I love fairytales. I have a fairly large collection of books of fairytales. I also have a collection of non-fiction book about fairytales. I like reading books that compare different fairytales, or talk about the psychology behind them. I also enjoy reading through collected folk tales from different parts of the world.
I received a copy of It’s Not About The Crumbs! through LibrayThing’s Early Reviewer Program. This simple childrens’ book uses a linking story to bring together three different takes on the Hansel and Gretel story; all tales of small children who outsmart a witch or an ogre. Three modern day kids have a small adventure of their own while sharing different versions of the same folktale. There is an African version of the tale (Zahra and Binti), a European version (The Children in the Woods) and a Japanese version (The Ogre or The Oni and Three Children).
I do not believe in watering down fairytales. Among other reasons, I think they serve a purpose in helping young minds develop healthy ways to deal with fear. I love that this book didn’t sweeten or clean up the classic tales.
On the other hand I was glad that I picked this up and pre-read it before reading aloud to Rainbow. I think the level of violence in this book would not have been appropriate for my three year old. Then again, she’s not the target audience. With the large easy to read type face and simple pictures I would guess this book is meant for early readers to read on their own.
I love that it’s a book aimed at young children that is comparing different versions of the same tale from around the world. I think it’s a truly kid-friendly approach to multiculturalism.
I didn’t think much of the cover art. I think the cover is doing this book a serious disservice. If I hadn’t received this free copy I would NEVER have picked this up because the cover looks like it’s for a bad kids’ mystery serial.
The interior art is serviceable. I don’t like the modern day pictures in the linking stories. All of the adults look fat and dopey and the kids look a bit goofy as well. In the fairytale portion there are some truly charming pictures. Apparently I don’t mind the same style of art when it is applied to witches, ogres and waifs lost in the woods.
Physically speaking, this book is a small thin paperback. It is 64 pages of very large type which took me under 10 minutes to read from front to back. The binding seems sturdy and the printing quality is good.
The “It’s Not About the…” Wonder Tales Series is coming out in October. Other books in the series include It’s Not About the Hunter! (Little Red Riding Hood), It’s Not About the Rose! (Beauty and the Beast), It’s Not About the Apple! (Snow White), and It’s Not About the Pumpkin! (Cinderella). Cover price is $7.99. Chapters and Amazon both have the series available for pre-order.There is also a similarly themed Spooky Tales Series from the same author which looks worth checking into.