Tag Archives: fractured fairy tales

Addie, Age 6, Reviews Fairy Tale Comics, from First Second, Edited by Chris Duffy

Fairytale ComicsMy six-year-old and I have been loving a newly published graphic novel that we found at our local library. It’s called Fairy Tale Comics and includes adapated and fractured fairy tales and illustrations by quite a few amazing cartoonists and edited by the great Chris Duffy. After my introduction and a synopsis and cover of the the book, Addie gives her debut review on Oh, for the Hook of a Book! She is so excited it’s THIS book! Keep reading to see her opinions, which she rattled to me like a professional while I typed like a secretary. ūüôā That’s below….with her photos with the book….but first…my own thoughts….

My daughter soaked up¬†this¬†graphic novel anthology.¬†I often found her carrying it around and reading it after school, gushing over the art and the stories. Finally, I¬†decided to take¬†a few nights to sit down with her and let her read me a few a night until we finished it. We actually took just two nights, as neither of us wanted to stop reading the stories! For six, she has a higher level of reading in comparison to her peers, but it was still great reading practice too.¬† The stories were simple, but the vocabulary average for educated readers.¬† I was astounded by the drawings and the selection of fairy tales that weren’t just only Grimm or Perrault adaptations, but some old world stories from other countries as well. I really liked Baba Yaga and Rumplestilzkin in this anthology.¬† We absolutely adored this shelf worthy, beautiful book. Addie and I certainly made memories reading it together. It would make a lovely gift for children, but also adults who are fairy tale fans!

Fairy Tale Comics, Synopsis~

From favorites like “Puss in Boots” and “Goldilocks” to obscure gems like “The Boy Who Drew Cats,” Fairy Tale Comics has something to offer every reader. Seventeen fairy tales are wonderfully adapted and illustrated in comics format by seventeen different cartoonists, including Raina Telgemeier, Brett Helquist, Cherise Harper, and more.
Edited by Nursery Rhyme Comics’ Chris Duffy, this jacketed hardcover is a beautiful gift and an instant classic.

Addie, Age 6, Review~

Camera Phone Snap Before Bed!

I pretty much liked them all, but some favorites were The 12 Dancing Princesses, Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Rumplestiltzkin, Rapunzel, and Baba Yaga (Mommy‚Äôs favorite, which I didn‚Äôt want to read at first because I didn’t know it, but then loved it!).¬† I thought the story Rabbit Will Not Help was a little naughty in how they spoke though.

I liked how they were all a little different. I liked the cartoon drawings, many were cute and caught my attention.  I kinda liked how the cartoon drawings gave me a different picture of the story as from what I’ve read before. For example, in Snow White some of the costumes almost looked alien. Mommy told me that different artists drew them so I could understand why the art was all alike.

I also liked reading the various tales from other countries like Japan or Russia, some I’d never read or heard of before. I like reading things from other countries.

I’d love a copy of this book to keep on my shelf and I bet other kids would too. It was fun reading and made me want to pick it up each night to read. I would read it over and over.

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Fairy Tale Comics, Details~
Fairytale ComicsAge Range: 6 – 12 years
Grade Level: 1 – 7
Hardcover: 128 pages
Publisher: First Second (September 24, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1596438231
ISBN-13: 978-1596438231

Chris Duffy, Editor, Biography~

chris duffyChris Duffy is a writer and comics editor. He worked as Senior Comics Editor at the award-winning Nickelodeon Magazine for 13 years and currently edits SpongeBob Comics for United Plankton Pictures, as well as other projects.

Chris was part of the board of advisors for Art Spiegelman and Françoise Mouly’s TOON TREASURY OF CLASSIC CHILDREN’S COMICS. His comic book writing includes scripts for BIZARRO COMICS, BIZARRO WORLD, SUPERMAN ADVENTURES, SCOOBY-DOO, WHAT IF?, RUGRATS COMIC ADVENTURES, and BATMAN CHRONICLES.

He wrote comics strips for FAMILY DOG MAGAZINE. Comics that he has written and drawn have appeared in several anthologies, including AWESOME, AWESOMER, and DRAGONS! He lives with his family in Cold Spring, New York.

