cover image Fairy Tales of Fearless Girls

Fairy Tales of Fearless Girls

Susannah McFarlane, illus. by Lucinda Gifford et al. Aladdin, $19.99 (128p) ISBN 978-1-5344-7357-7

In McFarlane’s four amusingly reimagined fairy tales, hapless heroines are recast as resourceful young women. Rapunzel, an inveterate tinkerer, cuts off her heavy braid and turns it into a zipline to engineer her own escape from the tower: “Rapunzel thought. Rapunzel sketched. Rapunzel planned and pondered.” Little Red Riding Hood cleverly uses her grandmother’s herbal lore to knock out the wolf with a sedative tea. Cinderella thriftily sells her remaining glass slipper to establish an animal sanctuary, where she is joined by a prince who forswears hunting for mucking stables. And a dauntless Thumbelina puns her way (a happy rabbit is “A hoptimist!”) through setbacks to find her own people. Though each tale has a dedicated illustrator, the artwork, rendered throughout in a dull lilac hue, is united by a cartoony sensibility. A satisfying read for children seeking classic tales with a feminist bent. Final art not seen by PW. Publishing simultaneously: Bold Tales of Brave-Hearted Boys. Ages 5–9. [em](Oct.) [/em]