Monday, June 30, 2008

Mom, Missouri, TARN, and Kushner

Got a new review for Out of the Wild today:

"Even better than the first book!" -- my mom

(When I told her I was going to quote her on my blog, she added, "Tolstoy had better watch out! Or maybe say that I said Tolkien...")

My mom was here visiting this past week (which is why I've been absent from the online world), and as you may have guessed from the above, while she was here, she read Out of the Wild. Rather nerve-wracking when you
know that someone you love is reading something you wrote. I had to force myself not to perch on the edge of the couch and watch her facial expressions.

But she liked it. (Phew!) And I knew she liked it fairly early on because as she was reading, she skipped to the end. You see, my mom has this habit of reading the endings of books before she's read the middle. But she only does it with books that she likes. Kind of like Harry in "When Harry Met Sally" but her reason is slightly different from his: she says that if she likes a book, she has to read the ending early so that she'll be able to put the book down. Otherwise, she'll read straight through without stopping to eat, drink, or be merry. (Okay, she didn't actually say "be merry." I'm paraphrasing here.) So wh
en I saw her flip through the pages to read the end of Out of the Wild, I took that as the highest compliment.

I've been teasing her about her read-the-end-first habit for years, but now that I know why she does it, I think I have to stop teasing her about it. I really shouldn't throw stones at other people's reading habits anyway. I'm a major skim-reader. I often skim so fast that I completely miss major parts of the action and then have to backtrack a couple pages to figure out who died. But it has the upside that if I reread a book, it's practically new to me because I'm seeing all sorts of sentences that I missed the first time around. :)

Anyway, I am a bit behind on my trip reports...

Trip Report: Springfield Green County Library

This was the first author visit I've done where I didn't have to leave my desk. Last Thursday, I talked on the phone with a group at the Springfield Greene County Library in Missouri. The kids all had great questions, and it was so much fun. Definitely up there in my list of Favorite Phone Call

I don't have any photos of the event to show you, for obvious reasons. But if you want, you could click here for a website with photos of bizarre phone booths.

Trip Report: Teen Author Reading Night

On Wednesday, I participated in Teen Author Reading Night (TARN) at the Jefferson Market Branch of the New York Public Library. The other authors reading were John Coy, Susane Colasanti, E. Lockhart, Daphne Grab, a
nd Rachel Vail, and our host was David Levithan. Everyone was awesome, as was the enormous red curtain behind us.

John, Susane, E., David, Me, Daphne, Rachel, and the red curtain

I really love group readings. It's kind of like going to an ice cream store and sampling lots of flavors. And I really liked all the flavors at TARN.

Recent Reads: Kushner

And lastly, I have to tell you about the book I read on the train to and from Teen Author Reading Night: Ellen Kushner's The Privilege of the Sword. It's about a girl whose uncle insists she become a swordswoman instead of debuting to Society and marrying the most eligible man she can find. It's kind of Jane Austen meets Tamora Pierce, and it was totally absorbing. Definitely the sort of book where my mom would have read the ending first.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Book Launch at Worcester Barnes & Noble

Trip Report: Worcester Barnes & Noble

Out of the Wild has been released into the wild! (Bad puns intended. Sorry. I can't help myself.)

Last weekend, I drove up to Massachusetts for the book launch event for Out of the Wild at the Worcester Barnes & Noble. I had such a fabulous time! Old friends, new friends, total strangers, lots of kids, and
of course... cake!

Yes, after I talked and read, we ate Julie.

Vanilla cake with buttercream icing and raspberry filling. Yum.

You want to hear something disgusting that I probably shouldn't admit in public? When we brought the leftover cake home, we had to throw away the cake from the book launch for Into the Wild in order to fit it in our basement fridge. Not freezer. Fridge. We had year-old cake in our refrigerator. For months, we've been saying that we must throw it out. But we wer
e afraid that if we removed it from the numbing chill of the fridge, it would scurry across the floor, scare the cat, and disappear into the walls to haunt us forever... We didn't dare open the cake box as we scooted it out of the fridge and into a trash bag. It landed in the bag with a very solid thunk. Apparently, after a year, cake petrifies into stone.