Included Cartoonists in Fairy Tale Comics~

Bobby London, Emily Carroll, Gilbert Hernandez, Vanessa Davis, Gigi D.G., Ramona Fradon, Jaime Hernandez, Luke Pearson, Brett Helquist, Joseph Lambert, Raina Telgemeier, Charise Mericle Harper, Graham Annable, Jillian Tamaki, Karl Kerschl, David Mazzucchelli, and Craig Thompson.

See more about the graphic novel at:  http://us.macmillan.com/fairytalecomics/VariousAuthors

Addison Busbey, Reviewer, Biography~


Photo by Erin Al-Mehairi

Addison Busbey is a sweet six year old of the intelligent variety. She loves to explore books and relishes her trips to the library and any bookstores where she ‚Äúoohhhs and ahhhhhs‚ÄĚ over covers and content.She loves red and pink and has a penchant for watching anything involving cute animals or princesses. Yet, her current favorite shows are all in the Power Ranger television dynasty. With mommy, she looks forward to watching Scooby-Doo each Saturday morning.¬† She has quite the wide variety of interests.She enjoys playing softball, soccer, jumping rope, creating art, and baking cupcakes. She has an extreme love affair with shows like DC Cupcakes, Cake Boss, and Cupcake Wars and is constantly inventing new cupcakes for us to bake. She likes to sing and listen to all kinds of music while dancing till she collapses.

She loves graphic novels and quite frequently chooses them, yet also reads chapter books and has a high reading level for her age. She enjoys the art in picture books and comics, yet also likes to get lost in the story of a book or learn something new from a non-fiction read. She really enjoys school quite a bit and is always rushing home to tell Mommy all about it.

She is a fashion queen who dreams of being a fashion designer in Paris, with her own cupcake store around the corner and perform part-time as a pop star. She wants to have a pet squirrel and will most certainly put a pink bow on its tail and make it wear sparkly heels all while having it wear a superhero outfit!

Addison loves all types of books and you can reach her to review your book by emailing her Mommy at hookofabook(at)hotmail(dot)com.


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A Fresh Telling of Rapunzel, You’ll Definitely Want to Let your Hair Down for Kate Forsyth’s Novel

Bitter GreensI must say that¬†Bitter Greens, by Kate Forsyth,¬†could possibly be the front-runner for the best book I read this year. It’s still early in 2013, but I can’t¬†imagine falling in love¬†with a book as much as I’ve fallen in love with Bitter Greens. It most certainly will go on my final list of most cherished and loved books of all time.

Of course, there is the point that I am a perpetual lover of fairy tales, vintage mostly, but also various adaptations and re-tellings. So because this novel is a re-structuring of Rapunzel, one of my favorite stories, I was already bound to have a desire for this book. However, it was more than I had expected as Forsyth has an original voice that worked to create an amazing imaginative world that one could slip into and dance around in forever. (review continued after synopsis)

Intrigued? Here’s the synopsis for Bitter Greens~

Bitter Greens is a historical novel for adults which interweaves the Rapunzel fairytale with the true story of Charlotte-Rose de la Force, a 17th century French writer who wrote the version of the fairytale we know best, while locked away in a convent by the Sun King, Louis XIV, for her bold and unconventional views on love and society.

Charlotte-Rose has scandalized the court by falling passionately in love with a young nobleman, then dressing up as a dancing bear to rescue him from imprisonment. Banished to a strict Benedictine convent by the king, she remembers her life and loves at the magnificent and corrupt court of Versailles. Charlotte-Rose is filled at despair at her imprisonment, but she is comforted by an old nun, the apothicairesse¬†at the convent, SŇďur¬†Seraphina, who tells her the secret history of a young girl in 16th century Venice, who is sold by her parents for a handful of bitter greens ‚Ķ

