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3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on April 19, 2004
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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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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on March 7, 2001
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 15, 2000
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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on June 13, 2000
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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on 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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on August 26, 2003
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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on October 22, 2001
The book is a collection of 13 retold fairy tales written by different authors. Some of the tales are modernized, and others are twisted. I liked "The Months of Manhattan" and "Hansels Eyes". The others were too strange, a better title would have been 'retold into fantasy tales'. I like the original fairy tales better. I think alot of fairy tales have an underlying meaning and these don't. If you like modern day fairy tales you would like the book, otherwise I don't recommend it.
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on September 22, 2000
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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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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