Vivian Vande Velde has written many books for teen and middle grade readers, including Heir Apparent, User Unfriendly, All Hallow's Eve: 13 Stories, Three Good Deeds, Now You See It ..., and the Edgar Award-winning Never Trust a Dead Man. She lives in Rochester, New York. Visit her website at www.vivianvandevelde.com.
Gr 4-8‘A different take on traditional icons of virtue and evil. In the course of retelling some popular fairy tales, Vande Velde challenges readers' notions of good, bad, and ugly by examining the stock characters' motivations and often recasting them in a different light. Needless to say, these role reversals affect very different outcomes to the familiar, if slightly fractured, story lines. For example, kindhearted Rumpelstiltzkin wins the heroine away from the vain, self-important king, and the Frog Prince, once restored to his princely stature, rejects the haughty princess and goes home to the goose girl. To say nothing of the demonic twins Hansel and Gretel, who have done in one mother and are ready to take on another. Modern references and sensibilities, such as those in the ``And Now a Word from Our Sponsor'' and ``PG-13,'' add to the humor (often the gallows variety). Entertaining and provocative, these selections make good read-alouds and can be used to spark discussion or creative writing exercises.‘Luann Toth, School Library Journal
Imaginative and entertaining.--The Horn Book
Terrific fun.--Kirkus Reviews