This review of A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz will be brief, as this is a MG/YYA book. My 12 year old read this a few years back and has hounded me to read it ever since, but since she borrowed the first book from her Language Arts teacher, I just never really rushed around to do it. Enter Spring Break and the best babysitter that ever was – the babysitter who takes my kid to the library. They decided now was a good time to read the book, so they reserved it for me and well, here we are.
Gidwitz has taken the tale of Hansel and Gretel (the original, dark version by Grimm) and has interjected his own narration and humor into the story. This is not the Hansel and Gretel I grew up knowing. This H&G is dark and twisted, much the way Grimm intended. Gidwitz periodically interrupts the tale to warn children to leave the room, or to tell the audience that things are going to get worst. It is funny and charming, and led to two more books in the series. My child – not a big reader – LOVES this series, and I can see why. Is it my favorite younger read? Probably not. But it is a great book for children right on the cusp – it could definitely make readers out of kids who are not. It does get quite bloody and gruesome at turns – so much so that I thought “YUCK!” a few different times, but other than that, it’s “clean.” (And it’s no bloodier than CSI or some of these other detective shows that our kids inadvertently end up watching).
Good book and the author is great! My daughter emailed him a few times back when she read the first one, and he (or his people) responded. Of course, that made her day! Definitely some great PR skills in the Gidwitz camp. I will read the next two – not immediately but I will read them. Check it out!