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Showing 1-3 of 3 reviews(3 star)show all reviews
on January 26, 2002
The authors of all the stories in the book wanted to see what would happen if things ended out differently for characters, such as Cinderella, instead of being the beautiful, thin, girl she was in the original, the author wanted to make her fat and see how the story would go. There was no problem with that, a twist in a fairy tale makes it more interesting once in a while. But most of the stories I read in this book had questionable endings and no lesson learned. The back cover made the book sound very interesting, but I ended up feeling that the whole reason that the stories were changed were because people wanted the fairy tales to be different and they were tired of the same old thing. They loved fairy tales, but it seemed as if they didn't think it was fair that Cinderella was pretty and that Jack got the harp from the giant's house.They modernized the story, put in some weird magic and then made the story end twisted. I think that fairy tales are meant to make you feel good. In this book, most of the endings were a bit sad and bizarre. I think I'll stick to the originals, thank you.
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Datlow and Windling (authors of several books in a fairy tale retellings series that includes Briar Rose by Jane Yolen) present a balanced blend of familiar and more obscure tales and well-known and first-time authors along with recommendations for resources about fairy tales and good collections of stories. Although their introduction is a perfect lead-in to Neil Gaiman's poem "Instructions" (a set of directions for how-to survive in fairyland with lessons gleaned from favorite tales), his gem of a poem is relegated to the middle of the book. Jane Yolen's "Cinder Elephant" isn't petite but she is the one the prince falls for in a sharp and witty tale that blasts Walt Disney. Gregory MacGuire presents the seven unique voices of seven determined dwarves in a mission to get their Snow White back. Other highlights include a version of Jack and the Beanstalk from the point of view of the giant's wife, and Patricia McKillip's lovely retelling of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses." A nice addition is the brief author bio at the end of each story, along with a explanation or some remarks about fairy tales. The collection itself is a bit uneven. One author unsuccessfully weaves two unfamiliar tales together, and the ugly duckling story is a bit of a stretch and has a pat ending. And why were Robin McKinley and Gail Carson Levine, two popular fairy tale retellers, omitted? The cover, with neon green lettering and a haunting wolf, will leap into reader's hands, but may disappoint horror fans who grab it and aren't expecting fairy tales. Teens will enjoy these stories where the heroes use the Internet, read Avi books and Sandman comics, wear Doc Martens, drink Coke, and are lured by Playstation game consoles.
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on October 6, 2003
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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