This rather petite collection of re-told fairytales features the usual cast of authors featured in Datlow & Windling's fairy tale anthologies, but these stories are aimed at younger readers (10-12, or thereabouts.) The introduction is pretty much the same as in all of Windling's other anthologies but simplified.
Still, when you're working with good authors, you're going to get some good stories - even if these are shorter than the usual, and deal, for the most part, with kids rather than adults.
The Months of Manhattan - Delia Sherman
The story of the nice sister who is magically blessed and the nasty (step)sister who is cursed, set in Manhattan, at the Met.
Cinder Elephant - Jane Yolen
Cinderella with a message - it's your heart/personality that matters, not your size or weight. Sounds a bit cheesy, but it's a witty and cute retelling.
Instructions - Neil Gaiman
A poem about the tropes of fairy tales. Why doesn't Gaiman ever contribute a STORY to these anthologies?
Mrs. Big - Michael Cadnum
Jack & the Beanstalk - from the point of view of the surprisingly-good-hearted giant's wife.
Falada: The Goose Girl's Horse
A fairy horse is assigned to carry a spoiled princess to her prince - but a demon horse and its girl rider come along, and force the princess to switch places. Still, everything may work out for the best.
A Wolf At The Door - Tanith Lee
In a future ice age, animals have learned to talk, and magical spells are entirely possible. When a talking wolf moves in, a girl realizes he must be under a spell. But the wolf is so annoying! What if she doesn't want to break his spell and marry him?
Ali Baba and the Forty Aliens - Janeen Webb
An abandoned mine shaft holds a treasure of gold amassed by mysterious inhuman beings. Finding it seems to be quite a windfall for a young loner... but when his brother demands to know where he got the gold, things take a dark turn...
Swans - Kelly Link
A rather surreal take on the tale of the stepmother who turns a girl's brothers into swans.
The Kingdom of Melting Glances - Katherine Vaz
Based on some less-familiar-to-many Portuguese legends, the story of a girl with a lily-shaped birthmark on her face, the hummingbird-prince who loves her - and of course, some cruel sisters.
Hansel's Eyes - Garth Nix
Hey! This is way creepier and more disturbing than the original Hansel and Gretyl! In a contemporary setting, a stepmother and her weak-willed husband try increasingly more drastic ways to be rid of his children from a previous marriage. Hansel and Gretyl are resourceful, but eventually they are kidnapped by a witch who lures them into a videogame store, then locks them in the basement to try to corrupt Gretyl and prepare Hansel for illegal organ transplants.... eek!
Becoming Charise - Kathe Koja
An all-too-true story of a smart girl stuck in a lousy school, despite a teacher's efforts, because of an uncaring aunt. Inspired by The Ugly Duckling. Really made me want to cry for all those kids out there...
The Seven Stage A Comeback - Gregory Maguire
A disturbing-in-its-implications and not-very-kid-oriented poem about the seven dwarfs wanting to get Snow White back for their very own.
The Twelve Dancing Princesses - Patricia A. McKillip
A pretty straight retelling of this story.
I used this book as part of a tutoring program and it was a hit! I thought it was a bit dark for some younger readers, but very appropriate for readers 8 and up. Kids love this book because it's interesting and provides a creative spin on old fairy tales.
This is a book about fairy tales but the old favorites are retold by different authors and the stories are not really the same. Sometimes I even had to read on the title pages which fairy tale it was because there are new twists to everything. I can say however that each story tells a moral in its own way. Some of the stories inside are: The Months of Manhattan, Cinder Elephant, Mrs. Big(Jack and the Beanstalk Retold), Falada (The Goose Girls Horse),and A Wolf at the Door.
An interesting collection of fairy tales mixed around a bit and retold for young readers by some excellent authors; includes work by Delia Sherman, Jane Yolen, Neil Gaiman, Michael Cadnum, Nancy Farmer, Tanith Lee, Janeen Webb, Kelly Link, Katherine Vaz, Garth Nix, Kathe Koja, Gregory Maguire, and Patricia A. McKillip.
Definitely a different spin on the old fairy tales. But I do not recommend this to be read to young children. OK for the short read that it was but not a 'keeper' in my book collection.