This Week’s Reads: Poems to Live Your Life By: Selected Poems by Chris Riddell – The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley – Fortunately, The Milk by Neil Gaiman #Books #BookBlog #Reads

This week has been slow for me in the reading department as I fell into a reading slump last week. Believe it or not, I had two DNF’s straightaway and then couldn’t figure out what to move on with next. Here’s what I’m reading now.

Poems to Live Your Life By by Chris Riddell

Blurb:

In Poems to Live Your Life By, Chris Riddell, political cartoonist for the Observer, has selected his very favourite classic and modern poems about life, death and everything in between.

This gorgeously illustrated collection includes forty-six poems and is divided into sections covering: musings, youth, family, love, imaginings, nature, war and endings. Chris Riddell brings them to life with his exquisite, intricate artwork in this beautiful anthology.

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Book Review: The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell #BookReview #RetellingsReadingChallenge #FairyTale

The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell (illustrator)

Blurb:

A thrillingly reimagined fairy tale from the truly magical combination of author Neil Gaiman and illustrator Chris Riddell – weaving together a sort-of Snow White and an almost Sleeping Beauty with a thread of dark magic, which will hold readers spellbound from start to finish.

On the eve of her wedding, a young queen sets out to rescue a princess from an enchantment. She casts aside her fine wedding clothes, takes her chain mail and her sword and follows her brave dwarf retainers into the tunnels under the mountain towards the sleeping kingdom. This queen will decide her own future – and the princess who needs rescuing is not quite what she seems. Twisting together the familiar and the new, this perfectly delicious, captivating and darkly funny tale shows its creators at the peak of their talents.

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Hansel & Gretel by Neil Gaiman and other Versions…

Hansel and Gretel was originally published in 1812 by the Grimm brothers. It’s a story of German origin. Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm heard the tale “Hansel and Gretel” from Wilhelm’s friend at the time, Dortchen Wild. Wilhelm later married her and she became Mrs. Grimm.

It’s possible that this fairy tale originated in medieval times when the Great Famine caused people to abandon children in the woods due to lack of food.

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Arthur Rackham’s illustration of Hansel & Gretel from 1909.


Hansel and Gretel is one of my personal favorite fairy tales from childhood. I was so fascinated with the story as a child. I used to have a copy of the Disney book that contained a record I could listen to on my record player. I can still remember sitting in my room and reading along with the story. This version is from Disney and came out in 1967.

Here’s a picture of the one I had a child.

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Here’s my review for this edition:

This is a little book and record that I must have listened to a thousand times when I was little. I can remember listening to this on my little record player repeatedly. Side one of the record is the story and side two contains three songs from the opera Hansel and Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck.

I love the illustrations in this version and I’m amazed how clear the record sounds. As soon as it started playing it evoked nostalgia within me. I recently purchased it for my collection for my family to enjoy. It’s perfect for children to follow and it does have the page turn signal.

If you’re a Hansel and Gretel fan, pick this up online. There are a handful of other stories you can get to go with the series as well. You won’t be disappointed.

5*****

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Book Review: Snow, Glass, Apples by Neil Gaiman and Colleen Doran #BookReview #Retelling #2019ReadingChallenge #Fairytale

Snow, Glass, Apples

By Neil Gaiman

and Colleen Doran (Illustrator)

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My thoughts:

-Mild spoilers-

This Snow White retelling is totally reimagined and nothing like the original. In Neil Gaiman’s adaptation, Snow White isn’t the little innocent sweetheart we all know, but rather some type of blood-sucking monster. In addition, this retelling is told from the not-so-evil queen’s point of view…

“If it were today, I would have her heart cut out, true. But then I would have her head and arms and legs cut off. I would have them disembowel her. And then I would watch, in the town square, as the hangman heated the fire to white-heat with bellows, watch unblinking as he consigned each part of her to the fire. I would have archers around the square, who would shoot any bird or animal who came close to the flames, any raven or dog or hawk or rat. And I would not close my eyes until the princess was ash, and a gentle wind could scatter her like snow.

I did not do this thing, and we pay for our mistakes.”

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