A Tale Dark & Grimm
A dark and witty retelling of Hansel and Gretel.
My eight year-old is in that phase of life when there are not enough hours in the day to take in everything he wants to read; he’s been tearing through books. Even so, I was astounded at how fast he devoured Adam Gidwitz’s pair of books loosely based on Grimm’s fairy tales—the original dark Germanic versions of the tales. I believe the whole point of fairy tales is their darkness; they externalize childhood fears and give them form. These books revel in that darkness and delight in packaging it for the pre-teen set. In A Tale Dark and Grimm, Hansel and Gretel meet an old lady who eats children, the devil, a dragon, and a malevolent moon. In A Glass Grimmly follows the same formula, with Jack and Jill wandering through harrowing versions of The Frog Prince, Jack and the Beanstalk, The Emperor’s New Clothes, etc. The writing is clever and funny. Gidwitz weaves the episodic stories into a satisfying whole. (Note: these books are not for squeamish kids.)