Grumbles from the Forest: Fairy-Tale Voices with a Twist

Jane Yolen and Rebecca Kai Dotlich, illus. by Matt Mahurin. Boyds Mills/Wordsong, $16.95 (40p) ISBN 978-1-59078-867-7
Yolen and Dotlich refashion 15 classic fairy tales into incisive poems told from dual perspectives. Cinderella laments wearing glass shoes when other choices were more sensible (“I could have put on/ moccasins./ Those would have been real stunners”). Cinderella’s stepsisters also speak up: “She moved to a castle, maids and all./ Oh piddle! That slipper./ That rat./ That Ball.” In an especially stirring poem, Beauty speaks of her initial resistance to the Beast: “I can’t get past/ his fangs, his roar.” In their twilight years, it’s a different story: “I have no regrets./ None./ Though sometimes I do wonder/ what sounds children/ might have made/ running across the marble halls.” Mahurin’s inky illustrations make theatrical use of dimension, light, and shadow as the characters bound from their expected roles. Ages 7–up. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/07/2013
Release date: 03/01/2013
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