Now there is lovely new leftover cake in its place, and I promise that I will not let this one sit there long enough to either petrify or grow tentacles and a personality.

Anyway, thank you to everyone who came to my
book launch! You all made the day really special for me. Sending you many hugs.

Upcoming Event: Teen Author Reading Night

This Wednesday, I will be participating in Teen Author Reading Night at the Jefferson Market Branch of the New York Public Library. I'll be reading from Out of the Wild alongside the following fabulous authors: Susane Colasanti (Take Me There), John Coy (Box Out), Daphne Grab (Alive and Well in Prague, New York), E. Lockhart and Sarah Mlynowski (How to Be Bad), Randi Reisfeld (Rehab), and Rachel Vail (Lucky). Here are the details:

June 25th (Wednesday) from 6-7:30pm
Teen Author Reading Night
New York Public Library, Jefferson Market Branch
425 6th Ave (at 10th St), New York, NY

If you're in NYC this Wednesday, I hope to see you there!

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Wild Returns!

Book Birthday

Out of the Wild is now out in the wild!!! YAY!!!!

Today is the publication date for Out of the Wild. And I am so, so, so excited. We're talking more excited than a kindergartener in a vat of chocolate ice cream. More excited than a kangaroo on a pogo stick. More excited than a monkey who escaped the zoo in a banana truck. I really love this bo
ok. I had a lot of fun writing it and am so thrilled that it's now out there in the big, wide world.

Out of the Wild is the sequel to Into the Wild. The two books are fantasy adventures about fairy-tale characters who escaped the fairy tale and what happens when the fairy tale (the Wild) wants its characters back. In Out of the Wild, Julie (Rapunzel's daughter) reunites with her long-lost father (the Prince) for a magical road trip across America. There's a flying bath mat, a kidnapped princess, a fire-breathing dragon, and several thou
sand magic beanstalks. And of course, the Wild is back. And it's still hungry...

You can read more about it on my website, including a sneak peek at the first chapter, and if you're interested, the book can be purchased at your local bookstore, and online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Powell's, Booksense, or any other online book retailer.

Book Launch Celebration

If you're in the Worcester, MA area this Saturday, please
join me in celebrating the release of Out of the Wild! I'll be talking, reading, and signing at the Worcester Barnes & Noble at 2pm. Also, we will be serving cake decorated with the cover art from Out of the Wild! Very yummy cake! Here are the details:

June 21st (Saturday) at 2pm
Barnes & Noble Worcester
Book Launch Event! With cake!!!

Lincoln Plaza, 541 D Lincoln Street, Worcester, MA

Hope to see you there!

Julie in the News

Just this week, Julie and I made the news in central Massachusetts. Check out this lovely article in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette!

I am totally doing the Snoopy Dance of Joy.

Back-to-the-Future Box

And I just wanted to share with you one other Snoopy Dan
ce of Joy moment: my Back-to-the-Future box arrived this week!

A bit of explanation... At the end of the movie "Back to the Future", Marty returns to 1985 and learns that his father has realized his life-long dream of becoming a writer. He watches his dad receive a box full of author copies of his published novel. I always loved that scene, and I dreamed of my ow
n Back-to-the-Future box.

Last year, when my author copies of Into the Wild arrived, that dream came true. This week, it came true again when I received my author copies of Out of the Wild and the paperback of Into the Wild. Here's a photo of my beautiful Back-to-the-Future boxes:


Happy Book-Birthday, Out of the Wild! And thank you all for letting me share with you my joy and excitement on this occasion.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Obscure Fairy Tale: Mother Holle

Today's obscure fairy tale is Mother Holle.

