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TaleSpins Paperback – May 1, 2013
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REVIEW FOR 8 Mullin begins this original retold fairy tale by reminding readers of its roots: oral tradition passed down through the generations. He simultaneously connects his audience with the rich history of retellings throughout the years and introduces a new chapter in that history. He invites the audience to become a part of that history with him by reading his story and reflecting upon what a true tale is is it, as the narrator suggests, what really happened, or is it something else entirely? Readers will probably detect truth in this tale not because they believe an eighth dwarf really belongs in the story, but because his presence adds a dimension to the story often forgotten in whitewashed versions: darkness exists and can be beaten, but it seldom allows a complete victory. Even as Mullin proposes to restore to the story of Snow White some of the original darkness, however, he calls to mind childhood versions of fairy tales by writing his in verse. The rhyming format mirrors nursery songs, giving to the story an air of familiarity even as the author introduces new elements. Darker themes such as lust and loss intertwine with the innocent recollections of childhood, giving readers the sense that the story has grown with them; once they knew only the whitewashed versions, but now they know the full account. This feels fitting and true since most know from experience that good and bad often mingle. The snarky observations made by Creepy from his vantage point in the basement add to the readers sense of participation in the tale. They work almost as asides from the author, saying You knew all along, or would have if you d thought about it, that this part of the story lacks some logic. But we ll go along with it. Such observations lend an air of levity to the retelling, reminding readers that, even with the darkness, this story is meant to be fun. An amusing retelling of Snow White, 8 stands apart from other such attempts with its wit and imagination. Though a quick read, it achieves surprising depth with its look at the role of fairy tales and the roles of the elements contained. Mullin paints the character of Creepy with sympathy despite his name, illustrating that good, as well as bad, can be found in unexpected places. This story will surely appeal to all those who love retold fairy tales. --Pages Unbound
REVIEW FOR 8 This story is a unique and humorous take on the fairytale Snow White . Written in verse this story tells the tale of an unknown 8th dwarf and his take on what really happened. The story is a great example that there are always two sides to every story and that even the small characters play a big role in stories. I loved the attitude of the main character Creepy . He was so real and even though he was different than most he liked himself for who he was and didn t care what anyone else thought. I can t say that there was any part of the story in particular that was my favorite because pretty much every part held my interest for various reasons. It was just so lighthearted and humorous while still having a moral like most fairytales. I believe that the moral of this story is to never take people for granted and never judge a book by its cover. So for a lighthearted original take on a classic fairytale read Michael Mullin s The Previously Untold Story of the Previously Unknown 8th Dwarf . --Curse of the Bibliophile
REVIEW FOR THE PLIGHT AND PLOT OF PRINCESS PENNY Mullin's fairy tale retellings set themselves apart from others on the market with their conscious inclusion of the readers as both participants and audience. By making the witch of this original story the same one who enchanted both the Frog Prince and the Beast, Mullin connects his work to the rich tradition of fairy tales throughout the centuries. He simultaneously updates the story by portraying Penny as a modern-day teenager with the same types of problems readers face popular cliques at school, awkward social moments at dances, etc. The readers can thus relate more readily to the protagonist and envision themselves in Penny s shoes. Penny s snarky attitude and commentary contribute further to the readers sense of identification; she does not passively accept her role in a far-fetched story, but makes the same sorts of observations about her predicament as a contemporary teen might. Readers thus get the sense that fairy tales are truly continuing stories, constantly evolving and not relevant simply to those nostalgic for a romantic past. On the contrary, fairy tales can not only speak to modern readers, but also happen to them. Mullin writes the tale in rhyming verse, lending to the air a certain simple quality reminiscent of childhood nursery rhymes. This technique emphasizes the oral tradition of fairy tales while also imparting to the story, sometimes dark, a sense of levity. Occasionally the rhyming pattern breaks down or the meter suddenly changes or even fails, but, on the whole, the verse proves delightfully fun while adding to sense of originality. Fans of fairy tales will enjoy this refreshing addition to the market. Michael Mullin is clearly just getting started on what promises to be an exciting adventure in publishing. His sensitivity to his audience as well as his pointed sense of humor mark him as an author whom readers should watch. --Pages Unbound
About the Author
Michael Mullin is co-author of the successful Larry Gets Lost™ children's book series. He lives in Pasadena, CA, although all his sports allegiances remain in his native New England. He lives with his wife and their 12-year-old twins. The kids pretty much run his life, despite his best efforts to appear as if he is running theirs.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is three short tales of familiar or should be familiar retelling of Fairy tales. It is such a breath of fresh air to the stories. They are told in a poetry form that gets the message told in a singing style.
