Yummy: Eight Favorite Fairy Tales
Lucy Cousins, . . Candlewick, $18.99 (121pp) ISBN 978-0-7636-4474-1
Anyone expecting the gentleness of the Maisy books in Cousins's retellings of eight fairy tales is in for a whopper of a surprise—although the cheeky title does provide a tip-off. Who knew Cousins could depict a wolf decapitation (“Little Red Riding Hood”) or stewing (“The Three Little Pigs”) with such relish? Or that she'd find a creepiness factor in the Henny Penny story worthy of Flannery O'Connor? Cousins embraces all the primitive, enduring fears and desires that drive these stories, and then beckons readers to hop on a rollicking narrative roller coaster (“I'm going to gobble you up,” says a troll, threatening the biggest of the Billy Goats Gruff, who responds, “Then I'll bash you to bits”). There are thrills big and small on every color-saturated page: a Goldilocks who sports ginormous pigtails that seem to have an emotional life all their own; the hairy orange goat-eating troll with his neon green mani-pedi; a little red hen with enough feminine industriousness to rival Rosie the Riveter. Make room on the shelf. A new classic has arrived. Ages 3–up.
Reviewed on: 07/20/2009