BookList: Fairy Tale Re-Tellings – Tales

And now we’ve reached the end of our Fairy Tale Booklists!  Since it was started, the library has added at least three new books that would fit into the lists, so we may be doing an update sooner than I thought!

In the meantime, read some of these interesting short story collections of  some favorite tales. Some have different views of the same tales, some have a variety of different tales, but all are fresh takes on these stories.

If there is a J at the end of the summary, the book is in the Juvenile collection, if there is a YA, it’s in the YA/Teen collection.

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Fairy Tale Retellings

Don’t want to read a whole novel? Try one of our Short Story Collections, featuring different takes on the old familiar tales…

Datlow, Ellen.  Swan Sister
Just as fairy-tale magic can transform a loved one into a swan, the contributors to this book have transformed traditional fairy tales and legends into stories that are completely original, yet still tantalizingly familiar. The stories include a Rapunzel whose most confining prison is her loneliness; a contemporary rendering of the Green Man myth; two different versions of Red Riding Hood; a tale that grew out of a Celtic folk song; Sleeping Beauty’s experience of her enchantment; two works inspired by the Arabian Nights; and more.  J

Datlow, Ellen.  Troll’s-Eye View: A Book of Villainous Tales
Everyone thinks they know the real story behind the villains in fairy tales–evil, no two ways about it. But the villains themselves beg to differ. In this anthology for younger readers, you’ll hear from the Giant’s wife (from Jack and the Beanstalk), Rumpelstiltskin, the oldest of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, and more.  Find out why villains are so villainous, and maybe, why heroes and princesses aren’t all they appear to be.  J

Datlow, Ellen.  A Wolf at the Door: and Other Re-told Fairy Tales
Did you ever wonder what ever happened to the seven dwarfs after Snow White ditched them? What was life like for the giant above the beanstalk? Do you sometimes wish Cinderella hadn’t been so helpless and petite? Are you ready to hear the Giant’s point of view on Jack and his beanstalk? If you’ve thought about any of these questions, then this is the book for you. Readers need wonder no more. This collection of 13 fantasy short stories takes favorite folk tales on a wild spin through the imagination.  J

Maguire, Gregory.  Leaping Beauty: and other Animal Fairy Tales
Zany animals of all species run through these eight beloved—but fractured!–fairytales with alarming speed and dexterity. Who would have thought that Sleeping Beauty, that most regal of all fairy– tales, could be twisted into the story of a frog with a most unusual and promising dance career? Get ready to meet a gorilla queen and a psycho chimp, seven giant giraffes; and one very bad walrus in this funny collection.  J

Van de Velde, Vivian.  Cloaked in Red
So you think you know the story of Little Red Riding Hood, the girl with the unfortunate name and the inability to tell the difference between her grandmother and a member of a different species? Well, then, try your hand at answering these questions: Which character (not including Little Red herself) is the most fashion challenged? Who (not including the wolf) is the scariest? Who (not including Granny) is the most easily scared? Who is the strangest (notice we’re not “not including” anyone, because they’re all a little off.)? Who (no fair saying “the author”) has stuffing for brains? After you’re finished reading, you may never look at fairy tales in quite the same way again.  J

Van de Velde, Vivian.  The Rumplestiltskin Problem
Have you ever wondered just what was going on when that odd little man with the long name stepped up and volunteered to spin straw into gold for the miller’s daughter? If you stop and think about it, there are some very peculiar and rather hard-to-explain components to the story.  Here are six alternative versions of the old legend. A bevy of miller’s daughters confront their perilous situation in very different ways — sometimes comic, sometimes scary. Most of the time, it’s the daughter who gets off safely, but sometimes, amazingly, Rumpelstiltskin himself wins the day. And in one tale, it is the king who cleverly escapes a quite unexpected fate.  J

Van de Velde, Vivian.  Tales from the Brothers Grimm and the Sister Weird
Welcome to the fairy-tale world where Hansel and Gretel are horrible children who deserve to be baked and where Beauty is dismayed when her beloved Beast turns human. In the realm of the Brothers Grimm and the Sisters Weird, when the sky really does fall, Chicken Little becomes the leader of a religious movement, gets her own TV show, collects millions of dollars to build a theme park, and then makes off with the money. These tongue-in-cheek interpretations of more than a dozen favorite fairy tales will have readers in stitches.  J

Windling, Terri.  Faery Reel: Tales from the Twilight Realm
Faeries, or creatures like them, can be found in almost every culture the world over and terrifying, charming and exasperating, shifting shape from country to country, story to story, and moment to moment. In The Faery Reel, Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling have asked some of today’s best fantasists for short stories and poems that draw on the great wealth of world faery lore and classic faery literature, and update the old tales, or shine a bold new light on the old.  YA

Windling, Terri.  The Green Man: Tales from the Mystic Forest
An enticing collection of stories and  poems, featuring diverse takes on mythical beings associated with the protection of the natural world. Most involving a teen’s coming-of-age.  Mature themes and an often sophisticated view of the world and how one survives in it characterize many of the selections, based on old tales and on some more modern fairy tales. The mood is sometimes playful, sometimes mystical. No matter what the ambience or the plot underlying each selection, there is a real sense of how powerful nature can be in its various guises.  YA

Yolen, Jane.  The Faery Flag
Once upon a time. . . says the narrator of the first poem, and the reader is transported immediately into realms where words are as true and warming as you let them be. The fairy tales within are varied–from Beauty’s thoughts upon the occasion of her first anniversary with the Beast to a clever story about Nurse Lamb’s encounters with some familiar wolf tales, told this time from the wolves’ point of view. The tales resonate with deeply felt emotions of love, hatred, wonder…and even terror.  J

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And there you have it! Our last Fairy Tale Re-telling…until we have enough new books for an update! Don’t forget to check out our juvenile graphic novels…in the non-fiction collection, there’s a fairy tale section.

If you have any suggestions for a booklist, let us know!  Next up: Boarding School Adventures.  See you soon!


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