Moses’ signature folk-art style is ideally suited to his retellings of five well-known fairy tales.
“Little Red Riding Hood,” “Rumpelstiltskin,” “Snow White,” “Puss in Boots,” and “Beauty and the Beast” are the tales Moses includes in this collection, which concludes with a note to adult readers about the ongoing relevance and importance of fairy tales. As with any retelling, the question to consider is whether this collection adds anything new or otherwise distinguished to the fairy-tale shelf. A positive response rests in consideration of pacing and design: the collection uses two spreads per tale to tell the story in long blocks of text that are illustrated with a series of small vignettes. The fine details of the art on these pages are somewhat difficult to see, but the payoff comes in the third, wordless spread that concludes each tale. This incorporates the vignette illustrations from the prior pages to reveal a continuous narrative of the entire story on the facing pages. Here, Moses’ skill as a landscape artist is on conspicuous display, and each scene invites reflection back on the story told on prior pages. The verbal storytelling itself is unremarkable, which ultimately makes the design of the book with its wordless spreads shine over textual achievement.
A folksy visual treatment of tales for little folks. (Picture book/fairy tales. 5-8)