The first tale is from the point of view of the 8th Dwarf. He has a different point of view. It is not what I expect. It is so much better with his view.
The second is the Plight and Plot of Princess Penny. I did not guess what tale this was from. Even Princess's can get bullied in school. It has some good lessons in it.
Jack'd was really a different story.
I enjoyed reading these three short stories. It is only 77 pages long. They can be read by any age and enjoyed.
Good clean fun.
I was given this ebook to read for purpose of reviewing and being part of Tale Spins blog tour.
The style is fun and easily enjoyable by anyone who enjoys a good tale. Its got the perfect amount of rhyme and poetry. Which I don't usually like, but it was done well and didn't over power the overall story.
I loved each tale and the twist that was used on it and I would read more from the author!
Fast forward a few months.... summer starts and my daughter decides that now is the perfect time to read this book... I thought, "okay, here we go... this is going to be either really great or really horrible" as she disappeared into her bedroom with the book in hand. Two days later, she beamed up at me with a humongous smile, "Mom, you HAVE to read this book. It was amazing." So with that recommendation, I picked up the book and read it too.
I must say, that I'm in love. The book is a compilation of three short stories, each a re-write of a classic fairytale. After reading the first story, I thought, "wow, that's my favorite"; but then, I read the next story and changed my mind. Now that I have finished reading all three stories, I decided that they are all my favorites. They are funny and sad, witty and serious. They have lessons to learn and silliness to enjoy. And the BEST part - they are all written in beautiful poetic language. I loved the way Michael was able to reinvent the stories from their originals and give them new life and new meaning. I truly enjoyed every work of this book and I highly recommend this book for all children.
The three stories can be bought individually as well, though the e-copy I received from I Am a Reader, Not a Writer for review is TaleSpins (TaleSpins #1-3), a collection of the three stories in one book.
My favorite out of the three is definitely the one about the untold story of the 8th Dwarf. It's a retelling of Snow White, with a hilarious-sad-creepy twist. The twist is an eight dwarf, a disfigured, bald, creepy little dude who doesn't fit in with the rest of the seven dwarfs. He's an introvert of the highest order, who does enjoy the company of his seven fellows but they shun him and mark him as different and weird and 'Creepy' (Yeah, that's his name too), and lock him in the dark basement forever, only to push a bowl of food down the door once a day. Turns out, he's the one who actually first fell in love with Snow and saved her life thrice. No, wait, four times! But being the hypocritical pretty maiden that she is, it's the other handsome hunk of a stranger Snow falls for, rejecting Creepy like the ugly creature he is. Oh well, Fairytale princesses are supposed to marry cute, rich princes not ugly, bald dwarfs, right? Like I said, Hilarious-Sad-Creepy.
I loved both the other stories as well, but this one hit a chord somewhere in my bored little heart (yes 'hit', not 'touched'), since I'm quite a bit of an introvert myself.
*smiles shyly, toeing the rug*
All in all, I really liked TaleSpins. It was a short, make-you-laugh, refreshing kind of a read. I think I'll be waiting for the next volume (in case the author's planning to write more of such stories).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I thoroughly enjoyed this book!Read more
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