I think it's kind of funny (funny-peculiar, not funny ha-ha) that this is an obscure tale. It has so many of the quintessential-fairy-tale elements. It's nearly identical to the Russian tale Grandfather Frost, and it shares a lot in common with tales like The Two Daughters, The Fairies, and The Twelve Months.

Mother Holle (from the Brothers Grimm)

Once upon a time... there are two sisters, one lazy and ugly and the other one industrious and beautiful.

I love fairy tales, but I think that the idea of "beautiful = good" is one of the most insidiously damaging messages in fairy tales, even worse than "if you dress your rodents in cute little outfits and believe they sing in lisping English for your amusement, you'll marry a prince instead of being hauled off to the loony bin."

Their mother coddles the lazy one (her daughter) and overworks the industrious one (her stepdaughter). As part of her daily chores, the stepdaughter is forced to spin until her fingers bleed.


One day, she bleeds so much that when she tries to rinse the reel in a well, it slips out of her fingers and falls to the bottom.

As I said: ewww. Also, what's a reel? I'm thinking it's spinning equipment. I'm also thinking that if I were in a fairy tale and had to sew my own clothes, I'd end up in a burlap sack. I can barely sew on a button.

Her stepmother tells her that she must fetch it back. She jumps into the well, hits the bottom, and loses consciousness.

Um, hello? Ladder? Rope?

When she wakes, she discovers she's next to an oven. Inside the oven, baking bread cries to her, "Take me out, or I'll burn!" She removes the bread.

Why isn't she disturbed by the talking bread? I'd be disturbed. I mean, what would happen if you ate talking bread? Would it scream as you bit into it? Not to disgress or anything, but when I was little, my brother used to moo whenever I bit into a hamburger...

Next, she finds an apple tree overloaded with apples. "Shake me," the tree cries. "My apples are ripe!" So she shakes the tree and gathers the apples.

...and any time we ate lobsters, my brother would turn them all toward me so that they were all staring at me while I ate.

Then the stepdaughter finds a cottage with a woman (Mother Holle) whose teeth are so enormous that the girl is frightened.

How huge would someone's teeth have to be to be frightening? I'm just sayin'.

Mother Holle tells her not to be scared. If she stays and does housework, all will be well. But she must take special care to always fluff the bed. So the girl stays and does the housework, taking special care to fluff the bed, though it's made of snow and is so cold that her hands whiten and freeze.

Might I suggest some gloves?

She heals the girl's hands and treats her more kindly than she's treated in her own home. Eventually, the stepdaughter feels homesick and asks to return home.

Um, why? Does she miss the whole fingers-bleeding thing? Or is that balanced out by the fingers-freezing thing? What's up with this story's obsession with unhappy hands?

Mother Holle thanks the stepdaughter for her hard work and escorts her through the door. As she passes through the door, a shower of gold pours over her and sticks to her.

That's a reward? Molten gold poured over you? Ouch. And even if it wasn't hot (which it would have to be to be pourable), it would get all stuck in your hair, drip in your ears... You'd be sneezing out gold snot for days.

When the stepdaughter reaches home, the rooster crows, "Cock-a-doodle-doo, my golden maiden, what's new with you?"

They have a talking rooster? And no one thought to mention this earlier? Is this, like, a reject rooster from some other fairy tale who lost the important part because he made lousy rhymes? (FYI, I'm quoting the rooster verbatim from my copy of Grimm's.)

The girl is welcomed home enthusiastically.

How do they get the gold off? I presume it's stuck to her since she transported it home attached to her. It'll hurt like the worst Band-Aid ever when they rip that gold off her...

The mother wants her own daughter to have such wealth so she instructs her to bloody herself with the reel, throw it down, and jump after it, which the girl does.

I bet she's wondering why her sister didn't use a ladder too.

At the bottom, she finds an oven. The bread cries, "Take me out, or I'll burn!" The girl replies, "Take yourself out! I don't want to get dirty."

