The Fairy-Tale Handbook

Libby Hamilton, illus. by Tomislav Tomic. Candlewick/Templar, $22.99 (20p) ISBN 978-0-7636-7130-3
Hamilton (The Monstrous Book of Monsters) offers a guide to common fairy-tale figures and settings. Preexisting knowledge of stories like Cinderella, Pinocchio and The Wizard of Oz are necessary—references to silver slippers and the Wicked Witch of the West appear, for instance, but without any mention of Baum’s story. Tomic’s artwork borrows from popular representations of fairy-tale characters and locations, while maintaining a sense of grace and novelty in his depictions. Interactive features include flaps (for seeking out hidden animals or discovering the secrets of princesses like Rapunzel and Snow White), mini-booklets, and pop-up wedding celebration. Fine as an overview for casual fairy-tale fans, but too unspecific and general to engage devotees. Ages 5–9. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/22/2014
Release date: 09/23/2014
Genre: Children's
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