Wednesday, September 26, 2012

In a Glass Grimmly

In a Glass Grimmly by Adam Gidwitz
Publication Date: September 27, 2012

Childrens'/Tween, Ages 10+

ARC copy used for review.

Personal Ranking 3.5 out of 5


"Step lively, dear reader...
happily ever after isn't cutting it anymore."
We all know the familiar tale of Jack and Jill and their journey up the hill. We have been told about the Emperor and his new clothes.  But there is so much more to the stories. First the frog, whose name is Frog, loses a leg to a spoiled princess. Then Jill runs away from home and rescues Frog on her way to meet up with Jack. Journey with the trio as they grow beanstalks, escape giants, meet mermaids and outwit goblins, all during a quest to find the Seeing Glass. In a Glass Grimmly weaves together familiar fairy tales with original work to make a new tale that is not for the faint of heart. Enter the fairy tale world with Jack and Jill and Frog, if you dare.

It is rare for me to review children's books, but when this ARC crossed my desk, I just knew that I had too. I am a fan of fractured fairy tales and other ways of looking at the familiar in a new way or seeing the other side of the story. Of course, the first thing I did was check out the first book, A Tale Dark and Grimm. I loved them both. What is fun about Adam Gidwitz is his narrative of the stories. He has taken traditional stories, and tried to go back to the true tale, all the while weaving together tales that we are familiar with to tell a new cohesive story. In a Glass Grimmly he has intertwined the Frog Prince, the Emperor’s New Clothes and Jack and the Beanstalk; and that is just the beginning. A Tale Dark and Grimm was based on the Brothers Grimm. For In a Glass Grimmly he has branched out to include the works of Hans Christian Anderson, Mother Goose and Christina Rossetti, just to name a few.

Even those these are tales, there is still a great lesson for us all to learn. This time, Jack and Jill are on a quest to find the Seeing Glass. When they run into the three ravens, the ravens try to convince them that they are not confused, but in fact are con-fused. They leave them with three pieces of wisdom. First "when you do what you want, not what you wish," second "when you no longer seek your reflection in other's eyes," and lastly "when you see yourselves face to face," these three lessons will get them what they seek. At first Jack and Jill are even more con-fused and continue on their quest, but then when it is all over they finally figure out what the ravens meant. Only by finally coming to peace with themselves and seeing themselves for who they truly are will they find happiness.

Since In a Glass Grimmly is a companion to A Tale Dark and Grimm, it doesn't matter in what order you read them. But read them both. Meet Jack & Jill and Hansel & Gretel. Gidwitz is a wonderful storyteller, who often made me laugh  even when talking us to Hell with the devil himself. I can only anticipate what story Gidwitz will tell us next.

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