Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Wolf at the Door and Other Retold Fairy Tales

Datlow, E. & Windling, T. (eds). (2000). A Wolf at the Door and Other Retold Fairy Tales. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

Some of the world's most favorite fairy tales are retold in this collection of stories by various popular authors. Award winning authors like Neil Gaiman and Gregory Maguire create new stories out of old fairy tales. In the retelling of Hansel and Gretel, instead of a gingerbread house, the witch lures them in with video games and in the retelling of Cinderella, she wears a slipper made of twigs, not glass. Some of these classic fairy tales are retold from a modern perspective, and some are told from an entirely different perspective, such as Jack and the Beanstalk as told by Mrs. Giant or Snow White being discussed from the dwarfs' perspective after she has left with the prince.

I really loved reading Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire. Many of the fairy tales in this collection are like that, but meant for tweens. Gregory Maguire even contributes a tale about Snow White to the book. I was immediately drawn into the stories, reminding me that no one is ever too old for a good fairy tale. It does add interest to have a new spin on them. Some of the tales are a little edgier or more modern, which will definitely appeal to some tweens, others keep the original tone of the old fairy tales, but add new elements to them. I especially loved the retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses. It was beautiful and eerie, it made me want to read the original to see how much was kept in this new version. I think these stories might have the same effect on the tweens who read them.


Reading Level:
Ages 8 - 17

fairy tales

A compilation of retold fairy tales by award winning fantasy authors.

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