What do Dorothy Gale, Christian Louboutin, and Hans Christian Andersen’s poor Karen have in common? Red shoes, of course.Add a Comment
What do Dorothy Gale, Christian Louboutin, and Hans Christian Andersen’s poor Karen have in common? Red shoes, of course.Add a Comment
I seem to have an affinity for those books which are magical and strange and not entirely definable. Sitting down to the write this review, it occurs to me how difficult it is to describe this book. I can tell you what it’s about, but to describe the experience of reading it almost makes me feel like I’ve had a spell cast on me myself. There is a palpable sense of unreality throughout as Aidan journeys to unravel the mysteries of himself and his family. Aidan can’t remember entire swaths of his life and he doesn’t even realize it. He drifts along as in a fog, feeling barely there at all. Until the day an old friend comes back into his life and lost memories begin to shake themselves loose from their bindings. But who bound Aidan’s memories, and why? You have to tell your story true, and not everyone... Read more »Add a Comment
Fun stuff. Looks a lot like Harry Potter to a certain extent (mood, lighting, music, etc.). It’s the trailer for Roald Dahl’s The BFG.
Thanks to 100 Scope Notes for the link!
A bit of an older video here. In my travels recently I discovered that the entirety of the Oliver Jeffers short film version of his book Lost and Found is apparently online. Bonus! I never got to see it. For your viewing pleasure then (and it’s 24 minutes long, FYI):
Shoot. Christmas is over but only now have I learned about this new collection of Walt Kelly’s Fairy Tales. Well, there’s always next year, I guess.
Cool. I’d heard that there was a children’s theater adaptation of Grace Lin’s Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, but didn’t know it had a little trailer too. Eh, voila.
And for the off-topic video, we’re not entirely off-topic. After all, Mary Poppins was a children’s book originally. Ipso facto a flash mob for Dick Van Dyke’s 90th birthday is . . . well it works for me.
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"Baug's Hollow" by Cathrin Hagey was selected for the Fourth Quarterly Review, 2015 at Bewildering Stories.Add a Comment
I’m very pleased to announce that Bewildering Stories has published one of my fairy tales. “New contributor Cathrin Hagey introduces Henrike, who can’t last another Norse winter without her husband, Baug. She falls into their common grave, and that’s where the story begins–in Baug’s Hollow.” I hope you’ll bookmark bewilderingstories.com for the high quality, free novels, […]Add a Comment
One of my favorite people on the planet is Heidi Shulz. She’s the author of the delightfully funny book Hook’s Revenge, which was one of my favorite debuts from last year–and now its sequel The Pirate Code is out! Heidi was actually in Los Angeles last month, and I got to celebrate the book’s release day with her. In the first photo, we’d just eaten mountains of pasta in Venice Beach, and Heidi is beaming over a plate of cannoli. <3 Here’s more about the new book: Fresh off a fearsome encounter with the Neverland crocodile, Jocelyn Hook decides the most practical plan is to hunt down her father’s famous fortune. After all, she’ll need the gold to fund her adventuring in the future. (And luckily, Hook left her the map.) But the map proves to be a bit harder to crack than Jocelyn had hoped, and she’s convinced that... Read more »Add a Comment
Jackie Morris lives in Pembrokeshire, Wales, with children, dogs and cats. Her latest book is the retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's The Wild Swans.Add a Comment
Jennifer Morse, M.S., PhD, challenges readers to venture beyond the traditional fairytale story of Cinderella. She encourages readers to envision more depth for the princess and, in turn, for the readers themselves.Add a Comment
I must apologize for not remembering on whose blog I first learned about Through the Woods by Emily Carroll because I owe that blogger a big thank you. Through the Woods is a short story collection like no other I have ever read. Why might that be? It is a book of graphic short stories.
When I got it from the library I didn’t remember about the graphic part of it and I worried that perhaps I had made a mistake. How can you do a book of graphic short stories? Novel, memoir, biography, but short stories? But you know what? It totally works and it is great!
