Zombies and vampires and Grimm, oh my!
Nothing is quite what it seems in these morbidly fractured fairy tales. In the prologue, readers meet a prince with no eyebrows and a Rapunzel with a mohawk. But wait—what about her fair hair? A simple but dangerous mistake, it seems, as the narrator explains: “I thought she was saying hair, as in the thing that grows out of your head and on your arms and sometimes on your face….But really she was saying herr, which is the German word for ‘lord’!” As it turns out, Rapunzel’s fair Herr is a very large, very angry snake, Cinderella is a pyromaniac, and Red Riding Hood has had a bit too much of that vile pease porridge. White offers nine short tales, each prefaced by creepy inversions of classic children’s rhymes (“What are little girls made of? / Brains and wails and people entrails, / That’s what little girls are made of!”), all woven together by a wickedly irreverent narrator (“FEE FIE FOE FUM, JACK, THAT PLAN WAS REALLY DUMB…”). Some may find the stories and accompanying illustrations a bit too scary, but White’s abundantly evident glee keeps things from getting too dark. In keeping with the stories’ European origins, nearly all characters are white—except for a few who have turned an undead-shade of gray….
Disturbingly delightful. (Fractured fairy tales. 8-12)