Tag Archives: Fairy Tales

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll Rating: 4 stars

Of all of the gothic horror graphic novel fairy tales in this collection, Carroll’s unnerving take on Bluebeard A Lady’s Hands Are Cold blew me away. It’s the most complete and satisfying of the bunch. Gorgeous, vivid illustrations and lyrical yet elegantly simple prose. And the goriest story of them all while the others thrive mostly on what you cannot see.

There was a girl
& there was a man
And there was the girl’s father
who said, “you will marry this man.”

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Hansel & Gretel by Neil Gaiman

Hansel Gretel Neil Gaiman Lorenzo MattottiRating: 

Having liked The Sleeper and the Spindle, I assumed I’d enjoy another reworked fairy tale by him.

Be warned, Gaiman doesn’t really rework Hansel and Gretel like he did with Sleeping Beauty, he just enlarges on it, adding minor changes along the way. Oddly I enjoyed this story more than any other by Gaiman, which probably tells you more about how much I like, or dislike, his work than anything else.

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The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman

The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil GaimanRating:

For the first time ever I like a Neil Gaiman novel. I am shocked. Shocked, I tell you.

It wasn’t until I came across a Guardian article with the below image that I decided to give Gaiman a another chance. I mean, how bad could a feminist retelling of Sleeping Beauty be? Besides, the library had a copy so only an investment of time would be required.

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Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales

Nelson Mandela's Favorite African FolktalesRating:

Do not read this, listen to it.

Besides the veritable buffet of Hollywood A-listers from various ethnic backgrounds providing narrations, there’s beautiful music and songs in the interludes between stories and in the stories themselves. I’ve derived much enjoyment from the imaginative and enthusiastic performances from the narrators, most of whom possess great skills with accents. Even if you don’t recognise a couple of the narrators’ names, odds are you’d recognise their faces.

Whoopi Goldberg and Hugh Jackman’s performances were outstanding though most were above average.

Urban legends, origin stories, fables, parables, myths, magic, time travel, African versions of well-known fairy tales, clever and devious characters, and emotionally touching stories – what more could you want?

Well, the publisher has donated 100% of its takings from the audio to Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and Artists for New South Africa who work with children affected by HIV/AIDS.

Here’s a rundown of the folktales:

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American Fairy Tales by L. Frank Baum

American Fairy Tales

Polar bears in drag. Zombie birds. Pink glass dogs. Baum’s politically incorrect fairy tales have them all. Stereotypical Italian criminals aside, I enjoyed these stories of bargains gone wrong and villains reaping what they sow, with morals preaching against the seven deadly sins.

I listened to the free Librivox version expertly narrated by Matthew Reece.

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The Tinderbox by Joan Cameron

The Tinder Box (Well loved tales grade 1)

Reading this shortened children’s edition once again along with the full version in The Complete Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen. The only real difference is the violence. Here, the old witch is ‘killed’ by the soldier with his sword, the soldier is imprisoned for periodically kidnapping the sleeping princess each night before summoning the three dogs for help who scare the king’s men into fleeing, and the king and queen are ‘seized’ by the dogs who then run away with them, the royals never to be seen again. Whereas in the full version, the witch is beheaded by the soldier with his sword, he’s about to be hanged before summoning help, and the King and Queen – along with the judge and all the council members – are tossed many feet into the air by the dogs, dying when all of their bones are broken upon landing.

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The Happy Prince and Other Stories by Oscar Wilde

The Happy Prince and Other StoriesRating:

Wilde’s anthropomorphizing parables are beautifully written, emotionally moving and exquisitely poignant; praising the laudable virtues of the Catholic Church and warning of the shameful outcomes of the seven deadly sins. Themes of friendship and charity feature heavily with Christian overtones, which normally I find off-putting, but I didn’t here. (I’m an athiest.) I think my favourite would have to be The Nightingale and the Rose. I’d definitely give this to children despite the unhappy endings.

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What Reading Means to Me, Part I: The Early Years

Reading has been ever-present in my life. It’s had a destructive, educational, and inspirational effect.

As a child my favourite time of day was bedtime. Supper was two biscuits and milk followed by fast teeth-brushing and then hopping into my Forever Friends covered single bed while anxiously waiting for my mother to squeeze in and join me. Every time she visited friends and family far away from home, leaving me in the incompetent hands of my father, she would apologise by bringing home Ladybird fairy tale books. Every night she’d read to me in various animated voices, firing up my imagination by breathing life into each character.

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Review: Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2) by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2)

Wolf seduced me. I freely admit it. I love shifter romances, and although he’s not strictly a shifter, Wolf does possess wolf DNA. His personality and romance held all the yumminess required to have me falling head over heels. I didn’t care that he and Scarlet technically spent mere hours in each other’s company, and this is brought up many times, but they are quality hours. Wolf’s behaviour spoke volumes.

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