The Sleeper and the Spindle
Illustrated by Chris Riddell
Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2015
From the dust jacket: “You may think you know this story. There’s a young queen, about to be married. There are some good, brave, hardy dwarfs; a castle, shrouded in thorns; and a princess, cursed by a witch, so rumor has it, to sleep forever.
“But no one is waiting for a noble prince to appear on his trusty steed here. This fairy tale is spun with a thread of dark magic, which twists and turns and glints and shines. A queen might just prove herself a hero, if a princess needs rescuing. . . . .”
This is definitely not your mother’s fairy tale. Combine Sleeping Beauty with Snow White with a little dark magic thrown in and you’ve got this short story. Well written and beautifully illustrated, you adults may want to read it before letting your kittens have a go at it! There’s nothing bad in it (e.g., sex, violence, bad language); it’s just, shall we say, a bit untraditional when it comes to the princess asleep in the tower. And, the ending doesn’t belong in any Disney fairy tale either. But overall a nice tale freshly woven from old stories; and, who says fairy tale princesses need to be freed by a prince?
Rating: 4 of 5 paws for a unconventional new take on two very old and staid stories.