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Delightfully Different Fairy Tales

Book Synopsis

A treasury of fairy tales with a difference – feminist, sparky and set in different decades of the 20th century, with funky clothes and recognisable settings. A stunning collaboration between the brilliant illustrator David Roberts and his talented writer sister Lynn.

This special collection includes:

– a feminist Sleeping Beauty, set in the 1950s (and 2950s), in a story populated entirely with women and girls (no princes needed here!)
– a 1970s Rapunzel whose friend plays in a rock band
– a 1920s-set Cinderella with flapper girls and a fashion-conscious fairy godmother.

These are all deliciously, delightfully different takes on the fairy tales we all know.

Our Review Panel says...

This is a wonderful collection of three classic fairy tales (Cinderella, Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty), lovingly retold by Lynn Roberts-Maloney and fantastically reimagined by David Roberts’ illustrations. Cinderella is set in a 1920s/30s world, full of art deco style and carefully-researched tributes to the era throughout the illustrations. Her horse and carriage gets updated to a sort of Rolls Royce Phantom and the dishes that she labours over have a very Clarice Cliff feel, for example. Setting the tale in this period is a masterstroke, as the period was full of decadence for the likes of a prince. There are slight changes to the plot but it is still pretty true to the well-known versions, overall. Rapunzel is given a 1970s remake. In a decade of long hair and rock and roll, her tower is a tower block with a broken lift and her Prince is a lead singer in a band. Music is a recurring theme and that 70s youth culture pervades. As in all three stories, the female lead is refreshingly empowered and takes her fate in her own hands. For me, Sleeping Beauty is the pick of the bunch. Here, the illustrations are closer to the style of the recent Iggy Peck, Ava Twist and Rosie Revere books, for which David Roberts is most familiar. The twist is a bigger one this time with no prince at all and a leap into the future. There’s still a happy ending and a truly satisfying one at that. As with the other two tales, it invites comparisons and re-readings of more traditional versions and would be a worthy addition to a unit of work on fairy tales in class.

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