Ask Rapunzel: Good-for-nothing critters


Cursed, hexed, or just plain vexed? Ask Rapunzel! She can untangle any fairy-tale dilemma.   I live in an enchanted forest, as many of us do, and was brought up to believe that keeping house would be a breeze! But I can’t get the woodland creatures around my cottage to pitch in and help! They […]

Review of Far Far Away

far far away

Far Far Away by Tom McNeal Middle School, High School     Knopf     373 pp. 6/13     978-0-375-84972-5     $17.99 Library ed. 978-0-375-94972-2     $20.99     g e-book ed. 978-0-375-89698-9     $10.99 Sprightly, assured, and original, this story blends a small-town, middle-American, twentieth-century setting with the learned realms of the Brothers Grimm and their […]

Ask Rapunzel: Family matters


Feel like you’ve been sleeping on a bowling ball? Mother-in-law a real witch? Broke as beans (magic or otherwise)? Ask Rapunzel! She can untangle any fairy-tale dilemma.   My family still treats me like the “simpleton” even though I married the princess and am currently their king and liege lord. The family reunion is coming […]

Guest column: Ask Rapunzel


This week Out of the Box welcomes smart and sassy guest columnist Rapunzel. Feel like you’ve been sleeping on a bowling ball? Mother-in-law a real witch? Broke as beans (magic or otherwise)? Ask Rapunzel! She can untangle any fairy-tale dilemma.   My stepchildren are driving me crazy! All day long it’s, “We’ve cleaned out the […]

Little Red Riding Hood app review

little red riding hood menu

All signs point to happily-ever-after in this interactive picture book app of the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood (Nosy Crow, April 2013). Vibrant, cheery colors set a lighthearted tone for wide-eyed and well-freckled Red’s familiar adventure through the woods to Grandma’s house. Unlike other, more gruesome renditions which often include an ax-wielding woodsman, […]

My Epic Fairy Tale Fail

my epic fairy tale fail

Once upon a time — last Friday, March 1st, to be exact — my friend and former writing professor Anna Staniszewski released My Epic Fairy Tale Fail (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, March 2013), sequel to her debut novel My Very UnFairy Tale Life. Returning with her deliciously droll wit and a brand new mission for her now-thirteen-year-old […]

Les Petits Fairytales


Once upon a time, two Henry Holt board books arrived in our office. Cinderella and Snow White (October 2012) are part of the new Les Petits Fairytales series written by Trixie Belle and Melissa Caruso-Scott and illustrated by Oliver Lake. These minimalist texts (with one- or two-word explanations of each image) read like concept books, but […]

Judge Judy


You are about to enter the courtroom of Judge Judy. The cases are real. The creatures are folkloric. The rulings are final. . CASE #10705: EVIL STEPSISTERS v. CINDERELLA Judge Judy: You two stepsisters are suing Cinderella and her prince because your feet were irrevocably damaged after trying on some shoes, correct? Evil Stepsister #1: […]

Once upon a TV screen

once upon a time

I just watched the pilot episode of ABC’s Once Upon a Time, a dark-ish fairy-tale show from Lost’s executive producers. In the first scene, Snow White (played by Ginnifer Goodwin, Margene from Big Love) lays lies in a glass coffin, apparently dead. A kiss from her prince wakes Snow, as we know it will, and […]

Blow the house down!

nosy crow three little pigs menu

Crows normally freak me out — their carrion-eating, raucous-cawing ways give me the willies. But when it comes to kids’ apps, two Crows seem to know what they’re doing. Loud Crow Interactive (producer of the awesome PopOut! The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Sandra Boynton apps) had better make room in the nest for Nosy […]