An interesting collection of fairy tales retold with an updated slant. You’ll find more diverse characters and in many cases a darker version of the original story. Intended for 5th grade and up, several of the tales include themes which fit more into the YA category, but many others would be fine for the upper middle grade audience. The 12 chapter lineup have names familiar to most:
RED RIDING HOOD
JACK AND THE BEANSTALK
HANSEL AND GRETEL
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
THE LITTLE MERMAID
You can read these in any order as they are all separate stories. Everyone for sure will have their favorites. Mine were HANSEL and GRETEL, BEAUTY and the BEAST, and a third which was not a retelling but a continuation of Wendy’s life after PETER PAN and Neverland. I’d say they saved the best for last.
Although the 336 pages might be overwhelming for some, the tales flow by quickly, interspersed with excellent illustrations and color drawings. The debate can begin whether these new endings are better than the originals.
BEASTS AND BEAUTY DANGEROUS TALES was released on 9/21/21.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Soman Chainani’s debut series, THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL, has sold more than 3 million copies, been translated into 30 languages across 6 continents, and will be a major motion picture from Netflix in 2022.
Each of the six books in the series — THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL, A WORLD WITHOUT PRINCES, THE LAST EVER AFTER, QUESTS FOR GLORY,A CRYSTAL OF TIME, and ONE TRUE KING — have debuted on the New York Times Bestseller list. Together the books have been on the print and extended lists for 38 weeks.
A graduate of Harvard University and Columbia University’s MFA Film Program, Soman began his career as a screenwriter and director, with his films playing at over 150 film festivals around the world. He has been nominated for the Waterstone Prize for Children’s Literature, been named to the Out100, and also received the $100,000 Shasha Grant and the Sun Valley Writer’s Fellowship, both for debut writers.
Soman’s latest book, BEASTS & BEAUTY, is an instant New York Times Bestseller and will soon be published in 10 languages. It is his seventh New York Times bestseller in a row.
(For more visit Soman’s web site)
Hansel and Gretel was my favorite also. This was my first book by the author and now I want to read his earlier books too.
Well, the cover is definitely enticing! Thanks for the review Greg!
I loved Wicked and Son of a Witch, so I think this is a bit more tempered, but a re-imagined stories I’d like. Love Peter Pan, Beauty and the Beast, Hansel and Gretel, Jack and the Beanstalk and most of the fairy tales you mentioned. Do you feel adults will enjoy reading more than tweens? And could this book be read to younger children (5 and up) at bedtime?
Anyone reading this book should have read the original fairy tale or be very familiar with the plot. It would be a disservice to the original if you read or heard these first–plus the fun is in the comparison. Adults and 8-12th graders would enjoy this more than younger kids.
That cover is awesome. I love re-told fairy tales. I will have to find a copy of this book. It sounds great. Thanks for the post.