Margherita’s parents love her dearly but the penalty for stealing in Venice in the late 16th century is cruel, and so they agree to give up their child at the age of seven to Selena, a courtesan whose walled garden is famous for its herbs and flowers. Selena is the famous red-haired muse of the artist Titian, first painted by him in 1513 and still inspiring him at the time of his death, sixty-one years later. Called La Strega Bella, Selena is at the centre of Renaissance life in Venice, a world of beauty and danger, seduction and betrayal, love and superstition. Selena is determined to never surrender the power that her beauty gives her, and so she turns to black magic and a spell that requires the blood of a virgin. Yet in the decadent world of Renaissance Italy, where courtesans supped with kings, where convents were hotbeds of illicit love, and where a girl’s virginity was sold many times over, how was Selena to ensure her spell would work, not just once, but over and over again? The only way was to build a tower without door or stairs, deep in the forest … and this is where she locks Margherita at the age of twelve. As Margherita grows into womanhood, she sings in the hope someone will hear her. One day, a young man does and climbs her rope of hair into the tower … and so begins a beautiful love story that retells one of the world’s most mysterious and enduring fairy tales.

The story of Margherita’s escape from the tower is interwoven with flashbacks that recount Charlotte-Rose’s tragic childhood and her scandalous life at the Sun King’s glittering court, and also the dark and tragic story of the courtesan Selena and how she came to be Titian’s muse. Three women, three lives, three stories, all braided together to create a compelling story of desire, obsession, black magic, and the redemptive power of love.

Review continued~

Using books as a magical way of escaping the stress and dealings of life, I let them carry me away in my mind. As one of¬†Forsyth’s main protagonists, writer Charlotte Rose de la Force, also creates her own worlds in Bitter Greens by pushing open the imagined door into fantasy¬†realms where any lovely place can be found.¬† This is a tactic useful whether it’s 17th century France or modern times.

However, this book doesn’t just lead us on a frivolous walk of enchantment and fantasy. It carries a message about women living their dreams and hope, overcoming the gender role, being courageous and bold, and most of all love, but beyond that, also the darker emotions and desires that lead us to bad decisions and situations and how we can be redeemed or doomed.

And yes, it transported me away when I needed it most. It lead me to deeper parts of my own motherhood, womanhood, and mortal desires. It wasn’t a book to be put down, and in fact, I had to be reminded that I actually had a life outside of reading the book…..I was swept away.

I can barely begin to give this multi-layered and multifaceted novel the justice it deserves. It is just THAT good and beyond a normal review. The author may be pursuing a degree in fairy tales, but she needs to be the one being taught to those pursuing creative writing courses and literature.

In Bitter Greens, Forsyth¬†introduces us to Charlotte Rose de la Force’s adaptation of Petrosinella¬†from 1697, while also making our acquaintance with de la Force’s own life by making her a part of the story.¬† Yes, it’s several stories¬†interwoven with delicacy and grace; it’s¬†smooth, seamless,¬†and highly evolved.¬† Petrosinella, with maiden Persinette,¬†would later be adapted in German and picked up by the Grimm Brothers in the 1800s, by that time known as Rapunzel.¬†However, the novel is not just another re-telling of Rapunzel, but an even deeper look into society and how vintage writing defines history.

Since my five-year-old is also¬†a lover of classic fairy tales, and we’ve read as many adaptations of Rapunzel over the last few years as we can find while embracing their similarities and differences together, Bitter Greens is a novel I’ll put on the shelf to share with her when she’s old enough to read the adult content. It’s one book that will always have a place on my bookshelf and hopefully hers too. It’s timeless.

Forsyth’s subtle dissection¬†of the culture, art, storytelling and emotions of the time within her fiction, coupled with how we retain and retell stories today, is in a class all its own. Her creation is a masterpiece of art to not get lost in a sea of ever published books.¬†Forsyth could quite possibly be one of the best story tellers of our modern age.

Please stop by again tomorrow as I have an exclusive interview with author Kate Forsyth in which we talk about fairy tales, her writing, her poetry, and much more!!

