Fairy Tales

The Amaranth Enchantment

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To start with, The Amaranth Enchantment is a retelling of Cinderella. You should understand this and then throw everything you think you know about this story based on this information out the window! I shall refrain from telling any spoilers, but on p. 244 of this edition, Lucinda does something so un-Cinderella-like, I burst out laughing. This is the girl who wants the prince, but she sure as Hell doesn’t NEED the prince!

The quote on the front of this edition is “Thoroughly surprising and satisfying….Enjoy” –Kathi Appelt. This is accurate 100%. I kept trying to predict what would happen, but then I kept being wrong, which is refreshing in a fairy tale.  Ms. Berry writes an excellent fairy tale and I look forward to reading more of her works.


The Princess and the Pea: A Very Short Tale

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This is essentially just an extended joke with a single punchline. It’s not very different from the original and is indeed a VERY short story.

I can only wonder whether I’d be able to feel the pea if I were the “princess” because at work there are always holes all over the floor (from the hole punch) and they’re not flat pieces of paper. I can feel them through my boots and it’s quite uncomfortable.

Snow White and Rose Red by Patricia C. Wrede

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Well, I can honestly say that I have a new (to me) favorite series!

Or rather, I’d stumbled across the series before (according the Goodreads), but hadn’t remembered it.

I read Briar Rose by Janet Yellen a few years ago, which is also part of the “The Fairy Tale Series”, but hadn’t really understood the premise behind it. It’s also an amazing book, by the way–I highly recommend it!

“The Fairy Tale Series” is a simple enough idea–it encouraged established writers to take their favorite fairy tale and expand upon it in a somewhat controlled way (in this case, each chapter starts with a short passage from the original tale to help unite the two tales).

This story is obviously based on the tale of “Snow White and Rose Red”, which I think I’d read once, though to be honest I tend to lose interest quickly with the original works simply because they’re short stories and lack the depth and detail that I crave in my fairy tales. I’ve always preferred reworked fairy tales for this reason.

What I found interesting is that the introduction to this book explained the reasoning for these new stories and why they’d be found in the adult section. Namely, the Disney-fication of the original stories which cut out the sex and violence because they were originally written for adults before it was decided that they should be cleaned up for children. It seems that this story was itself “Disney-fied” when the single death was changed from a direct blow from the bear to the result of a magical overload. Of course, this story was published in 1989 and we all know how much adult books have changed in the past 10 years. Even books written towards teens and tweens  have more explicit sex, drugs, and violence than your average adult book written 25 to 35 years ago, for good or for bad.

I personally think that it’s the parents job to teach about these issues early and often and it’s the kid’s responsibility to pick books to help them escape whatever reality they want to escape from. I think there’s a big problem when kids are learning about the dangers of sex, drugs, and violence from books instead of from their parents because we all know that there’s way too many who are learning it from their also youthful friends rather than books or their parents. Judy Bloom, while wonderful, shouldn’t be the one giving kids their first adult talks.

Anyway, for anyone looking to escape to a simpler time, this book will definitely suit your fancy. Though, beware of the Old English dialogue which can be a jarring contrast to the Newer English descriptions.

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The Problem Child

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I have come to the conclusion that this series is what the TV show Grimm should have been. I love the idea of Grimm but lost interest quickly when I realized how very very similar the vessin(?) looked in comparison to each other. How can we consider each type as a distinct species when they all look alike?! Anyway, if all you really want is a couple of detectives solving mysteries involving the “characters” that inspired the Brother’s Grimm, this is the series you want. The kids are adorable while the story is in my opinion too dark for your average 8 year old (a rebellious 11 year old will adore it, though).

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My Fair Godmother

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“Finding your one true love can be a Grimm experience!

 After her boyfriend dumps her for her older sister, sophomore Savannah Delano wishes she could find a true prince to take her to the prom. Enter Chrissy (Chrysanthemum) Everstar: Savannah’s gum-chewing, cell phone–carrying, high heel-wearing Fair Godmother. Showing why she’s only Fair—because she’s not a very good fairy student—Chrissy mistakenly sends Savannah back in time to the Middle Ages, first as Cinderella, then as Snow White. Finally she sends Tristan, a boy in Savannah’s class, back instead to turn him into her prom-worthy prince. When Savannah returns to the Middle Ages to save Tristan, they must team up to defeat a troll, a dragon, and the mysterious and undeniably sexy Black Knight. Laughs abound in this clever fairy tale twist from a master of romantic comedy.”

One of the funniest re-worked fairy tales I’ve ever read.

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