I am loving the current trend for drawing on the classic plot lines and characters of beloved fairy tales and injecting them with a hefty dose of attitude and wit, especially those where the formerly helpless princesses was expected to lay about waiting for a prince to come and rescue them. The two new paperback editions in fairy tale series of brother and sister duo, David Roberts and Lynn Roberts-Maloney, do not disappoint.
Sleeping Beauty: A mid-century fairy tale
This retro-retelling takes us back to the 1950s where Annabel lives with her two aunts and dreams of knowing what life is really like in the future. On the day of her 16th birthday, a powerful curse is realised and Annabel is condemned to sleep for 1000 years. If she is not woken at exactly midnight on the last day of the thousand years, she will die!
The world around Annabel continues to develop as the story fast-forwards a thousand years to 2950s. A young book-lover called Zoe discovers an ancient tale named ‘Sleeping Beauty’ and realises that the story must be about the enormous rose tree which appears entirely untouched by time. She rushes to fight her way to the centre of the tree – but will she be in time?
Absolutley gorgeous illustrations depicting 1950s fashions and popular culture, help tell the story of a girl who is saved not by a handsome prince on a white charger, but by sisterhood, love and books!
Little Red: A howlingly good fairy tale with a twist
A re-telling of Red Riding Hood as you’ve never heard it before. Set in the late eighteenth century, this version is of an era of highwaymen, elaborate ballgowns and towering wigs (for men and women.)
Thomas, known as ‘Little Red’, lives with his parents in an inn renowned for its sweet, fizzy ginger beer. Their customers pass their time swigging the beautiful beverage and sharing thrilling tales of the dangers which lurk in the woods beyond.
Unperturbed, Little Red sets off on his weekly errand to deliver a basket of food to his grandmother. Unfathomably, he decides to leave the safety of the path and step into the shadowy world beneath the trees. The wicked wolf takes full advantage of Red’s error in judgement and heads off to granny’s house for what he hopes will be a double serving of delicious treats.
This twisted tale is delightfully dark with plenty of macabre details in the illustrations, hinting at the trouble ahead. The flowing prose perfectly compliments the artwork and provides an excellent twist in the ending.
I would highly recommend these re-tellingly to fans old and new who like their fairy tales a little less sickly sweet and a little more dark and delicious.
*Thank you to Pavilion books for sending me these titles to review*