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Straw into Gold: Fairy Tales Re-spun
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Straw into Gold: Fairy Tales Re-spun

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  155 ratings  ·  49 reviews
Award-winning author Hilary McKay reimagines your favorite fairy tales with humorous and heartfelt twists in this beautifully illustrated collection of short stories.

Imagine Hansel and Gretel’s story from their teacher’s point of view, when Gretel submits her report of, “What I Did in the Holidays, and Why Hansel’s Jacket Is So Tight.” Learn the story of how Rumpelstiltski
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published February 5th 2019 by Margaret K. McElderry Books (first published October 4th 2017)
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Average rating 3.58  · 
Rating details
 ·  155 ratings  ·  49 reviews

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Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, netgalley
The tales are familiar. A young woman attends a ball with the aid of a fairy godmother. A girl escapes from an evil queen and her quest for vain gratification. A girl and her cloak journey through the woods. Fairy tales provide the simplistic and highly dramatic bones that have influenced countless retellings, reimaginings, reexaminations— pick your word.

It’s almost remarkable then that writers are still finding interesting and original things to pull from these stories. Yet that is exactly what
It’s been a while since I wrote a Goodreads review but I feel I owe it to the kind person who sent me this book. <3

I love everything Hilary McKay writes, but this – not being a straightforward single narrative – was a different reading experience. The pleasure in reading came not from wanting to find out what was going to happen to McKay’s so-likeable-yet-so-flawed characters, but from being able to pick up the book every morning and read a whole new story. There is also, of course, a certain
Apr 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This is like cotton candy: sugary sweet and insubstantial. And purposeless. I’m not sure what I expected from this, but it wasn’t to finish the volume wondering why it was written. There are very few memorable moments (Cinderella as the winning whimsical extrovert who recognizes the Prince by his boots - niiiiice parallel - and the literal blue blood; Sophie objecting that all mirrors tell the truth and that’s not magic, and her grandmother responding “Do they?”; that the Prince’s Problem is exa ...more
Brandy Painter
May 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, middle-grade
This is a collection of fairy tales, each with a twist of some sort. The twist range from the point of view of the storyteller, the point in time from which the story is told, and the circumstances surrounding the story. It's a decent collection, but mostly I was just bored. The stories were not engaging enough to keep my interest when or twisty enough to offer anything new. There were a couple of shining, profound moments, but those were too few and far between to count against how I had to for ...more
Christina Reid
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such imaginative and fresh retellings of familiar fairytales. I particularly loved the retelling of Rumplestiltskin from his perspective - it made me feel so sorry for him!
Brilliant collection, full review to come!
Ivona Coghlan
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love fairy tale retellings. This book is aimed at children but if you're like me and love rereading these old stories you'll really enjoy it. McKay gives you the stories you know with the same evocative language but updates them for a new audience. I think my favourite was Rumplestiltskin. I just found it really endearing. If you like different versions of fairytales, this is definitely worth a look. I gave it 5 stars because I felt like it was a near perfect version of what it was intended to ...more
Ms. Yingling
Dec 27, 2018 rated it liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

This is a great collection of variations on fairy tales, right up there with Vande Velde's The Rumplestiltskin Problem (2000). McKay takes classic tales and puts a fresh new spin on them, but still keeps the core of the original.

The problem is that I don't need any more fairy tale books.

For years, our sixth grade language arts classes did a project where they took a fairy tale from one country and reset it in a country on another continent. My daughter took the Clever G
Summary=retellings of classic fairy tales

Themes= magic/mystery/ families

My thoughts= I love how tongue in cheek a lot of the stories are- some of the thoughts the characters have/things they said really made me laugh. I especially loved how the story of Hansel and Gretel was told via a confused school teacher who is reading Gretel's 'What I did in the holidays' journal. I think it is clever how the stories unfold- usually the main character in the stories doesn't know how the story unfolds eithe
Feb 12, 2019 marked it as dnf
DNF. I thought I would like this because I like retold fairy tales, but the prose is painful to read. Maybe it's supposed to be short and choppy and repetitive because people think that's the sort of thing children like, but I just think it's not very good. The first story (Rapunzel) also simply was not interesting. It was the basic Rapunzel story interspersed with a "clever" tale about a caged bird who was afraid to leave its cage, so readers can see that Rapunzel and her tower are like the bir ...more
Hannah Polley
This book is all the old fairytales but all have a little twist to them to make them a bit different to the originals. Quite interesting to see what has been done with each one and it is a quick read.

