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A Wolf at the Door: and Other Retold Fairy Tales [Paperback]

Terri Windling , Ellen Datlow , Tristan Ellwell
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov. 1 2001 Aladdin Fiction

These are not your mother's fairy tales...

Did you ever wonder how the dwarves felt after Snow White ditched them for the prince? Do you sometimes wish Cinderella hadn't been so helpless and petite? Are you ready to hear the Giant's point of view on Jack and his beanstalk? Then this is the book for you.

Thirteen award-winning fantasy and science fiction writers offer up their versions of these classic fairy tales as well as other favorites, including The Ugly Duckling, Ali Baba, Hansel and Gretel, and more. Some of the stories are funny, some are strange, and others are dark and disturbing -- but each offers something as unexpected as a wolf at the door.

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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Lacking in imagination July 25 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
With such a cast of authors, I expected a lot more from this book. Unfortunately, the retellings weren't very creative at all. However, I did learn about some new fairytales from other cultures, which is always fun.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wolf at the door April 19 2004
By A Customer
This book, the wolf at the Door, has tons of fairy tails in them. It has The Months of Manhattan, Cinder Elephant, the Twelve Dancing Princesses, and other amazing stories.
Let's start with The Wolf at the Door. This fairy tail is about a wolf that is at the door. It comes at night and is very creepy with his bright yellow glowing eyes and his fangs as white as snow. He is gray all over. This one part was when the wolf thought he was supposed to be human. It was funny.
The Twelve dancing princesses were funny too. They are twelve daughters of the king. Every night, the king finds there brand new shoes worn-out. So he hires men to find there daughters secret. They seem to be going somewhere at night. In the beginning, there is this pore man, and he has little food. This old lady comes by and asks him if she can have some food because she is very hungry and hasn't eaten in days. He does share the food with her. All of a sudden, it becomes a big feast. She has magical powers. She tells the man that there is a king who wants a man to help him find where the princesses are going. And that's when the journey begins.
My favorite part in The Tewlve dancing princesses is
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3.0 out of 5 stars A Wolf at the Door: And Other Retold Fairy Tales Oct. 6 2003
By A Customer
I think this book was good. Although some parts were confusing, you would still enjoy it. I would reccomend this book to ages 9 and up. That's because there are a couple of curse words and a few hard words. Read this book, A Wolf at the Door: And Other Retold Fairy Tales, it's really good.
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Retelling fairy tales we all grew up with is a sensational idea which has been done extremely well. Just not here! In other books yes, but here unfortunately no. The stories in this book do have one thing in common with the original motive of fairy tales. They will put you to sleep. These are some of the most boring low quality stories ever written. Also avoid the books Snow White Blood Red also edited by Ellen Datlow and Fractured Fairy tales by A.J. Jacobs as they are no better than this.
If you do want really good retelling of classic tales rewritten in sensational format buy Once Upon A Crime or Politically Correct Fairy Tales. You will find what you're after in those books. The fairy tale is over success was not achieved here.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant Surprise Sept. 7 2002
By A Customer
I snitched this book from my little sister when I was out of things to read. I figured it would be a bit young for me, but I loved it! I even read some of the stories to my 7 year old, she's still running arround saying "Hallo, what ya got?" (That one is our fav).
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5.0 out of 5 stars More re-visioned fairy fun! July 15 2002
The thirteen re-visioned fairy tales from some of contemporary fantasy's finest authors here are all welcomed and vital additions to the ever-growing body of revamped fairy literature, much of which has been edited by Datlow and Windling. While all the tales divert and amuse, of particular interest were Neil Gaiman's poem "Instructions," which provides essential edification in how to deport oneself when caught in a fairy tale; Gregory Maguire's (he of WICKED and CONFESSIONS OF AN UGLY STEPSISTER fame --- so puckery droll!) intriguing poem "The Seven Stage a Comeback" on what the Seven Dwarves do after Snow's prince comes; and Kathe Koje's take on the Ugly Duckling, "Becoming Charisse. This collection, aimed by the publisher at younger audiences, has much to offer readers of all ages and is essential to any collection of fairy tales, old, new, or both.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book was a really cool and funny book Feb. 26 2002
By A Customer
I really liked this book. Some of my favorites stories were Jack and the Beanstalk(from the giants point of view),Swans,The Ugly Duckling. (They were in that order). So in the end i really reccomend the book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars It Was GREAT!!!!!! :) Feb. 15 2002
By A Customer
I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!!! my favorites are (in this order): The Months of Manhattan, Hansel's Eyes, and Swans. I recommend this book to ANYONE, no matter what age you are (im reading it to my 5-year-old brother!!)!!
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