Brave Red, Smart Frog: A New Book of Old Tales – Emily Jenkins

Brave Red, Smart FrogFrom the publisher:

There once was a frozen forest so cold, you could feel it through the soles of your boots. It was a strange place where some kisses broke enchantments and others began them. Many said witches lived there — some with cold hearts, others with hot ovens and ugly appetites — and also dwarves in tiny houses made of stones. In this icy wood, a stepmother might eat a girl’s heart to restore her own beauty, while a woodcutter might become stupid with grief at the death of his donkey. Here a princess with too many dresses grows spiteful out of loneliness, while a mistreated girl who is kind to a crone finds pearls dropping from her mouth whenever she speaks. With empathy and an ear for emotion, Emily Jenkins retells seven fairy tales in contemporary language that reveals both the pathos and humor of some of our most beloved stories. Charming illustrations by Rohan Daniel Eason add whimsical details that enhance every new reading.

Succinct.  My best word to describe this collection of fairy tales.  There are so many fairy tale retellings, and elaborations, some quite loosely based on a fairy tale that the brevity here took me by surprise.  But I liked it.  Just the facts, ma’am, but written so clearly with wit and brilliance that the characters are incredibly well drawn with the fewest of pages.  Great for those that have passing knowledge of fairy tales and excellent for those that want to get back to the true tale.

eGalley review                                          Publication date 9.5.17

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