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Grumbles from the Forest
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Fairy tales have been fractured, reimagined, told, and retold. Here, Yolen and Dotlich get into the heads of the characters and put their thoughts in verse. Hansel and Gretel, Red Riding Hood, and the Gingerbread Boy are all here. But sometimes it's not the character you'd expect who makes an appearance. The giant's wife explains how fond she is of Jack. The four principals from Rumpelstiltskin—the miller, his daughter, the king, and the little man—argue about which one of them has lied. There are poems, haiku, and even a letter from Goldilocks informing the owner of the cottage how bears broke in, causing havoc. Most are quite delightful, a few thought-provoking, including the anniversary note from Beauty after a decades-long marriage to the Beast. Oversize paintings fill the pages. Mottled backgrounds, often dark, sometimes even foreboding, showcase witches, trolls, heroes, and heroines in startling new ways. In one, Snow White's head protrudes from a mirror. An introduction urges readers to use this book as a starting point for their own writing, while an afterword introduces the original stories. Grades 4-6. --Ilene Cooper

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About the Author

Jane Yolen has received numerous awards for her writing, including the Golden Kite Award, two Christopher Medals, and both the Kerlan Award from the University of Minnesota and the Regina Medal for her body of work. She has four other books scheduled for Spring 2013: a middle grade novel, a graphic novel, a nonfiction picture book, and a poetry book for the very young. She lives in Hatfield, Massachusetts, and St. Andrews, Scotland. Rebecca Kai Dotlich is the author of more than a dozen poetry and picture books, including When Riddles Come Rumbling and Lemonade Sun. She gives presentations and poetry workshops to students, teachers, librarians, and writers across the country. She lives near Indianapolis, Indiana. Matt Mahurin is the illustrator of My Beautiful Child by Lisa Desimini. He is also a photographer, whose work is in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and a filmmaker, who has made over 100 music videos and three feature films. He lives in Northport, NY.

Reviews

"Yolen and Dotlich refashion 15 classic fairy tales into incisive poems told from dual perspectives. . . Mahurin's inky illustrations make theatrical use of dimension, light, and shadow as the characters bound from their expected roles." -- Publishers Weekly

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