As with Garfield's The Wedding Ghost (1987, an elaboration of ""The Sleeping Beauty"" illustrated by Charles Keeping), an author and illustrator have collaborated here on an imaginative extension of fairy-tale characters and ideas. In introspective soliloquies, a dozen familiar figures muse on the deeper meanings of familiar events: Hansel and Gretel's father on his lack of courage and his failed relationship with his returned children; the Seventh Dwarf on Snow White's foolishness and inaccessible beauty; Rapunzel's prince on his love and his blindness. Some of the poems are voiced by villains (Snow White's stepmother; Bluebeard); more come from ambivalent figures (Beauty's Beast; the Frog Prince's princess). These intriguing poems are subtle, complex, and valid in their insights; Browne's powerful, realistic b&w illustrations reflect their meaning with pathos and psychological depth. The handsome format should help introduce this fine collection to its appropriate audience, which will be--like the audience for the recent play Into the Woods--older and more sophisticated than the usual fairy-tale readers.