This collection reimagines 15 fairy tales with modern touches and community-minded heroes.
At the request of King Midas, Pied Piper, Geppetto, and Anansi, Murrow (Power to the Princess, 2018, etc.) returns with a new set of stories that rethink the roles of heroes, kings, and princes. A young Arthur discovers his talent for solving disputes by listening instead of doing battle. Pinocchio learns a real boy’s heart “gives and receives and loves bravely.” Despite his fears, Quasimodo stands up for what he believes in to save the community center from demolition. Each tale includes bright cartoon illustrations of racially and culturally diverse characters who wear modern attire apart from the occasional wizard robe or suit of armor. Along with promoting representations of sensitive, nurturing men who are unafraid to express themselves, Murrow expands beyond cis-heteronormativity with casual queer representation. Jack, from “Jack and the Beanstalk,” has two moms. The title character of “The Snow Man” falls in love with another Snow man (even if they both melt at the end). Anansi’s child Golden Silk uses they/them pronouns, as does the postal carrier’s partner in “The Pied Piper” (although the binary language of “hardworking men and women” slips in directly after their appearance). Forcefully optimistic—sometimes in defiance of a tale’s original ending—the characters earn their happily-ever-after resolutions by learning lessons about dedication, justice, and love.
An inclusive compilation permeated with strong values. (Fantasy. 6-10)