Brave Red, Smart Frog: A New Book of Old Tales

by Emily Jenkins and Rohan Daniel Eason

In her author’s note, Emily Jenkins explains that her goal was not to reinvent... read more

In her author’s note, Emily Jenkins explains that her goal was not to reinvent the fairy tales in this collection but rather to simply tell them as she wanted to tell them, using her own voice. Stories such as “Snow White,” “Hansel and Gretel,” and “Red Riding Hood” feel familiar but fresh, while lesser known tales have slightly altered details: Perrault’s “Toads and Diamonds” becomes “Toads and Pearls,” the folktale “The Three Sillies” becomes “The Three Great Noodles.” (The amusing term “noodle” appears in each story.) Jenkins’s fairy tales have new, funny dialogue, and many share a setting: a frozen forest, where the animals are hungry and (most) humans dare not venture. The characters are more fleshed out than usual, with feelings and motivations that add a degree of nuance to the marvelously told tales. Jenkins’s graceful prose is complemented by the mildly whimsical (yet appropriately ominous) illustrations on each story’s title page. (Ages 7-10)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2018

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