I think a young child would struggle a bit with the length but I would recommend to slightly older children.
Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The stories are a bit different from the originals but I still enjoyed reading them. 3.5 stars
Straw into Gold is a compilation of fairy tales that were retold by Hilary McKay. I’m going to be honest and say that I did not read all of them, and I only read the stories that were based on fairy tales that I liked. I was going to read the rest of them if I liked these, but the ones I did read did not impress me. The stories themselves were just strange. The first one I read, “The Roses Round the Palace or Cinderella”, started out well enough, but the Prince was dislikable to me. He had a str ...more
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
I was excited to come across Straw Into Gold on the library shelves. I have loved fairytales since I was a little girl. By the time I was six years old I had read through the huge volume The Complete Fairytales of the Brothers Grimm multiple times. I am thrilled to find clever new retellings of classic (and lesser-known) fairy tales; I absolutely delight in smart, funny parodies or fractured fairytale versions. Unfortunately, Straw Into Gold was disappointing for me.

McKay retells several familia
Aug 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I LOVE Hilary McKay.

So therefore I very much looked forward to reading this book.
And now I have!
And here's what I have to say:

The Tower and the Bird (Rapunzel), the first story, was interesting because I guess I'd never really considered how Rapunzel's life after the tower was affected by her imprisonment.

I enjoyed her retelling of Red Riding Hood (Over the Hills and Far Away) and Snow White (Chicken Pox and Crystal) and I love how in the book many times the story is changed simply because of
May 23, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
DNF. The best part of this book of short stories are the black-and-white illustrations.
This retelling of well-known Western fairy tales travelled a well-worn path for me, a frequent reader of fairy tales, myths and legends during my childhood and youth. However, the book did not hold the elements of surprise or imagination or as reported in the book’s publicity in the book, “using details never revealed before,” that would warrant MacMillan publishing a fresh retelling. It also didn’t capture th
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Hilary McKay spins different perspectives into her retellings of the ten traditional fairy tales in this collection: “Rapunzel,” “Cinderella,” “The Princess and the Pea,” “Rumpelstiltskin,” “The Pied Piper of Hamelin,” “The Swan Brothers,” “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves,” “Red Riding Hood,” “The Twelve Dancing Princesses,” and “Hansel and Gretel.” In “Straw into Gold,” Petal, the miller’s daughter, manipulates Rumpelstiltskin, a hob who yearns for a child, into spinning a barnful of barley st ...more
I liked it, but these weren't the most memorable. I always love a good fairy tale retelling or fractured fairy tale, and these fell solidly in that category. And while these were sweet and clever and even a few surprising moments ("Oh, THAT's the angle for this story - the children!" etc), there was something missing to make them really classic. Maybe there just wasn't that much depth? Sweet but superficial? I don't know. At any rate, I enjoyed it and would recommend it to people who like things ...more
Mar 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-2018
I love most of these retelling short stories in this book and that's why I am giving this book 4 stars.

There were three stories which were quite average for me: Straw in gold (Rumpelstiltskin), The fountain in the market square (The Pied piper of Hamelin) and What I did in the holidays and why Hansel's jacket is so tight (Hansel and Gretel).

My three favorite stories were: The roses round the palace (Cinderella), Chickenpox and Crystal (Snow white and the seven Dwarves) and Over the hills and fa
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
In this collection of ten tales, the author takes a new look at classic fairytales. In some the reader finds a deeper understanding of the characters in the tales, such as in The Tower and the Bird or Rapunzel, which tackles the idea of how frightening freedom can be to one who was confined. In The Chicken Pox and Crystal or Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, a young princess learns the dangers held in a sliver of the Magic Mirror. Other tales revisited are Rumplestiltskin, Cinderella, The Pied P ...more
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one was just fun. I'm a life-long lover of fairy tales and consumed the originals when I was young. I enjoyed this bunch of tales retold. The author showed some versatility by being humorous in one, whimsical in another and said and beautiful in yet another. Some were straightforward; others took a little while to see how they matched up. Although fun, without knowing the source material, the full impact would be lost.

