Synopses & Reviews
Writing in free verse honed to a wicked edge, the incomparable Ron Koertge brings dark and contemporary humor to twenty iconic fairy tales.
Once upon a time, there was a strung-out match girl who sold CDs to stoners. Twelve impetuous sisters escaped King Daddys clutches to jiggle and cavort and wear out their shoes. A fickle Thumbelina searched for a tiny husband, leaving bodies in her wake. And Little Red Riding Hood confessed that she kind of wanted to know what its like to be swallowed whole. From bloodied and blinded stepsisters (they were duped) to a chopped-off finger flying into a heroines cleavage, this is fairy tale world turned upside down. Ron Koertge knows what really happened to all those wolves and maidens, ogres and orphans, kings and piglets, and he knows about the Ever After. So come closer
— he wants to whisper in your ear.
"With sardonic wit and a decidedly contemporary sensibility, Koertge (Shakespeare Bats Cleanup) retells 23 classic fairy tales in free verse, written from the perspectives of iconic characters like Little Red Riding Hood, as well as maligned or minor figures such as the Mole from Thumbelina and Cinderella's stepsisters. For the princess from the Princess and the Pea, hypersensitivity isn't all that great ('A puppy licked me and I've still got a scar'), and the Little Match Girl appears in a poem with the rhythm of a rap song ('She's selling CDs on the corner,/ fifty cents to any stoner,/ any homeboy with a boner'). Several stories trade happily ever after for disappointment and discontent, as with the danger-addicted queen in Rumpelstiltskin, or with Rapunzel, who is left with a moody prince instead of the attentive witch who locked her in. DezsÃ¶'s cut-paper Scherenschnitte-style silhouettes nod toward Hans Christian Andersen's own papercuts if Andersen were creating a storyboard for the Saw franchise. From Bluebeard's beheaded wives to a bloody dismemberment in 'The Robber Bridegroom,' there are gruesome surprises throughout. A fiendishly clever and darkly funny collection. Ages 14 up. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Ron Koertge is the author of many award-winning novels, including Stoner & Spaz
and its sequel, Now Playing: Stoner & Spaz II
; Shakespeare Bats Cleanup
; Margaux with an X
; The Brimstone Journals
; and The Arizona Kid
. A two-time winner of the PEN Literary Award for Children's Literature, he lives in South Pasadena, California.
Andrea Dezsö is a visual artist and writer who works across a broad range of media. She is a full-time faculty member at the Maryland Institute College of Art and lives in New York City.