Maybe the talking bread is the next step in the evolution of bread mold... I suddenly have the urge to clean out my kitchen...

Next, she finds an apple tree. "Shake me," the tree cries. "No way," the girl says, "I'm not shaking those heavy branches."

I'm not as bothered by talking trees. Perhaps I've seen enough talking trees in other stories. You just don't run across talking food all that often, except in commercials -- and really, those never made much sense to me. Why would talking food want to encourage eating? Shouldn't the talking cereal have some self-preservation instinct?

Then she finds Mother Holle. On the first day, she tries to work hard, but by the second day, she begins to laze about. She refuses to touch the snow bed, and Mother Holle has to cook and clean for her instead.

Really don't blame her for avoiding the snow-bed thing.

Soon, Mother Holle dismisses the lazy girl and sends her home through the door. But instead of gold, a shower of pitch pours on her.

Yikes, pitch! Isn't that a little harsh? So the girl didn't make a bed or two... is that really a tar-and-feather kind of offense? Really?

When the lazy girl reaches home, the rooster crows, "Cock-a-doodle-doo, my dirty girl, what's new with you?"

Talk about insult to injury. Mocked by a rooster. If he's not careful, Mr. Chatty Fowl is going to be renamed "dinner"... unless of course these folks have my issues with talking food...

The pitch sticks to the lazy girl for the rest of her life.

And the moral is: Don't seek employment from women who live at the bottom of wells.

For more obscure fairy tales (with commentary), check out the Obscure Fairy Tales page of my website, where I've gathered links to all my prior fairy tale posts.

2 days until the Wild returns...

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Books of Wonder and YASD Trip Reports

Books of Wonder

I love thinking about what my ten-year-old self would think of this photograph:

That's me (the one with the curly hair) next to Gail Carson Levine (Newbery Honor author of Ella Enchanted). We're both signing lots and lots of copies of our newest books at Books of Wonder in NYC.

I think ten-year-old Sarah would have done twenty cartwheels across the store.

Or possibly peed herself in excitement.

I loved Saturday.

Okay, I could have done without the rain on Saturday night. Really, "rain" isn't the right word. It was like the giant from Jack and the Beanstalk had up-ended an enormous bucket over all of New York. It flood
ed out both east-west highways on Long Island. We had to meander through residential streets in Queens to find our way home. But at least we didn't have to float our way home. And at least there was no rain earlier in the day.

Earlier in the day, at noon, I had a reading/signing at Books of Wonder with Gail Carson Levine, Scott Mebus, Claudia Gray, and Diana S. Zimmerman. And it was AWESOME.

Books of Wonder is a fantastic bookstore in Manhattan that specializes in children's books. I want to read every single book in that store. And they excel at events. They do every detail right. This was my second time doing an event there, and it's been a fabulous experience both times.

Part of the fabulousness was seeing so many copies of Out of the Wild and Into the Wild. I'd only ever seen a single copy of Out of the Wild before Saturday, so seeing the two books filling a whole shelf... It took all my self-restraint not to hug the bookshelf.

Speaking of self-restraint... for those of you wondering, I didn't steal an event poster off the wall. I actually stole three. Okay, maybe it wasn't technically "stealing." They had a whole stack of flyers at the front counter with a sign that said "please help yourself." So, while I was totally ready to whip out my Mission Impossible moves, they were, alas, not necessary...

Suffolk Librarians

Rewinding a couple days, I want to tell you about last Thursday. On Thursday, I was the guest speaker at a meeting of the Young Adult Services Division (YASD) of the Suffolk County Library Association. I spoke to about two dozen very cool librarians from around Suffolk County (the eastern portion of Long Island).

I was supposed to arrive at 11:00, but I sneaked in a little early to listen to the first part of their meeting. They were discussing summer reading programs. It totally made me want to be either a librarian or a kid at one of their libraries. One library was decorating their room with live butterfly gardens hanging from the ceiling. How cool is that?

