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Tales From the Brothers Grimm and the Sisters Weird
Vivian Vande Velde
Harcourt, 144 pages

Vivian Vande Velde
Vivian Vande Velde is the author of Tales from the Brothers Grimm and the Sisters Weird, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, A Hidden Magic, The Conjurer Princess, and many other fine fantasy novels. She lives with her husband and daughter in Rochester, New York.

ISFDB Bibliography
Vivian Vande Velde Bibliography
SF Site Review: Wizard at Work
SF Site Review: Being Dead
SF Site Review: Magic Can Be Murder
SF Site Review: Never Trust a Dead Man
SF Site Review: The Conjurer Princess
SF Site Review: A Coming Evil

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Jonathan Fesmire

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Tales From the Brothers Grimm and the Sisters Weird Fairy tales and mythology are meant to be retold. These are the stories that were originally passed on orally, surely changing over time. With Tales From the Brother's Grimm and the Sisters Weird, Vivian Vande Velde gives us her take on popular European fairy tales in thirteen entertaining chapters.

While rewriting fairy tales is not new in fantasy literature, it's interesting to see each writer's take on these bits of our cultural subconscious. Vande Velde does a nice job of bringing something new to stories like "Little Red Riding Hood" and "The Frog Prince." Who knew that Red Riding Hood, or the princess for that matter, were such spoiled brats?

The best in this collection are "Straw Into Gold," "Jack," and "Twins," rewrites of "Rumpelstiltzkin," "Jack and the Beanstalk," and "Hansel and Gretel," respectively. "Straw Into Gold" is basically the same as the old fairy tale, but with a strong twist. "Jack" is all about a lazy boy's perception of the world. "Twins" is just, well, disturbing. Psychotic children are always so disturbing, and that's what makes the story so good.

This is a fun read for children and adults who still enjoy children's literature. It's also a great book to read aloud to your kids (or have them read to you), one story a night.

Tales From the Brothers Grimm and the Sisters Weird features lovely illustrations by Brad Weinman and a simply magical cover by Eric Fortune. This being the holiday season, I must say that this would make a good gift for any child who enjoys a fantasy.

Copyright © 2005 by Jonathan Fesmire

Jonathan Fesmire has travelled to France, Germany, Estonia, Finland, and Ireland. He enjoys speaking French and learning bits of other foreign languages, but most of all, he loves writing, and has sold fiction to Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine, SpaceWays Weekly, Jackhammer, and others.


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