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Grumbles from the Forest: Fairy-Tale Voices with a Twist Hardcover – March 1, 2013
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From School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-Mining the world of standard fairy tales, these poems are presented in the voices of the various characters. The pea relates his tale of woe upon being smashed by the princess. The giant's wife from "Jack and the Beanstalk" takes pity on the boy and facilitates his escape. A wounded Cinderella regrets her choice of shoes, and an introspective Beauty wonders if she chose the right spouse. A table of contents as well as summaries of the original tales augment the text. Stunning painterly illustrations may compensate for a few less-than-thrilling twists on the familiar tales. Stellar depictions of Rumplestiltskin and The Frog Prince richly enhance the text. Some poems are thoughtful and others merely silly but the illustrations are consistently eye-catching. The concept is fresh, and most of the poems are enjoyable if a few feel more contrived than creative. Still, this unique offering will find a home in language-arts classes, and the art begs to be shared one-on-one.-Carol Connor, Cincinnati Public Schools, OHα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Fairy tales have been fractured, reimagined, told, and retold. Here, Yolen and Dotlich get into the heads of the characters and put their thoughts in verse. Hansel and Gretel, Red Riding Hood, and the Gingerbread Boy are all here. But sometimes it’s not the character you’d expect who makes an appearance. The giant’s wife explains how fond she is of Jack. The four principals from Rumpelstiltskin—the miller, his daughter, the king, and the little man—argue about which one of them has lied. There are poems, haiku, and even a letter from Goldilocks informing the owner of the cottage how bears broke in, causing havoc. Most are quite delightful, a few thought-provoking, including the anniversary note from Beauty after a decades-long marriage to the Beast. Oversize paintings fill the pages. Mottled backgrounds, often dark, sometimes even foreboding, showcase witches, trolls, heroes, and heroines in startling new ways. In one, Snow White’s head protrudes from a mirror. An introduction urges readers to use this book as a starting point for their own writing, while an afterword introduces the original stories. Grades 4-6. --Ilene Cooper
Top customer reviews
Recommended for grades 3-5
Classic fairy tale characters are the voices within these pages. I love the following lines in the Nore to Readers: "Imagine. Enchant. Write a poem that rewrites the tale. Make a little magic." Each poem from a different character voice and perhaps from an unfamiliar perspective. The poems were fun, for me it was the artwork that shined though.
The imaginative and colorful drawings pop off the page. I loved Beauty and her Beast in the snow and the silly frog.