Thursday, April 23, 2015

Review: Clever Gretchen and Other Forgotten Folktales retold by Alison Lurie

Synopsis: Sleeping beauties? Not Clever Gretchen or Kate Crackernuts or Manka or any of the other young heroines in this wonderful collection of folktales. Active, witty, brave, and resourceful, these girls and young women can fight and hunt, defeat giants, answer riddles, outwit the Devil, and rescue friends and family from all sorts of dangers and evil spells. (from the back of the book)

Review: Written in 1980, this was probably considered unique collection - fairy tales with strong female characters. Thirty-five years later, it's good, but feels a bit bland. With easy to read prose, this would be an easy read for a mid-grade reader. Some of the stories (The Sleeping Prince) feel like a gender-switch Sleeping Beauty, but almost worse, as the princess still goes through a ridiculous amount of danger for a boy. In other stories, the heroine does it to save family (The Black Geese) or her friends (The Hand of Glory) which is nice to read. My favorite story was Mizilca, because she did not get married at the end! Over all, this is an okay collection but nothing special.

Bookmarks: 6 of 10

Awards: None

ISBN: 0-690-03943-3
Date Finished: 4-19-2015
Pages: 113

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