cover image The Red Shoes and Other Tales

The Red Shoes and Other Tales

Metaphrog. Papercutz (Macmillan, dist.), $12.99 (64p) ISBN 978-1-62991-283-7

In this comics collection, Metaphrog (a pseudonym for Sandra Marrs and John Chalmers) presents an early 20th-century update of Hans Christian Andersen’s story about a girl transfixed by a pair of enchanted red shoes, pairing it with an original tale and a version of “The Little Match Girl.” As the shoes take hold of Karen’s mind and body, the tale’s menacing plot is amplified through the use of a sickening gray-green hue that contrasts unsettlingly with the gleam of the red shoes and Karen’s doll-like features. In the brief second story, “The Glass Case,” a lonely, abused boy befriends an antique doll at a museum—eventually joining her in her display case; “The Little Match Girl” concludes on a characteristically sobering note. Hope, joy, and pain intermingle in these dark, alluring stories, which may leave readers thinking of Andersen as a precursor to modern horror. Ages 8–12. (Oct.)