Then I did my presentation -- with PowerPoint slides and everything! I think it went well, and everyone was really nice to me, so I had a great time.

4 days until the Wild returns...

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Books of Wonder!!

I love this poster.

I really, really love this poster.

I may have to steal a copy of this poster.

Seriously, larceny is in my future. Cue the Mission Impossible music. I'm goin' in. Who's with me?

As the above poster says, this Saturday at noon, I will be appearing at Books of Wonder with Gail Carson Levine, Scott Mebus, Claudia Gray, and Diana S. Zimmerman. To say that I am excited about this would be an understatement. HUGE understatement. Like unicorns-are-rare kind of understatement.

For one thing, it's at Books of Wonder, which is a fantastic children's bookstore in Manhattan. I want to read every single book in this store. Also, it shares space with a cupcake store. And rumor has it that it also has a secret underground lair filled with first edition signed copies of Harry Potter guarded by ninja-trained cats and a shark-infested moat. The sharks, of course, have laser beams on their heads.

For another, I will be reading from and signing copies of Out of the Wild. This will be the very first time that I get to sign copies of Out of the Wild. (The actual official publication date is June 19th.) I may end up petting them and cooing at them as I sign. They're so BLUE! Pretty, pretty blue!

Lastly, look at that author list! Scott Mebus, Claudia Gray, Diana S. Zimmerman, and GAIL CARSON LEVINE! AHHHH!!! I know that I'm going to totally make an idiot of myself in front of Gail Carson Levine. I love her books. Ella Enchanted. The Two Princesses of Bamarre. The Princess Tales. I am bouncing in my chair as I type this.

If you're going to be in NYC this weekend and would like to see me totally lose my cool next to Gail Carson Levine and/or join me in sneaking past the laser-beam-wearing sharks to claim my beloved poster, here are the event details:

June 14th (Saturday) from 12-2pm
Books of Wonder - Reading/Signing
18 West 18th Street, New York, NY

Hope to see you there!

Ooh, and I almost forgot. Today I had a wonderful bit of coolness: Ms. Editor sent me my very first beautiful blue hardcover smells-like-a-new-book finished copy of Out of the Wild. The package arrived midday, but (showing remarkable self-restraint, if I do say so myself) I waited until my husband came home from work before opening it. He's been with me every step of the way, so I wanted to share the moment with him.

I then proceeded to hug the book for the next hour. :)

8 days until the Wild returns...

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Monday, June 09, 2008

Recent Reads: Hale, Reisman, and Clare

Since friends know I like books (and by "like", I mean, need books like a koala needs eucalyptus leaves), they often ask me what I've read lately. For some reason, this question always makes my mind go totally blank. It's ridiculous. I'll have read three great books that afternoon, but when put on the spot, I'll come up with nothing. I have no idea why. I think it has something to do with all the 80s song lyrics that are clogging my brain... Anyway, in the interest of being able to answer this question on the fly, I thought I'd tell you guys about a few of the books that I recently read and loved. This way, I can just direct people to my blog when I draw a blank. Assuming, of course, that I can remember the URL...

First up is BOOK OF A THOUSAND DAYS by Shannon Hale. Shannon is a master storyteller, and this is my favorite book of hers (at least so far -- I don't know what she's working on next). It's based on a fairy tale called Maid Maleen about a princess who refuses to marry the suitor her father chooses and so her father imprisons her in a tower. Shannon's story is told in diary-format from the point-of-view of the servant who agrees to be imprisoned with the princess. It's a beautiful story with a strong, likeable, sensible heroine who grows through the tale to an ending that made me cheer out loud. I loved every page.

Second is SIMON BLOOM, THE GRAVITY KEEPER by Michael Reisman. I met Michael at a NJ library conference and thought he was awesome. His presentation even included costume changes and juggling. His book is also fun and awesome. It's about a boy who finds a book that allows him to control the laws of physics (for example, eliminating the effects of gravity in his bedroom or lessening friction so he can "skate" over the ground). Many, many super-fun scenes. But one of the things that I think makes this book important is that running beneath every scene is the theme "science is cool." This feeling of joy-in-science makes Gravity Keeper a nice counter-balance to all the dystopian SF out there. It's a perfect read for any kid/preteen who has shown even a smidge of interest in science.