I especially enjoyed that she drew from the originals, not the Disney-fie
Anna  Gibson
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: youth-fiction
Every once in a while (well, maybe more than once in a while) I want to lose myself in glass slippers and ebony window frames and forests where wild things and red capes roam. Straw into Gold: Fairy Tales Re-Spun fulfills that longing almost perfectly, with the exception of one tale that had a stylistic tone which felt at odds with the rest of the stories... but not enough to mar this trip through an enchanted forest--persistent (and literal) fairy dust, misunderstood hobs, wicked glass shards a ...more
Very creative re-imagining and retelling of classic fairytales. Take it as the untold perspectives of misunderstood characters from the stories that we thought we knew so well (which I really like).

The 10 stories are:

- Rapunzel
- Cinderella
- Rumpelstiltskin
- The Pied Piper of Hamelin
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
- The Twelve Dancing Princesses
- Little Red Riding Hood
- The Princess and the Pea
- Hansel & Gretel
(my favourite)
- The Wild Swans

Some were very interesting and engaging, though a
Kay Carman
I usually enjoy fairy tales retold, especially those by Robin McKinley and Donna Jo Napoli, so thought I'd like these. I didn't find these retellings very satisfying, though. I like this author so, noticing that the two other other authors I've mentioned both write YA, it makes me wonder if I need something with more description, more character development, more intense feeling of place. My favorite fairy tale retelling of all time is Spindle's End by McKinley.
Mary Sanchez
Loved the variations on these familiar fairy tales and the different perspectives of the characters. Hilary McKay brought to light the very questions I have always had with some of the old tales.

I also liked that I could read one fairy tale at a time and digest that, instead of an entire novel. This would be an interesting writing assignment for students who know the fairy tales and want to give the rest of the story.
Remy Martino
This book of stories was very sweet, and would probably make an excellent collection of bedtime stories to be shared with the whole family. As I am often a fan of retellings of tales like Rapunzel, Rumpelstiltskin, The Princess and The Pea, Little Red Riding Hood, etc. I thought I would enjoy this book. However, with a collection of 10 separate tales, I did prefer some tales to others.
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love retold fairytales, and this book contains some of my favorites. Some have a pathos to them that other versions don’t, but they’re beautifully done. I love how several stories are told from a different point of view than usual, and how old-worldly the magic feels. It’s a quick, easy read that I really enjoyed.
Dec 26, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fairy-tales
Some of these stories were hits and a few were misses. Sometimes I wondered why they were a mash-up of two tales, couldn't see the point. One was so imbecilic as to turn me off the whole book for a while. There were a couple of clever and inventive ones, nicely written, well thought out. Completely loved the illustrations, these made it for me.
Read the paperback edition of this NOT the Kindle.
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a fan of the Casson family stories and having recently enjoyed The Exiles too, I was excited to see this compilation of retold story tales by Hilary McKay in the bookshop! The reimagining of the stories is creative and at times surprising! They were all pretty good, but I particularly enjoyed Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Snow White.
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm a sucker for fairy tale retellings, and this book was a pleasant surprise. The stories were inventive - some straight retellings, some with a new perspective, some imagined sequels - and the writing was lovely. My favorites were Rumpelstiltskin, The Princess and the Pea, and Red Riding Hood.
I really enjoyed Straw into Gold: Fairy Tales Re-Spun. Hilary McKay put a fresh new spin on each of the stories. I highly recommend this book.

Thanks to the publisher for an advanced reader's copy.
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Hilary McKay was born in Boston, Lincolnshire and is the eldest of four girls. From a very early age she read voraciously and grew up in a household of readers. Hilary says of herself as a child "I anaesthetised myself against the big bad world with large doses of literature. The local library was as familiar to me as my own home."

After reading Botany and Zoology at St. Andrew's University Hilary
“Far away can be too far away, when the wrong people are left behind.” 0 likes
“It isn't the story, because it has ended too soon, of how Granny returned the huntsman to the village in her wheelbarrow, and went back to her happy life in the forest as a semi-retired smuggler, with Diamond for company.
Nor is it the ridiculous mixed-up tale told by the huntsman of a wolf in bed, and Granny eaten, and Red Riding Hood saved by his own brave self, rushing in with an axe.”
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