So why are all the versions of the stories you’ve heard so mind-numbingly boring? You know how it is with stories. Someone tells a story. Then somebody repeats it and it changes. Someone else repeats it, and it changes again. Then someone’s telling it to their kid and taking out all the . . . well, the awesome parts…and the next thing you know the story’s about an adorable little girl in a red cap, skipping through the forest to take cookies to her granny. And you’re so bored you’ve passed out on the floor.
The real Grimm stories are not like that.
A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz has got to be one of the most disturbingly charming books in existence. I was in love from the first page – I’m glad the book is fairly short because once I started I couldn’t stop.
This is a children’s book. Sorta. It captures the true spirit of the original Grimm fairy tales – decapitations, mutilations and all. There are also incredibly witty asides at every turn, conversing with older readers and cautioning the younger ones to stop reading. Very entertaining, I couldn’t get enough of any of it.
Oh, and while I’m thinking about it, you should go ahead and rehire that babysitter that came by for the previous story. Make her take the little ones out to a movie this time. A G-rated movie. Or an R-rated movie, for that matter. Whatever it is, it probably won’t be as bad as what you’re about to read. I know, you don’t believe me. “How much worse could things get?” you ask. Believe me. Much worse.
I don’t want you to take my word – or the brief quotes I’m giving you – for it though. You can read the first chapter of A Tale Dark and Grimm here, and I demand you do so at once! It will charm the pants off you, I promise.
I was in awe of the way the book managed to be incredibly creepy and disturbing and still be charming and witty as well. Adam Gidwitz manages to keep a lot of balls successfully juggling in the air, and I was suitably impressed.
I don’t know what else to say without going into more detail – which I absolutely refuse to do! This is a book meant to entertain, the less you know before starting the better.
Pick it up and fall into a fantastically original world! Whether you’re an adult that wants to be entertained or a child that wants to be frightened – this is definitely a book for everyone.