The stories are of the very short and ambiguous kind and they are successful because the art and the text work so well together to move the story along. They have a fairy tale quality to them and they all felt vaguely familiar because of that but they are completely original. They all feature girls or young women. They are about things like a cold snowy winter and dad has to leave his three daughters alone. He tells them if he isn’t back in three days they are to go to the neighbor’s house. Of course he doesn’t return. The eldest daughter refuses to leave, insisting that dad will be back any time. The youngest doesn’t really seem concerned about anything in particular. And the middle daughter, the one telling the story, insists they follow their father’s wishes because if they don’t they will be completely snowed in and without food. And then during the night someone comes to the door and the eldest sister goes with that someone and doesn’t come back. The night after that, the youngest sister goes with the stranger. The middle sister is left all alone. The food is gone. She walks most of the day through the deep snow to the neighbor’s house and…
Another tale is about a father marrying off his beautiful daughter to the richest man in the county. The house is huge and gorgeous but something is not right. Someone keeps her up at night singing a strange song. Her husband tells her she’s hearing things that aren’t there. One night while her husband is away, she goes looking for the source of the song and discovers more than she bargained for.
The art in this book is amazing. Stark, deeply saturated color in a limited palette of black, white, scarlet red and deep blue, creates high contrast and a rich lushness that magnifies the creep factor of the stories. I raced through them all in less than an hour one evening before bed. The final story gave me such chills that I told Bookman if I have any nightmares Through the Woods is at fault.
A perfect RIP Challenge read for sure, but guaranteed excellent for any dark night or stormy afternoon no matter what time of year.
When some one says to you "that's just a fairy tale," it generally means that what you have just said is untrue or unreal. It is a polite but deprecating way of saying that your words form a lie or gossip. Your story is make-believe and unreliable. It has nothing to do with reality and experience. Fairy tale is thus turned into some kind of trivial story.Add a Comment
They can't transform your actual situation, but they can transform your experience of it. We don't create a fantasy world to escape reality, we create it to be able to stay.
So wise. This is from the cartoonist Lynda Barry's memoir/exploration of images What It Is (Drawn & Quarterly, 2008). I so enjoyed the whole book, especially the part about the "transformational capabilities" of old stories. Barry's ideas reinforced my tentative plan to read the second graders a whole lot of fairy tales and folk tales this year.Add a Comment
There is something so frustrating about a story that is so close to being satisfactory but doesn’t quite make it. Mechanica is a perfectly serviceable retelling, I imagine, but doesn’t have the emotional substance to make an impact. When I read a book I want to be swept away to another world, brought far from my own experiences, and caught up in the emotions of the characters. I don’t want “serviceable.” Now, I haven’t read Cinder, but from what I could tell this really isn’t very similar. Whereas Cinder is a futuristic dystopian-ish (I think?), Mechanica has much more of a traditional fairy tale feel. Think: 18th century but with magic, fae, and some adorable steampunk creatures. Also, that book has a significant focus on the romance aspect of the story. This one…doesn’t (but more on that later). I actually really enjoyed the first 20% or so of the book... Read more »Add a Comment
We recently received two issues of Storytime Magazine (Luma Works), a monthly British children’s magazine which launched in September 2014 with the tagline “Classic tales to read, love and share.” Each issue is filled with retellings of fairy tales and folktales, plus distillations of classic children’s novels (such as E. Nesbit’s “Five Children and It” in Issue 4 and Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book” in Issue 5). The stories are accompanied by colorful, often full-page illustrations as well as interactive moments inviting the reader to color a rainbow, count beans, find a specific flower, etc. Even more thematic activities and downloads are available at Storytime‘s website.
The contents are organized by headings such as “Favourite Fairy Tales,” “Famous Fables,” “Storyteller’s Corner,” “Around the World Tales,” “Myths and Legends,” “Poems and Rhymes,” “Brilliant Books,” “Storytime Playbox,” and “Story Magic.” These categories seem to shift slightly from issue to issue, but each edition follows the same basic format, containing about six stories, a poem, and thematic activities and games.
