Duffy, Chris, Editor Fairy Tale Comics
Gr. K–3 128 pp. Roaring Brook/First Second
In this fine companion to Nursery Rhyme Comics, editor Duffy has chosen seventeen tales (“Puss in Boots,” “Rapunzel,” and “Hansel and Gretel,” among others) to be adapted by seventeen illustrators and cartoonists, including Raina Telgemeier, Brett Helquist, Charise Mericle Harper, and Jillian Tamaki. A wide range of tone and artistic styles results in a collection that offers something for everyone.
Subjects: Folktales, Myths, and Legends; Cartoons and comics; Fairy tales
Goldman, Judy Whiskers, Tails & Wings: Animal Folktales from Mexico
Gr. 4–6 58 pp. Charlesbridge
Illustrated by Fabricio VandenBroeck. This collection features traditional animal folktales of five lesser-known groups of Mexico’s indigenous people—the Seri, Tarahumara, Huichol, Triqui, and Tseltal. Each engagingly written tale is followed by informative material on the culture’s history, customs, and traditions. Extensive running glossaries of Spanish words and local expressions are helpful. Vivid folk-art paintings enliven the stories. Websites. Bib., ind.
Subjects: Folktales, Myths, and Legends; Native Americans—North America—Tseltal; Native Americans—North America—Triqui; Folklore—Mexico; Native Americans—North America—Seri; Native Americans—North America—Tarahumara; Native Americans—North America—Huichol; Folklore—Animals
Lee, H. Chuku, Reteller Beauty and the Beast
Gr. K–3 32 pp. HarperCollins/Amistad
Illustrated by Pat Cummings. Giving Cummings’s lushly detailed paintings center stage, Lee simplifies the tale and puts it into Beauty’s first-person voice. While the retelling retains the story’s original details, the pictures portray all of the characters as black, in settings inspired by West Africa. The retelling is crisp, the drafting is skillful, and the compositions are dramatic. Princess-lovers of any color should enjoy it.
Subjects: Folktales, Myths, and Legends; Blacks; Princes and princesses; Fairy tales
McHugh, Maura Twisted Fairy Tales: 20 Classic Stories with a Dark and Dangerous Heart
Middle school, high school 144 pp. Barron’s
Illustrated by Jane Laurie. In this hefty volume of fairy-tale interpretations, McHugh provides good variety, offering (often disturbing) twists on the more familiar tales and including many lesser-known stories. Laurie’s illustrations are atmospheric, haunting, and sometimes downright scary; the design, with watermarked borders, old-fashioned-looking graphic spot art, and inset quotes, is eye-catching (if occasionally distracting). No source information is provided.
Subjects: Folktales, Myths, and Legends; Fairy tales
Munduruku, Daniel Amazonia: Indigenous Tales from Brazil
Gr. 4–6, middle school 95 pp. Groundwood (House of Anansi Press)
Illustrated by Nikolai Popov. An indigenous Amazonian tells a dozen tales from seven different tribes. Munduruku narrates with refreshing economy; though his themes are such universals as maturation and survival, the drama is grounded in the jungle. Humor abounds, along with shapeshifters, forthright deaths, and earthy details. In Popov’s full-bleed gouache and ink art, energetic creatures inhabit luminous settings.
Subjects: Folktales, Myths, and Legends; Amazon River region; Folklore—Brazil
From the May 2014 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book.