Parents' Guide to

Into the Woods

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Overlong, partly successful fairy-tale mash-up.

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Kids say (2 ):

The Rowling curse strikes again. If author Lyn Gardner had followed the example of Lemony Snicket (whose tightly constructed little books are a clear influence) instead of J. K. Rowling (who virtually invented the fat children's fantasy) this book would have been far better. Buried in its over 400 pages is a fun 200-page fairy-tale melodrama; it's really Snicket crossed with Stephen Sondheim (whose musical play is referenced with more than just the title).

Kids with patience will find an intermittently exciting mash-up of fairy tales. One of the real pleasures of the book is finding all the references. There are also some plot surprises, interestingly flawed characters, and a twisty ethical dilemma to discuss. It's a pleasant yet plodding first effort.

Book Details

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