Grumbles from the Forest features poems by Jane Yolen and Rebecca Kai Dotlich, with lovely illustrations by Matt Mahurin.
Fairy tales and poetry, a perfect mix. Yolen and Dotlich give voice to the many inhabitants of fairy tales: prince or princess, fairy or witch, the gentle, the jealous, the greedy, to the major characters and to the minor characters whose opinions we rarely consider.
As an example, the following two are from the tale of Sleeping Beauty; the first the lament of the wicked fairy, the second the (ahem) omniscient voice of reason:
Words of the Wicked Fairy
My fun is through.
What's a wicked fairy to do?
I blame myself.
This didn't go well.
I should have given her
a runny nose,
that page on TIPS.
All because of a stupid kiss.
-Rebecca Kai Dotlich
Wake up, princess, time to rise.
Open up your dreamy eyes.
Never mind the prince or kiss.
By no means were you raised for this.
Take the plot back from the witch.
Kick her spindle in the ditch!
I liked that there were so many different voices imagined to tell the tales from unique points of view, but the quality of the poems varies. Some of these poems are very good; some are less so; all of the illustrations are beautiful.
While I wasn't as delighted with all of the poems as I'd hoped to be, I'll hold final judgement until after the grands give an opinion. I'm not sure that the book quite knows its target audience.
Another one for the Once Upon a Time Challenge.
Fairy Tale/Poetry. 2013. 40 pages.