Friday, July 10, 2009


Rating : 3.5/5
Number of Pages : 166
Series : Re-Told Fairy Tales
Format : Teenage Fiction, Fairy Tale Anthology
Reason for Reading : 999 Challenge

An anthology of re-told fairy tales collected by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling. These tales are aimed at younger readers than the previous collections I have read, but were nonetheless enjoyable. There are 13 tales in all by a variety of different authors.

The Months of Manhattan - Delia Sherman
Liz Wallach is a good daughter who inherits bad-tempered step sister Beth Dodson. Liz gets lost doing a school project in the MET and stumbles across a magic painting entitled The Twelve Months of Manhattan. Since then all she has is good luck so Beth tries the same thing getting nothing but bad luck.

Cinder Elephant - Jane Yolen
A re-telling of Cinderella where Elly is a large girl that the Prince falls in love with. The moral at the end reads "If you love a waist, you waste a love".

Instructions - Neil Gaiman
Instructions for safely passing through a fairy tale.

Mrs Big: Jack and the Beanstalk Retold - Michael Cadnum
After Mrs Big steps on a milmaid, her husband buys a house in the clouds from a travelling peddlar. One day a thief comes to their house from a beanstalk grown from beans from a travelling peddlar. Mrs Big's husband ends up dying and she goes after the peddlar who started the whole thing.

Falada: The Goose Girls Horse - Nancy Farmer
A happier version of The Goose Girl where Falada manages to keep her head and return whole to Elfland.

A Wolf at the Door - Tannith Lee
After the Ice Age the animals have learnt to talk. One day Glasina finds a particularly verbose wolf and takes him home. He acts human and she realises to break the spell on him she will have to kiss him and then marry him. This will really mess up her travel plans...

Ali Baba and the Forty Allies - Janeen Web
Alberto Barbarino is a goth loner who is teased and called Ali Baba. One day he finds the treasure of 40 aliens in a disused mine.

Swans - Kelly Link
A mixture of Rumplestiltskin and The Wild Swans. Emma hasn't spoken since her mother who could spin gold died. Her father remarries a woman who can't stand noise and she turns everyone but Emma into swans.

The Kingdom of Melting Glances - Katherine Vazaken
Taken from 2 Portuguese legends. Rosa has a lily on her face who makes her magical. After her parents melt away she befriends a hummingbird, but her sisters injure it terribly. Rosa travels to the Palace of the Sun to nurse it back to health.

Hansel's Eyes - Garth Nix
A modern re-telling of Hansel and Grettal who are caught by a witch in a Playstation shop. She wants Hansels eyes for her own.

Becoming Chaise - Kathe Koja
The Ugly Duckling meets school nerd. The point is that she was never a duckling, always a swan.

The Seven Stage a Comeback - Gregory Maguire
The seven dwarves march out with the glass coffin and a bit of the poisoned apple to reclaim what is theirs.

The Twelve Dancing Princesses - Patricia A McKillip
A fairy standard re-telling of the original story about 12 Princesses who disappear every evening to dance the night away.

My favourites were Cinder Elephant, A Wolf at the Door, The Kingdom of Melting Glances, Becoming Chaise and The Seven Stage a Comeback. My main favourites were the tales of stories I wasn't too familiar with or that put a really new spin on an old story.

4 comments:

libritouches said...

OOoooooooooooh! It's got a retelling of The Goose Girl, a humming bird, swans and The 12 Dancing Princesses? Do want!

The other ones sound pretty interesting too, but... Those are the items that make me go squee...

Alice Teh said...

I love the quote "If you love a waist, you waste a love".

Nymeth said...

I read this in my pre-blogging days and no longer remember the stories in detail, but I do remember enjoying it a lot :)

Clare said...

I love these little collections and have read a few of Ellen Datlows will have a look for this one.