Last but not least is CITY OF ASHES by Cassandra Clare. This is book two in Cassie's Mortal Instruments trilogy. I enjoyed the first book (City of Bones), but I think this book is even better. It's full of magic and kick-butt fight scenes (yay!), and it also has laugh-out-loud clever dialogue. One of my favorite scenes involves a character trying to convince another character to tell his parents that he's become a vampire. She hands him a how-to-come-out-to-your-parents brochure, and he tries it out, substituting in the word "undead." I think it's the humor that I love most about this book. It makes the characters feel real, and it makes the book a whole lot of fun.

Happy reading!

Ooh, and I just realized, today is June 9th, which means there are just ten days left until Out of the Wild comes out!!!!! I'm so excited. Let the countdown begin!

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Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Science of Fairy Tales

If you've ever wondered how Rapunzel's scalp could survive a witch and a prince climbing up her hair, you're not alone. I found these articles online:

Inside Science News Service (American Institute of Physics)

National Geographic

Both agree that if Rapunzel were to wrap her hair around a bedpost and then lower it, she'd survive without losing her scalp because the bedpost would act as the anchor point rather than her skull.

I still think it would kind of hurt, though.

The National Geographic article goes on to point out that it would take a lot of effort for a goose to lay a golden egg rather than the normal soft, pliable egg. "The industrious goose would therefore shoot away from its egg with the same coniderable amount of force required to lay the egg."

I really, really like that image.


Thursday, June 05, 2008

Little Red Riding Hood Loves Cheerios

I find it endlessly fascinating how people use fairy tales in everyday life. From a writing standpoint, I know I'm drawn to them because they're such a powerful tool. They're part of our cultural language, which means you can assume a basic knowledge of the imagery and motifs and then use them to discuss something else.

Like perfume. Or Cheerios.

Check out these TV commercials that use Little Red Riding Hood. I love how the motifs and themes are reinterpreted.

Chanel No. 5



Honey Nut Cheerios


Super Golden Crisp




Snowdrift Shortening

Alarm Hawaii

Anabuki-Chan (the most bizarre commercial of all)

Believe it or not, that last one is for a construction company!

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Not-So-Obscure Fairy Tale: Little Red Riding Hood

Today's fairy tale is Little Red Riding Hood. Tough to get much less obscure than that! While I usually babble about the obscure fairy tales that I came across while doing research for Into the Wild and Out of the Wild, I figured I'd mix things up today and do a famous tale instead...

Little Red Riding Hood (retold in lots of places)

Once upon a time... Mom says to Little Red Riding Hood, "Your grandma is sick. Bring her cookies. Don't leave the path. Don't talk to strangers."

I can't help but think that Mommy-Red could have explained the reason behind her rules. Perhaps something like: "Don't talk to strangers or they'll EAT you."

Little Red says, "Yes, mother," and skips merrily into the forest.

Is this good parenting? Sending one's daughter to skip merrily through a wolf-infested forest? Seems to me a bit like the medieval equivalent of "go play in traffic."

In the forest, a wolf sees Little Red and says, "Yummy." He isn't referring to the cookies. "Little girl," he says. "Where are you going?"

Yes, yes, lots of innuendo here. Move along.

Little Red says, "Grandma's house. Here, I'll show you a map."

Okay, maybe she doesn't have a map, but in some variants, the kid describes all the landmarks en route to Granny's house. Clearly, McGruff the Crime Dog didn't visit her preschool. (Anyone but me remember McGruff? Am I dating myself?)

Wolf thinks, Grannies make nice appetizers. I'll eat her first and then Little Red. Out loud, he says, "Don't you want to pick flowers?"

