to peace...etc.

The tone reminded me a lot of the graphic novel Beautiful Darkness, which was also a dark depiction of childhood fairy stories. Ok, I’m geeking myself here (like aging only with geekiness) but for those who’ve played the RPG Fairy Meat, this book reads a like a game of Fairy Meat with Grimm’s tales tossed in.
1 review
August 5, 2014
Fat and Bones is wonderfully layered and reads like a modern-ish fable but a few modern fables match its lyrical writing and quality of character construction. Each chapter can be read as stand alone, and also sequentially. The characters in the book are beautifully interdependent. Theule has done a wonderful job of creating characters that are truly alive and memorable. Every creature from the pigs, the flowers, the spider etc., have a perspective and intense desire to survive in a world that is self-destructing. What I love most about the book is that even the terrifying parts or the violent imagery demands that the reader acknowledge and admire the incredible courage and humanity of the characters in play. It invoked a deep sense of urgency to be more empathic.
I expect my daughter will love this book and I hope she will read it many times, because each time she is bound to take away something new from it.

Highly recommend for all readers!
Profile Image for Jodi.
432 reviews2 followers
July 1, 2015
Found this in the youth section of the library, and was intrigued by the cover. But I quickly found out that this was no read-aloud-to-childrend kind of book. In fact, I think the first story alone scared my boys enough to make me quit reading it to them

Fat and Bones hate each other, and during their epic and weird battle a number of other strange, slightly supernatural, events happen on the farm. We read about a lonely spider, a love-sick mouse, a tulip with a mean streak, a resentful pig, a boneless woman, and two very wicked enemies. It was unique how the author wrote one story, and all of the other stories took place during the events of the main story. There are also many lessons to be learned here from the depiction of death, hatred, and sacrifice. Unfortunately, it was just a little too weird to be truly enjoyable. I suppose the author intended it to be humorous as well, but it was quite dark, and sadly, disappointing when most of the stories ended tragically.
Profile Image for Angie.
3,624 reviews44 followers
September 19, 2014
Mr. Bald, the farmer, dies and his son Bones is finally free to go after Fat, the fairy in the tree. Mrs. Bald can't stop crying over her husband's death. Fat and Bones have been enemies for a long time though it is not explained what made them such. Fat makes a potion for Bones's pig foot stew and unfortunately Mrs. Bald eats it instead causing her to go flat. Bones tries to cut down Fat's tree and instead cuts off the cat's tail. There are other stories interspersed in the Fat and Bones tales. A pig loses her last foot to the pig foot stew. A spider loses some blood to one of Fat's potions. It is a gruesome little collection of stories that I am sure will find fans among those kids who like horror.
Profile Image for Robin Herrera.
Author 5 books40 followers
January 4, 2015
Creepy, dark, and delightful. Interwoven short stories reveal a world where fate is cruel and twisted, but without gore, extreme violence, or bad language. (Which is kind of impressive!)

This book reminded me a LOT of the Scary Stories trilogy written by Alvin Schwartz and illustrated by Stephen Gammell. In Fat & Bones, there are also creepy, slightly unsettling black and white illustrations.

Give this to a kid who loves scary books. Give it to a reluctant teen reader. Give it to someone who doesn't think short stories can tell a whole story.
Profile Image for Bekka.
1,306 reviews13 followers
July 19, 2014
Thanks to Netgalley.com and Carolrhoda Books for early access to this title.

Well, this was really not my cup of tea. Way to much casual cruelty for me. I certainly wouldn't recommend it for children who are sensitive in any way. I did very much enjoy the illustrations, however. This might be a nice read for those who enjoy horror stories, but I really didn't enjoy it much at all.
Profile Image for Stacey.
41 reviews10 followers
December 28, 2014
If you're into fairy tales more along the darker side, then this little collection of short stories might just be for you. It doesn't have a great deal of substance, however, it does have a fascinating underlying story. This book was different than most of the literature I had been reading lately, and I do not regret picking it up.
Profile Image for Erin.
3,717 reviews45 followers
December 11, 2014
Reminded me simultaneously of Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories, and Clive Barker's The Thief of Always, with a little flavor of Pressed Fairies.

Not straight horror, but horrific enough that I would recommend it for a kid looking for something suitably creepy.
Profile Image for Katyak79.
505 reviews2 followers
June 1, 2015
A creepy set of fairy tale/fables along the lines of the original Brothers Grimm and Aesop fables with some pretty great artwork to boot. I really enjoyed reading this, but it's probably a bit dark for small kids or kids that are easily freaked out.
September 12, 2015
Weird, weird, weird. A Grimm-like set of stories that are interwoven. Great illustrations. More violent than I expected, but that's part of the Grimm tradition. I would recommend it for middle school.
Profile Image for Ginger.
Author 2 books31 followers
July 25, 2014
This book is a nearly flawless combination of linked short stories. Though it might not be to everyone's taste, this is one of the best middle-grade books I have read.
Profile Image for Linda.
393 reviews
September 1, 2014
a tightly woven set of short stories that were disturbing at times - more appropriate for YA than for my 4th and 5th graders
December 31, 2014
Recommended to anyone who loves/ loved reading Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell.
Profile Image for Chris Theule.
132 reviews3 followers
February 26, 2015
I finished Fat & Bones by my brilliant cousin, Larissa Theule. Honestly, I'm not sure what just happened. You will have to read it for yourself :)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 34 reviews

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