Storytime‘s retold short tales originate in a range of diverse cultures: Issue 4 features a Mayan quest story, an African tale about trickster Anansi, and a Cornish mermaid tale; Issue 5 includes an Aboriginal creation story, plus Greek mythology and an Aesop animal parable. The magazine format (complete with exciting cover blurbs: “Famous Fables! Four animals learn about friendship” and “Jungle Adventure! See how Mowgli escapes from Shere Khan”) gives the tales a fresh perspective, and the absence of advertisements keeps the focus on the stories themselves.
Overall, each issue feels like substantial reading material — either to be devoured straight through all at once, or savored slowly, story by story.Add a Comment
Don’t you love that emphatic certainty a below-twelve year-old has whenever they hear a remix of a song dating from the golden oldie era? ‘They got that song from such and such movie, Mum!’ Um well, no actually it was around way before me…Stories evoke similar conviction. Modern retellings of classic children’s stories might seem […]Add a Comment
The Latest issue of Luna Station Quarterly is live and available to purchase as a digital download or a lovely hardcopy to hold in your hands. Or, you can read it for free at the LSQ site. It’s chock full of exciting, thought provoking, fantastical tales. Enjoy!Add a Comment
Imagine a plant that grew into a plum pudding, a cricket bat, or even a pair of trousers. Rather than being a magical transformation straight out of Cinderella, these ‘wonderful plants’ were instead to be found in Victorian Britain. Just one of the Fairy-Tales of Science introduced by chemist and journalist John Cargill Brough in his ‘book for youth’ of 1859, these real-world connections and metamorphoses that traced the origins of everyday objects were arguably even more impressive than the fabled conversion of pumpkin to carriage (and back again).Add a Comment
Over the years, I’ve found myself disappointed by many YA fairy tale retellings. I’m always drawn to them, and yet most of them don’t provide the satisfaction I’m looking for. Rosamund Hodge’s gorgeous books, however, are the few exceptions–both of them take inspiration from fairy tales, but have their own unique twist on the stories we’re so familiar with. I find myself utterly captivated when I’m immersed in these books, swept away by the romance, the lush prose, and the interplay of darkness and lightness in the unforgettable characters. In Cruel Beauty, the author reimagined the stories of Beauty and the Beast, Bluebeard, and Cupid and Psyche. In her latest book Crimson Bound, she draws her influence from two other very different fairy tales. As part of the blog tour we’re hosting for the book, Rosamund is with us today to tell us more about her dark, dark influences. They... Read more »Add a Comment
In the deepest winter forest an arrow is shot in desperation. The quarrel finds its target, but the consequences are far reaching and unexpected. Feyre, youngest daughter of an impoverished nobleman, has unintentionally killed one of the Fae and broken the treaty between humans and Fae. Now she must trade her life for that of her slain foe. Caught between death or handing herself over to live in the lands of the Fae, never to return to her family, Feyre surrenders. This is a totally new fantasy world, completely separate from that of Throne of Glass. Feyre lives on an island resembling Great Britain that is divided among human ruled lands and the realms of the Fae (many blessings upon Bloomsbury for including a map for those of us “constant flippers”). The humans live in constant fear of the Fae, and the Fae live in constant fear of the ever... Read more »Add a Comment
When I was a child, I would play in the attic of our farmhouse, with an oversized bridesmaid dress worn over my clothes. The dress was icy-blue taffeta, with covered buttons down the back. Dragging behind me, the dress rustled as it slid on the uneven wood floor. I would glide to the single attic window, overlooking my, er…ah…kingdom… I was a princess, a ruler, an adventurer; I was fearless. Little did I know, that I was practicing for my future career as a school librarian, teaching information literacy and other library skills, with a penchant for Fairy Tales.
In a few short months, I will begin my second position as an international librarian. My first stint abroad was to the Middle East. This second venture into international librarianship is to Chiang Mai, Thailand, where I will be my school’s first fulltime professional librarian, grades K-12. While researching my potential new home in Thailand before accepting this position, I came across photos of the Thai “Yi Peng” Festival, where sky lanterns are released. These photos reminded me of Disney’s Tangled, a spin on the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale, Rapunzel. In Tangled, there is a scene with sky lanterns, and I remember wondering about them when I watched the movie. Soon, I will be living a part of that Fairy Tale scene.
