Tales from a Tall Forest

Shaun Micallef, illus. by Jonathan Bentley. Hardie Grant Egmont, $21.99 (224p) ISBN 978-1-76012-959-0
In his children’s debut, Australian comedian Micallef mixes and matches classic fairy tale elements to create an interwoven trio of stories, which reconsider old favorites in new ways. “The Wolf and the Princess and the Trail of Crumbs,” for instance, blends “Snow White” with “Little Red Riding Hood” and “Hansel and Gretel,” while “The Fisherman and the Monkey and the Three Wishes,” casts a hapless fisherman in the role of wish-granter to an ambitious monkey. “The Magic Beans and the Peddler’s Wife” sees “Jack and the Beanstalk” merged with several tailor-related stories, such as “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” There’s a tongue-in-cheek tone to the narrative: “Born of hysteria, hallucinogenic toadstools, and outright lies, a folklore grew like Topsy about the forest and these stories were told and retold in endless variations,” the introduction claims. Young audiences will appreciate the stories’ clever playfulness, and adults will catch the occasional sly wink aimed at them. Bentley’s stylized, expressive black-and-white caricatures with red accents bring the characters and situations to life. This is bound to appeal to fairy tale fans of all ages. Ages 7–9. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 05/16/2019
Release date: 04/01/2019
Genre: Children's
MP3 CD - 978-1-5436-8569-5
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