Why not eat Little Red now and Grandma after and skip all the PJ-wearing? Why does the wolf care so much about the order of his meals? Is he one of those fussy eaters who won't eat his peas if the mashed potatoes are touching them?

"Sure," Little Red says. She leaves the path to pick flowers.

Little Red is weak in the Force.

Wolf runs to Grandma's house, eats Grandma, and then dresses in her clothes.

This is such an odd plan. I mean, he's a wolf, right? Couldn't he just, you know, hide behind the door and pounce? I think he secretly envies Cinderella's mice who get to wear cute little outfits all the time.

Eventually, Little Red arrives at Grandma's house. She sees the wolf in Grandma's clothes and says, "Ah-ha, imposter! Have at thee!" And she draws her sword and...

Fine, fine, that totally doesn't happen in, like, any version of this story. But wouldn't it be awesome if it did?

Little Red says, "My Grandma, your arms are huge."

Isn't this kind of a personal remark? Perhaps in addition to "don't talk to strangers", Mommy-Red should have said, "Don't insult your grandmother's physique."

"All the better to hug you with, my dear."

Really, this is a very polite response to a bratty remark.

"Grandma, your ears are huge."

And hairy.

"All the better to hear you with, my dear."

Sesame Street has the best explanation for Little Red that I've ever seen. Their Little Red Riding Hood simply thinks everyone is Grandma. She greets Elmo with a hug and a cry of "Grandma!"

"Grandma, your eyes are huge."

I suppose you could say that Little Red isn't unobservant -- she just doesn't like to leap to conclusions.

"All the better to see you with, my dear."

Maybe she is trying to be polite and is simply dancing around saying, "Granny, I think you're a wolf."

"Grandma, your teeth are huge."

Or maybe she's just an idiot.

"All the better to eat you with, my dear!"

Does it say bad things about me that I always want to cheer at this line?

And the wolf eats her.


A huntsman conveniently wanders by, hears the wolf smacking his lips, bursts in, and slices open the wolf's belly.

In earlier versions, there's of course no huntsman. We're all supposed to learn to obey our mothers and/or run away very fast when a wolf tries to eat us.

Out pops Grandma and Little Red.

He didn't chew?

Grandma and Little Red sew rocks into the wolf's belly and then drop him into the river where he sinks out of sight.

In most versions, the huntsman just does him in. But I kind of like versions where Grandma and Little Red get even (or at least DO something besides hang out inside the wolf's smelly intestines).

And everyone lives happily ever after.

Except the wolf, of course.

For more fairy tales (with commentary), check out the Obscure Fairy Tales page of my website, where I've gathered links to all my prior fairy tale posts.

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Sunday, June 01, 2008

Kirkus Review for Out of the Wild

Out of the Wild got its first trade review today. Gulp. From Kirkus (one of the big trade journals that does book reviews). Double-gulp. And....... it was good!!! The following made Sarah a very happy Sarah...

From the June 1st issue of Kirkus:

"Having decided that they no longer want to live the same stories over and over again, fairy-tale characters have escaped The Wild (where fairy tales are nurtured) to lead ordinary lives in the real world. In its compressed form, The Wild lives under Julie Marchen's bed in her Massachusetts home, which is only just beginning to recover from its last incursion (Into the Wild, 2007). Julie and her mother, Rapunzel, realize that all is not well when Julie's father, the Prince, emerges, intent on living out his tale in his new environment. An energetic series of events causes the Prince to fulfill his identity repeatedly (he saves a princess, fights a dragon, etc.) and in doing this, he causes The Wild to grow—threatening the entire United States. Julie becomes a hero by making smart choices, developing courage and hanging on to her moral compass. This puzzle-like yarn seamlessly spans time and space, reality and fantasy. Fairy-tale-savvy readers will enjoy the inside jokes and be impressed by the overall intelligence of the writing. (Fantasy. 10-14)"


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