cover image Tom, Babette & Simon: Three Tales of Transformation

Tom, Babette & Simon: Three Tales of Transformation

Avi. MacMillan Publishing Company, $15 (100pp) ISBN 978-0-02-707765-0

Already noted for his diversity, Avi (The Barn; City of Light, City of Dark) tries his hand at yet another literary genre, masterfully composing three fairy tales. As sharply ironic and full of wit as his previous works, the stories here offer fresh variations of timeless themes. In the first selection, a modern boy named Tom, bored with his life, agrees (in an apathetic sort of way) to trade places with his cat. The second, more traditional tale, about a vain queen and her ``flawless'' daughter, echoes motifs found in The Emperor's New Clothes, Snow White and other classics, but gives them a shapely new treatment. A third type of metamorphosis is depicted in the final story, in which a fortune hunter is granted his desire that ``everybody shall take notice of me.'' Combining familiar archetypes and unexpected twists in plot, this trio of offbeat tales casts a spell all its own. Ages 9-12. (June)