The Barefoot Book of Fairy Tales
written by Malacy Doyle
illustrated by Nicoletta Ceiccoli
Barefoot Books | ISBN 9781841487984
Hardback – 160 pages
Member’s price: $31.50
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Doyle follows his Tales from Old Ireland with a more global anthology that combines ubiquitous European fairy tales ("Hansel and Gretel" "Rumpelstiltskin") with a few choices from other continents, such as "The Magic Ball," from Argentina, and "The Jeweled Sea," from China. Doyle's retellings are swift and lively, and he maintains the original brutality of the stories, such as the parade of beheadings that starts off "The Twelve Dancing Princesses." He also knows the details that will leave kids chortling: "Cut my toenails!" is among the commands made by Cinderella's bullying stepsisters (referred to as "the lumpy one" and "the dumpy one"). Like Doyle's text, Ceccoli's acrylic-and-pastel artwork stays close to traditional images, while also injecting a modern vibrancy. The expected, lovely scenes of enchanted castles and princesses in ball gowns are shot through with acidic, almost neon contemporary hues. Comprehensive source notes conclude this handsome, energetic, and accessible addition to the crowded fairy-tale shelves.