A Tale Dark & Grimm
by Adam Gidwitz
Series: A Tale Dark & Grimm #1
Published: October 28, 2010
Genres: Childrens, Fairy Tale
Format: eBook (256 pages)
In this mischievous and utterly original debut, Hansel and Gretel walk out of their own story and into eight other classic Grimm-inspired tales. As readers follow the siblings through a forest brimming with menacing foes, they learn the true story behind (and beyond) the bread crumbs, edible houses, and outwitted witches.
Fairy tales have never been more irreverent or subversive as Hansel and Gretel learn to take charge of their destinies and become the clever architects of their own happily ever after.
A Tale Dark & Grimm stays true to the spirit of the original Grimm fairy tales which were stark, disturbing, and usually tragic with characters who acted like idiots. A Tale Dark & Grimm retells and weaves together fairy tales but adds humor to balance out the violence. The humor comes in a wonderfully written voice from the narrator that acts like the best audio commentary you’ve ever heard about these fairy tales. The narrator even suggests that maybe little kids should stop reading because there are some gross scenes coming up. I’m pretty sure that would make any kid on the planet keep reading. If you’ve ever wanted to read a fairy tale with snarky commentary then you need to read this book.
A Tale Dark & Grimm doesn’t glamorize violence though. There are definitely morals and cautionary tales that add depth to these tales. It reminded me of The Tales of Beedle the Bard where Dumbledore talks about how fairy tales are too watered down now and they fail to teach kids anymore by covering up anything bad or scary. Learning about the evils of life is best done in a story where kids can learn from the mistakes of others and realize that there is true evil out there. I loved this quote about how even when we don’t deserve it sometimes bad things happen to us and there can be some good in that.
For, in life, it is in the darkest zones one finds the brightest beauty and the most luminous wisdom.
– Adam Gidwitz, A Tale Dark and Grimm (Prologue)
Overall, it was a wonderfully written snarky retelling of Grimm fairy tales that doesn’t shy away from the scary things in life and what they can teach us.
Content Rating: Mild, for some very mild violence and gore.
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