2017, fluent reader, Key Stage 2, ages 9-11, upper primary
Here are some familiar fairy stories though the titles may fool you: Rapunzel becomes The Tower and the Bird, Rumpelstiltskin becomes Straw into Gold, and Cinderella is Roses Around the Palace. We are also offered some rather interesting details about some well-known stories. The mayor of the town with the rats tells us how the children who replaced the lost ones were much more amenable than the ones who were piped away. A young girl has a sliver of the looking-glass that once belonged to a wicked queen. Whilst the girl has chickenpox her grandmother tells her Snow White’s story. It is true she assures her granddaughter. How does she know? Because she is Snow White. Hansel and Gretel tell the story of what they did in their holidays.
There is perhaps an assumption that the reader will be familiar with the original stories. Certainly they are amusing and not just for the young reader. Adults can enjoy them too.
This is quite a hefty volume with a nice fat spine. The text is blocked and the font is just a little bit larger than we would normally find in a book written for adults.
There are some black and white illustrations that are partly decorative and partly informative.
At the end of the book we have information about the author and the illustrator. Hilary McKay also suggest further reading and points us towards the work of the Grimms, Charles Perrault and of other significant writers.