Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

I can't remember where I heard of this book (it may be from Pages Unbound, I find a lot of stuff about fairytales there), but it has the words "retold fairytales" and that's enough for me. It's centered around Hansel and Gretel, but moves through a lot of fairytales.

Confused yet? Well, the plot (which is really just a bunch of loosely connected stories) follow Princess Gretel and Prince Hansel, as they run away from home. Along the way, they go through things that no child should ever go through - so basically, they lived through a few fairytales.

This book really resembles the original fairytales. As the narrator frequently reminds the reader, many unpleasant things happen. Yet, none of the things I can't stand (i.e. explicit scenes) are inside. I quite like this, because it means you trust the child to read a scary book (for kids like this, go ahead and read Coraline by Neil Gaiman after this).

And yes, there's the narrator. I seem to be reading more books with intrusive narrators and I love it! This narrator even pokes fun at the kids - he talks to the adults and tells them to get a babysitter. If I read this when I was younger, this would be a surefire way to get me to keep reading, if only to prove that I was able to stomach the story.

And if you're worried, I checked, and yes, this is filed/published under YA.

My favourite story was at the end, about the dragon. The reason why I like it the best is because it's the story that shows the ingenuity of children the best. The kingdom is under attack from a dragon, and it's not the adults but the Hansel and Gretel who stop it. And they're not adults, returning from a journey that matured them, they're children who found their way home. They don't resemble adults in any way.

Definitely a story for those of you who love fairy tales. If you like the original dark versions, you'll love this version too.


  1. This might be the book for me! I've become really interested in fairytales - and there retellings - recently. Oh and the dark artwork looks pretty awesome too!

    1. I really hope you read it! It's a really fantastic book :D

      (And I love the cover too!)



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