Six-Gun Snow White by Catherynne M. Valente

Six-Gun Snow White seemed like the perfect book for me: From New York Times bestselling author Catherynne M. Valente comes a brilliant reinvention of one the best known fairy tales of all time. In the novella Six-Gun Snow White, Valente transports the title s heroine to a masterfully evoked Old West where Coyote is just as likely to be found as the seven dwarves. A plain-spoken, appealing narrator relates the history of her parents–a Nevada silver baron who forced the Crow people to give...

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Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm by Philip Pullman

Many of the tales included will be familiar to the casual reader but some will not be. Reading the collection gives you a great sense of the reach and breadth of folklore even as it reveals similarities and commonalities. I read them over a period of time rather than straight through but still acquired a sense of the scope of the work. It is a great way to familiarize yourself with these classic tales in their original splendor not through the eyes of Disney or popular culture. Fairy Tales from...

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Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm by Philip Pullman

Many of the tales included will be familiar to the casual reader but some will not be. Reading the collection gives you a great sense of the reach and breadth of folklore even as it reveals similarities and commonalities. I read them over a period of time rather than straight through but still acquired a sense of the scope of the work. It is a great way to familiarize yourself with these classic tales in their original splendor not through the eyes of Disney or popular culture. Fairy Tales from...

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Summer and Bird by Katherine Catmull

It has the feel of folklore and mythology with all of the emotion and meaning that can convey. It really delves into and reflects family dynamics and dysfunction within a fantastic setting. I just think it gets a little bogged down in the emotions of Summer and Bird and the pace and punch of the novel suffer.

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In A Glass Grimmly by Adam Gidwitz

I had mixed feelings about A Tale Dark and Grimm (enjoyed the stories, the running commentary less so) but was nevertheless excited when the publisher sent me the companion volume In a Glass Grimmly. After having read it, I had a similar reaction. The bulk of the stories – fairy and folk tale inspired – are quite good. I particularly liked the chapter on the mermaid which was suspenseful and even haunting. But I have to say, I again quickly grew tired of the author commentary. And...

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Little Red Cap by Brothers Grimm,Lisbeth Zwerger (Illustrator)

We haven’t discussed a Lisbeth Zwerger book here in a while so as we head toward 2012 lets sneak in one more book.  I picked up Little Red Cap – the story most people know as Little Red Ridding Hood – recently and, not surprisingly, I enjoyed it quite a bit. Children’s Literature review: This is a reissue of the book that originally was published in 1987. It is a version of the beloved tale of “Little Red Riding Hood.” Once again, children become acquainted...

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Swan Lake by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Lisbeth Zwerger

Our tour of Lisbeth Zwerger books in my collection continues today with Swan Lake.  Most people think of the ballet when they think Swan Lake but it was initially written as a one-act fairy tale dance piece for the children of his sister.  It wasn’t until four years later that he was commissioned to create the ballet of the same title.  As Zwerger relates in her author note, the presentation of this most famous of all ballets was a disaster.  Sixteen years later, and...

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The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo

DiCamillo's simple yet poetic prose creates this atmosphere and fills the story with interesting characters who all play a role in the adventure. And despite knowing from very early on that this story is likely to have a happy ending you want to keep reading to find out exactly how each characters story plays out. There is a rhythm and flow that draws you forward despite much suspense or sense of danger. You are drawn forward by the character's personality, history and emotions.

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The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo

DiCamillo's simple yet poetic prose creates this atmosphere and fills the story with interesting characters who all play a role in the adventure. And despite knowing from very early on that this story is likely to have a happy ending you want to keep reading to find out exactly how each characters story plays out. There is a rhythm and flow that draws you forward despite much suspense or sense of danger. You are drawn forward by the character's personality, history and emotions.

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