Friday, February 18, 2011

A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

"Are there any small children in the room? Because if so, it would be best if we just let them think this really is the end of the story and hurried them off to bed. Because this is where things start to get, well...awesome. But in a horrible, bloody kind of way."

Be honest. When someone says the words "Fairy Tale," you think "Girly." You think of those poofy, sparkly Halloween costumes they sell in the shops at Disneyland. A Tale Dark and Grimm is definitely not that kind of fairy tale. After Hansel and Gretel get their heads chopped off by their own parents (and then have them magically reattached by a faithful old servant), they decide to run away from home in search of better parents. Of course, anyone who is familiar with the Grimm Brothers' stories in their original forms will know just how futile this effort is. As Hansel and Gretel skip from one tale to the next, they face all sorts of dangers and learn how to become heroes.

I have to say that my favorite thing about this story is that the author doesn't just tell it, he includes commentary on the story in bold typeface (like the comment I've quoted above). This commentary is often ridiculous and nearly always hilarious. It reminds me of the grandfather in the film version of The Princess Bride adding his own two cents to the story. If you know a young reader who likes action, danger, and heroics, mixed with a generous portion of humor, this is the next book you should buy.