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A Wolf at the Door: and Other Retold Fairy Tales Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8-This well-written collection revisits both familiar and lesser-known stories with creative revisions by a variety of familiar writers. The tales range from Jane Yolen's comic "Cinder Elephant" to Garth Nix's downright creepy "Hansel's Eyes," in which the witch no longer eats children, but instead harvests their organs for sale. It's easy to recognize the traditional tale in most instances, but some are likely to be unfamiliar to many readers, particularly Katherine Vaz's "The Kingdom of Melting Glances," based on two Portuguese tales. Tanith Lee's "A Wolf at the Door," set in the next ice age, and Janeen Webb's "Ali Baba and the Forty Aliens" enter the realm of science fiction. Neil Gaiman's "Instructions" is a poem of advice for those finding themselves in the midst of fairy tales. Gregory Maguire's "The Seven Stage a Comeback" is a song in which the dwarves consider taking back Snow White. The diversity of content, style, and tone makes this an excellent collection for sampling. Most of these stories ask readers to think a bit more about fairy tales and what they may be saying to and about us. Overall, Wolf is enjoyable reading for those who like fairy tales, particularly fans of revisionist versions who don't expect humor in every story.
Ellen A. Greever, University of New Orleans, LA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 6-10. Irreverent, poetic, and thrillingly evil, these new versions of classic fairy tales are less comic and playful than the fractured fairy-tale picture books for younger readers. In fact, as the editors point out in their introduction, fairy tales were originally told to older audiences before the stories were sweetened and simplified for children. Many of these retellings are contemporary, set in the city and the schoolyard as well as the dark woods, with lots of evil stepmoms and rivalrous siblings. Garth Nix's "Hansel's Eyes" may be too lurid, even for teens, spelling out the fairy tale's elemental terror in graphic detail, with a Hagmom who gets Dad to dump the kids in a city wasteland. But many of the other stories are dark and strange and beautiful. In Gregory Maguire's "The Seven Stage Comeback," the dwarves speak in poetic monologues as they try to get back their beloved Snow White after she's left them for the prince ("We took her in when she was lost / But then we lost her in our turn"). Jane Yolen's "Cinder Elephant" is about "a lovely big girl," whose dancing slippers are size nine-and-a-half wide, very wide; she hooks the prince with her love of sports and books and her fast, funny talk. Both immediate and traditional, this dramatic collection will grab middle-graders and teens for storytelling and readers' theater. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 2369 KB
  • Print Length: 186 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (March 20, 2012)
  • Publication Date: March 20, 2012
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006VFZROC
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #799,869 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on October 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
As a big fan of the Datlow/Windling fairy tale volumes for adult readers ("Snow White, Blood Red," etc.), I was thrilled to see a volume I could give to my young niece and nephew, so that they too could discover the pleasure of re-told fairy tales, and see that there is so much more to these tales than the Disney versions for very young children. This is a great collection, as one would expect from Datlow & Windling. My own favorite pieces were Neil Gaiman's "Instructions" and Patricia McKillip's lyrical version of The 12 Dancing Princesses. And Kathe Koja's version of the Ugly Duckling ("Becoming Charise") made me cry. My 9-year-old niece votes for "Falada" by Nancy Farmer because it was so funny, and for Kelly Link's "Swans," because she liked the heroine very much. My ten-year-old nephew liked Katherine Vaz's "The Kingdom of Melting Glances" best because he liked the princesses with bacon up their sleeves! If you want to get kids interested in reading or to give them something magical and fun when they've run out of Harry Potter books, then I can highly recommend this collection. And as an adult reader, I enjoyed it too.
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Format: Paperback
This collection of stories includes:

The Months of Manhatten by Delia Sherman

Done in the tradition of the good sister being rewarded over the bad one this story is set in New York. The good sister finds a painting of twelve people who question her about the seasons and such. She responds favorably to all the months which gains her good luck. When her stepsister tries, she tells the months that she doesn't like any of the months in New York. She is cursed with bad luck. Eventually she turns repentant and makes the sisters grow closer.

Cinder Elephant by Jane Yolen

Elanor is not a skinny girl like her two stepsisters but she is good and kind. Also she knows a lot about sports. Through the help of her bluebird friends, Elanor is able to attend the ball where the prince and she (grammar?) discover they have a lot in common. The moral at the end of story appears as such: "Moral: If you love a waist, you waste a love." (pg. 28) Very well put indeed!

Instructions by Neil Gaiman

This bears reading over which I haven't done. It's a list of instructions on what to do and not do when in a fairy tale. Such advice includes: "You may pick strawberries in December's frost," and "Know that diamonds and roses are as uncomfortable when they tumble from one's lips as toads and frogs:..." (pgs. 31-32) Very nice to read.

Mrs. Big: "Jack and the Beanstalk" Retold by Michael Cadnum

Poor Mrs. Big! Her husband fell off the clouds where their home was built chasing after Jack because he thought Jack had hurt his wife! Mrs. Big wasn't too thrilled with the house in the clouds even though they bought it; you could step off at the wrong place and that's exactly what poor Mr. Big did! But Mrs. Big gets her revenge!
Read more ›
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I LOVE fairy-tale re-tellings; hence the five stars.

My favorites in this one were/are: "Cinder Elephant" ('If you love a waist, you waste a love'; HEART that moral), "Swans", "Falada" (VERY interesting to see things from the horse's point of view, and she doesn't die- YAY!!), "Melting Glances" (LOVE little-known tales as much as Grimm, Andersen, and Perrault's stories), "The Seven Stage a Comeback" ("Snow White" is and always will be a favorite fairy-tale), and "The Twelve Dancing Princesses".

*Get this book*; whether on Kindle or a paperback. This is *NOT* a waste of money; who *says* that princes marry swans, not hens?! That's like saying "Puppets are BAD- not *good*." HA!!! Well- Walt Disney sure didn't believe that!!
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Format: Hardcover
I purchased this book without even realizing that it was geared toward kids (Ages 8-12). I am a new fan to Datlow/Windling and had to add this to my collection. Am I glad that I did! This book takes some of the classic fairy tales and gives them a delightful twist. As I said, it is geared towards kids, so it doesn't have the adult twist that the other books do, but it is a great read for all ages.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although this book is marketed towards young adults, it is really for all ages. Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling are best known for their many editorial collaborations on collections of short stories for adults. This collection, however, is acceptable to a wider and younger audience.
My favorite tales in the collection are by Katherine Vaz, Delia Sherman, and Patricia McKillip. All of the tales are wonderful and will expand readers' thinking about fairy tales and their presence in the modern world. A few of the tales are romantic and one by Garth Nix is gruesome. There are stories to fit all tastes. Each one is a jewel and my only regret is that more stories are not included. This collection is all too short.
The stories in the book are: The Months of Manhattan / Delia Sherman -- Cinder Elephant / Jane Yolen -- Instructions / Neil Gaiman -- Mrs. Big / Michael Cadnum -- Falada / Nancy Farmer -- A Wolf at the door / Tanith Lee -- Ali Baba and the Forty Aliens / Janeen Webb -- Swans / Kelly Link -- The Kingdom of Melting Glances / Katherine Vaz -- Hansel's Eyes / Garth Nix -- Becoming Charise / Kathe Koja -- The Seven Stage a Comeback / Gregory Maguire -- The Twelve Dancing Princesses / Patricia A. McKillip
Young adult readers who enjoy this book may also like "Tales from the Brothers Grimm and the Sisters Weird" by Vivian Vande Velde, "Teller of Tales" by William Brooke and "Truly Grimm Tales" by Priscilla Galloway.
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