Click on the link for Forsyth’s “behind the scenes” look at her inspiration for Bitter Greens~


Kate’s blog about researching Charlotte Rose de la Force~


Bitter Greens~

UK Publication Date: February 25, 2013
Publisher: Allison & Busby
Hardcover; 350p
ISBN: 0749013621
(Also published, Random House Australia)

Praise for Bitter Greens~

“Kate Forsyth’s Bitter Greens is not only a magnificent achievement that would make any novelist jealous, it’s one of the most beautiful paeans to the magic of storytelling that I’ve ever read.” – C.W. Gortner, author of The Queen’s Vow and The Confessions of Catherine de Medici

“History and fairytale are richly entwined in this spellbinding story. Unputdownable!” – Juliet Marillier, author of Daughter of the Forest and Heart‚Äôs Blood

“In Bitter Greens, Kate Forsyth delivers a tale of beauty, strength and gravity. Her fierce respect for the art and power of storytelling shines through every page.” – Booklover Book Reviews

Kate Forsyth, Biography~

Kate Forsyth 2Kate Forsyth is the award-winning and bestselling author of more than 20 books for adults and children , translated into 13 languages. She was recently named in the Top 25 of Australia’s Favourite Novelists. Since The Witches of Eileanan¬†was named a Best First Novel by Locus Magazine, Kate has won or been nominated for many awards, including a CYBIL¬†Award in the US. She‚Äôs also the only author to win five Aurealis¬†awards in a single year, for her Gypsy Crown series of children’s historical novels. Kate‚Äôs latest novel, Bitter Greens, interweaves a retelli

ng of the Rapunzel fairytale with the scandalous life story of the woman who first told the tale, the 17th century French writer Charlotte-Rose de la Force. It has been called ‚Äėthe best fairy tale retelling since Angela Carter‚Äô and ‚Äėan imaginative weaving of magic, fairy tale and history‚Äô. A direct descendant of Charlotte Waring, the author of the first book for children ever published in Australia, Kate is currently studying a doctorate in fairy tales at the University of Technology in Sydney, where she lives by the sea, with her husband, three children, and many thousands of books.

Please visit Kate Forsyth’s WEBSITE and BLOG for more information. You can also find her on FACEBOOK and follow her on TWITTER.

For more reviews of Bitter Greens as well as guest posts and interviews with author Kate Forsyth, click below:

Link to Tour Schedule: http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/bittergreensvirtualtour/
Twitter Hashtag: #BitterGreensVirtualTour

Bitter Greens Tour Banner FINAL


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What? Little Red Riding Hood Was Rotten? New Children’s Book Reviewed

When I spotted the children’s picture book called Honestly, Red Riding Hood was Rotten: The Story of Little Red Riding Hood as Told by the Wolf by Trisha Speed Shaskan,¬†I knew I had to read it!¬† It’s my favorite of all the fairy tales. ¬†Of course my little four-year-old LOVES fairy tales too¬†and we try to read every one we can find.

My daughter and I sat down to read Honestly, Red Riding Hood was Rotten and we laughed right from the very beginning and all throughout the book. My daughter loved hearing the tale of Red Riding Hood from another perspective.¬† Seeing as she loves this time of year due to apple picking, my daughter also thought it was quite hilarious that the wolf was an apple lover (being a vegetarian) and only got hungry because it wasn’t apple harvest season. She picked-up right away that the illustration of Red Riding Hood made her look like a round red juicy apple. In fact, the illustrations by Gerald Guerlais are AMAZINGLY fun, modern and well-done¬†and add to the humor of the story. The references to apples throughout the book are so original and the prose adoring and humorous. For instance, Granny dressed up like a Granny Smith apple was fantastic.

The book also taught about not being so arrogant and full of yourself, as Red Riding Hood was in the story. She was so rotten (like a rotten apple!) that readers probably will start pulling for the wolf and not even mind the ending! It was a shorter fairy tale than the original, but less scary and dramatic and more laughable. My daughter and I loved it so much that when she said “Read it again,” I certainly didn’t mind. I would love to have this book on my shelf in our library and am looking forward to checking out the rest of the series.

It was wonderful how the book ends with some discussion questions, recommendations for more reading, and good websites for kids. I thought that was a great added touch to the book, especially to continue my little one’s education as I pre-school her from home.

This book is part of a NEW series by Capstone Publishers called The Other Side of the Story series. The books in this series are fractured fairy tales (classic fairy tales reconstructed) and tell the story from the side of another character in the book.

For more information, go to Capstone’s website:¬† http://www.capstonepub.com/product/9781404866737.

A digital ARC was made available to me from Capstone Publishing. All opinions are my own, they only asked that I read and give an honest review.

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