A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
The classic tales have classic messages, including sharing in work and the rewards, thinking for yourself, and standing your ground with bullies.
Positive Role Models
Good role models include Little Red Riding Hood, bringing food to her ill grandmother; Little Red Hen, working patiently to bake bread; and all the people who help to pull the enormous turnip from the earth.
Violence & Scariness
The violence of the original tales is preserved here, and illustrations show some of the dark scenes, including bad wolves being put to death and Big Billy Goat Gruff ramming an evil troll.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this a faithful treatment of classic favorite tales: funny and sometimes instructive, but also dark and even a bit gruesome. Parents who miss the edgy fairy tales of their youth will enjoy this, but those who prefer the stories tamed for young readers will want to steer clear. The illustrations revel in the drama, showing not only the wolf gobbling up Little Red Riding Hood’s grandma, but the hunter lopping off the wolf’s head with an axe. The final scene in the tale of the Three Little Pigs is of a pig watching the limp wolf in a boiling pot over the fire. Some parents might struggle with the story of the musicians of Bremen, who displace a band of robbers from their house.
Is It Any Good?
Let’s be clear: This is nothing like Lucy Cousins’ gentle, popular Maisy books. This daring collection dishes up a treat, but it isn’t to everyone’s tastes. It’s too strong for sensitive kids (and sensitive parents). Families who are disappointed with watered-down revisions, however, will revel in this fun collection. Cousins’ familiar style -- emphatic lines and bold, joyful colors -- are put to wonderful use, infusing the stories with humor.
Some parents will be horrified by images like that of the wolf’s head flying over the head of dancing Little Red Hood and her grandma, but kids will very likely ask to read these again and again.
Vivid, exciting, and funny. Cousins’ familiar style -- emphatic lines and bold, joyful colors -- are put to wonderful use, infusing the stories with humor.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.