Monday, December 13, 2010
review: A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
audience: middle grade book, probably 5-7 grade
This tale is pretty dark and grimm, but also humorous with lots of adventure.
Hansel and Gretel are twins who run away from home when their father cuts off their heads to save a loyal servant. Hansel and Gretel get their heads back, or course, but it makes them leary of their parents so they go in search of new ones. For several years they wander through different fairy tales, looking for decent parents or at least a home. Some of the Grimms' fairy tales in the story are Faithful Johannes, The seven ravens, Brother and sister, The robber bridegroom, and The devil and his three golden hairs. Like the orginal Grimm, Gidwitz doesn't dumb it down.
There is violence and horrible things happen, but it isn't described. A wicked man steals souls and cuts up the bodies to cook them in a pot, but the reader doesn't read about how it smelled or looked or felt, we're just told it happened. Which makes it not so horrible. You know? And the wonderful author that Gidwitz is, he gives plenty of interruptions in the narrative to warn us off from continuing. And his interjections add a lot of the humor that I enjoyed so much about this book.
I think kids, especially boys, will love this book.