I started using Fairy Tales to begin library lessons each school year about 6 years ago. As a native English speaker, I found that teaching in schools where English is not a first language for students, but frequently is the first language for the school, can pose some challenges. Genres are included in my library lessons, and I just decided to start with fairy tales, mostly because I love them so much, and most libraries have them. I found that Fairy Tales are far more universal than I ever thought, and starting the year out talking about and extrapolating on these Tales have been wonderful ice-breakers, both abroad and in the United States. I have been happily surprised at how older students warm up to the genre, sharing their opinions and ideas on a range of Fairy Tales and their favorite characters. As the Tales are often universal in theme in some way, most children know the basics of them, so despite language barriers, they can be easily shared and discussed. Through this process I am constantly reminded of something very valuable; Fairy Tales connect people, and as my work life is often like living in one, I can say that Fairy Tales are alive and well!
Would you like to see more sky lanterns as featured in the movie Tangled? Click here.
Our guest blogger today is Brenda Hahn. Brenda’s permanent home is in Florida, where she and her family live when her international school is not in session. As a Teacher/Librarian, she has worked in U.S. public schools, public libraries and in several international schools. Brenda collects Fairy Tales from around the world and loves researching the theories behind them. She can be reached at neverendinglibrarian@gmail.
Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.
If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.Add a Comment
One day a prince lost his ways in the woods. He found shelter in a cave and slept there for the night. When he woke up, an old woman was hovering over him. She had a bear by her side and treated it like a pet dog. The old woman was very kind to the prince. She wanted him to live with her and become her husband. The prince did not like her at all, but he was unable to leave. (3)The Talking Bird, The Singing Tree, and The Sparkling Stream
A nobleman had three daughters, each more beautiful than the next. One day the girls were sitting in the royal gardens, chattering away about their wishes and dreams. The eldest wanted to marry the king's counselor, the second hoped to marry his chamberlain, and the third declared that she would be quite satisfied with the king himself. It happened that the king was also in the gardens, and he overheard the entire conversation. He summoned the three sisters to ask them what they had been talking about in the garden. The first two confessed everything; the youngest was less eager to do so. But then all at once the king declared: "Your three wishes will be granted." (71)The Three Spindles
A young farmer's daughter got herself in trouble, and her parents threw her out of the house. She wandered around aimlessly until finally, in desperation, she sat down on a tree stump with three crosses carved into it. She began to weep. Suddenly a wood sprite raced toward her, pursued by a group of frenzied hunters. The girl jumped to her feet to make room for the sprite, for she knew that it would find safety there from what where known as the devil's hunters, hordes of demons that rode in with the winter storms. (107)The Mouse Catcher, or, The Boy and the Beetle
Once there was a village so badly infested with mice that no one knew what to do. A stranger arrived in town and told the farmers that he would be able to get rid of the mice. They promised him a generous reward in return. The stranger pulled out a little whistle and blew into it. All the mice in the village ran after the man, who took them to a big pond, where they all drowned. The stranger returned to the village and asked for his reward. But the farmers refused to give him the full amount. The man blew into another little whistle, and this time all the children in the village came running after him. (175)The Talker
There once lived a couple, and they were both stupid is as stupid does. The wife ruled the roost, and one day she sent her husband to the marketplace to sell their cow. "Whatever you do, don't sell it to talker," she shouted as he was going out the door. "Did you hear me? Don't sell it to talker." Her husband promised to do just as she had said. (187)Sir Wind and His Wife
The wind and his wife were both present at the creation of the world. The two were overweight, and on top of that, Sir Wind had a long beard that wrapped around his body three times. Still, both were able to pass easily through a mere crack in a wall, or any opening at all, for that matter. (205)© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews Add a Comment
Fantasy meets reality in Off the Page, a romantic comedy written for the young adult audience by New York Times bestselling authors Jodi Picoult and her daughter and coauthor, Samantha van Leer.Add a Comment