Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Two fantastic tales get a timely paperback reprint from David Roberts and Lynn Roberts-Maloney. "Little Red" and "Sleeping Beauty: A Mid Century Fairy Tale" (Pavilion Children's Books)

Wow, we had to dig back into the archives to find our original review of "Little Red" by David Roberts and Lynn Roberts-Maloney. But here it is.

As always it's interesting to revisit books we reviewed when Charlotte was very little to see how much 'grown up' Charlotte likes them now.

David Roberts' "Fantastic Fairy Tales" are wonderful treatments that don't just take a traditional story and polish it up a bit, David tends to pay great attention to a particular era's fashions, fitments and architecture in order to make these stories truly pop.

There's usually a twist or two as well, and in the case of Little Red, Red is a boy.

He lives with his parents who own a rather lovely cafe, and are famous for their food and their tingly ginger beer.

When Red pays his weekly visit to his Grandmother's house to take her some provisions, he's warned to keep an eye out for the nefarious wolf that dwells in the forest.

The wolf, however, is extremely cunning - and seizing the opportunity for a double-whammy Red / Grandma snack, the wolf poses as Red by stealing his coat, in order to worm his way into Grandma's house.

You can probably guess the rest. Though no wolves were harmed in the making of this book - though there are plenty of loud ginger-beer-induced belches.

Lynn's stylish retelling is coupled perfectly with David's uber-detailed illustrations (again Charlotte just couldn't get enough of the warped trees with their dark screaming faces, and the knots in the woodwork in Grandma's house with the same little faces on them). Taking its cues from 18th century fashion and surroundings it's a gorgeous book with a dark edge to it (darker than the seam of Grandma's dress in fact!)

"Little Red: A Favourite Tale with a Twist" is out now, published by Pavilion.

Sticking with David and Lynn's brilliant fairy tale reworkings, we also took another look at "Sleeping Beauty: A Mid Century Fairy Tale"...

This time the action veers between the 1950s and glorious future-retro cues, right into the far flung future as a little girl is born, and an evil witch swears her revenge for not being invited to the Christening.

The girl's godmothers swear to protect Annabel as the witch's curse (in the form of a finger-prick from a gorgeous old Dansette Record Player - the sort of thing hipsters today would give their right kidney for) takes hold and she sleeps for a thousand years. In the far-flung future another little girl, Zoe, reads the legend of Sleeping Beauty and feels that there's a grain or two of truth to it.

She sets out to rescue Annabel - but will she be too late?

Again, a gorgeously reworked version of a well-loved classic and again David's artwork is as good as it gets. You can find our original review of "Sleeping Beauty" here (unsurprisingly it was a Book of the Week!)

"Sleeping Beauty: A Mid Century Fairy Tale" is out now, published by Pavilion.