Friday, January 21, 2011

Fractured Fairy Tales

By Vivian Vande Velde

While I’m about to start rereading some of my old favorites, I thought I’d do a combined post about the three books Vivian Vande Velde has written fracturing fairy tales. First of all, I love VVV’s writing. At the time I started this blog last April, I’d be willing to say she was my absolute favorite author. In fact, my first review on this blog was of her book Heir Apparent. ( She recently published a book called Cloaked in Red, which contains eight retellings of the fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood. In the past, she has also published two similar books; The Rumplestiltskin Problem and Tales from the Brothers Grimm and the Sisters Weird.

The Rumplestiltskin Problem
128 pages (Paperback Edition)
Published 1 September 2002
I seriously love this book. It’s a collection of six retellings of the story Rumplestiltskin. In the author’s note, one of my favorite parts of the book, VVV explains why Rumplestiltskin is such a crazy, mixed-up fairy tale. So, she wrote six alternative versions. Each is totally different from the one before, extremely funny, and makes much more sense than the original fairy tale. This is my favorite of the two books I've read. Highly recommended.

Tales From the Brothers Grimm and the Sisters Weird
144 pages (Paperback Edition)
Published 1 August 2005
This is similar to The Rumplestiltskin problem, but rather than having multiple retellings of the same fairy tale, each story in this book is a retelling of a different tale. I’ve always personally preferred The Rumplestiltskin Problem, but I enjoyed the variety of this one as well. It shares one story with the Rumplestiltskin Problem. There are thirteen stories in this one as opposed to The Rumplestiltskin Problem's six, which I like. It has retellings of The Frog Prince, Little Red Riding Hood (which I'm pretty sure is not included in Cloaked in Red), Jack and the Beanstalk, The Princess and the Pea, and a few others, all of which are entertaining and fun to read.

Cloaked in Red
128 pages (Hardcover Edition)
Published 1 October 2010
Reccomended for: VVV’s website says 12+, so I’ll go with that.
Cloaked in Red in a collection of eight retellings of Little Red Riding Hood. I haven’t been able to get my hands on a copy yet, but VVV has the author’s note from the beginning of the book on her website. I was trying to read it to my brother, but I could barely get through it because I kept cracking up in the middle of a sentence and having to start over. It was that funny. Here’s a link so that you can read it for yourself: I’m looking forward to reading it as soon as Amazon gets it back into stock. I’m sure it’ll be great.

P.S. I've posted at least once on every weekday since last Friday (the 14th). Yay! I'm going to try to keep it up for as long as I can.

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