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Thursday’s Tale: The Little Mermaid by Metaphrog

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Thursday’s Tale: The Little Mermaid by Metaphrog The Little Mermaid by Metaphrog
Published by Papercutz on April 4, 2017
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Graphic novel, Fairy tale
Pages: 80
Format: eARC
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The Little Mermaid is Hans Christian Andersen's most celebrated tale and is beautifully adapted here as a graphic novel by the Eisner award nominated duo Metaphrog (Sandra Marrs and John Chalmers).

The Little Mermaid lives deep under the ocean and longs to see the world above. When at last she is allowed to rise to the surface at age fifteen, she falls in love with a young prince. In order to become a human and to be with him, she makes a dangerous pact with the Sea Witch.

I’m always a little worried about re-workings of The Little Mermaid. So many of us have seen the Disney version and expect the happy ending for the prince and the mermaid. Metaphrog isn’t giving us a happy ending, they are sticking closer to the original by Hans Christian Andersen.

Our Little Mermaid does fall in love with a human prince and does make a deal with a witch, but the witch is not scary. The Witch is helping and warning our mermaid, but the mermaid still wants to have legs and the witch obliges at the cost of the mermaid’s voice. The mermaid does get to live in the prince’s palace, but the prince marries someone else. In the end, the little mermaid jumps into the sea, dissolves into foam and will live forever in the water. It’s a sad story really.

Metaphrog does cut out the more religious aspects of the original, which should make it appeal to a larger audience. The concept of souls that was so important in the original is left out here.

I loved the illustrations. They are gorgeous and full of detail. The underwater scenes are in shades of blue and green while the land scenes are warm oranges and reds. The mermaid’s feelings can be seen in her expressions. I found the panels easy to follow, which is not always the case, probably because I don’t read many graphic novels/comics.

I think this would be a good book to read with kids, but only if they are going to be okay with a the ending not being the happy wedding. My daughter would have been; I don’t know that my niece would enjoy it. It is beautiful though.

This spread is from early in the story, when the Little Mermaid is dreaming of the time she’ll be old enough to see what’s above the water.

Thursday’s Tales is a weekly event here at Carol’s Notebook. Fairy tales, folktales, tall tales, even re-tellings, I love them all. Feel free to join in.

About Metaphrog

Metaphrog are Franco-Scottish duo Sandra Marrs and John Chalmers, award-winning graphic novelists.

Their Louis series has received several prestigious award nominations including three for the Eisner Awards (the Oscars of comics), and critical acclaim worldwide.

They tirelessly promote the medium of comics and their own work, travelling to deliver talks and workshops, They are Patrons of Reading at Northfield Academy from 2013 until 2017, the first graphic novelists to fill such a role, and were Writers in Residence at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in 2015.

They are winners of The Sunday Herald Scottish Culture Awards 2016 for Best Visual Artist.

Thursday’s Tale: Grimm’s Fairy Tales

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Today I wanted to spotlight an audiobook coming out next week. As you know, I love the Grimms’ tales and this looks like a fabulous collection.

Thursday’s Tale: Grimm’s Fairy Tales Grimm's Fairy Tales by Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm
Published by Listening Library on May 10th 2016
Genres: Fairy tale
Format: Audiobook
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The Brothers Grimm collected the original fairy tales that Americans are most familiar with today. Lyrically translated and beautifully narrated by an all-star cast, these 21 tales are selected from "The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales" and presented just as Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm originally set them down: bold, primal, just frightening enough, and endlessly engaging.

Stories include:
Rapunzel, read by Katherine Kellgren
Cinderella, read by January LaVoy
Little Red-Cap, read by Simon Vance
Little Briar-Rose, read by Grover Gardner
Little Snow-White, read by Kate Rudd
Rumpelstiltskin, read by Jim Dale
The Shoes That Were Danced to Pieces, read by Alfred Molina
A Riddling Tale, read by Janis Ian
The Twelve Brothers, read by Graeme Malcolm
The White Snake, read by Scott Brick
The Elves, read by Bahni Turpin
The Six Swans, read by Davina Porter
The Twelve Huntsmen, read by Dion Graham
The Goose-Girl, read by Edoardo Ballerini
Sweet Porridge, read by Jayne Entwistle
The Golden Goose, read by Luke Daniels
Eve’s Various Children, read by Roy Dotrice
Snow-White and Rose-Red, read by Julia Whelan
The Frog-King, or Iron Henry, read by Kirby Heyborne
The Sea-Hare, read by Mark Bramhall
Hansel and Gretel, read by Robin Miles

I’ll have to pick this one up next week when it comes out. Just look at that list of stories and the all-star narrators. I can’t imagine it being anything less than wonderful. I think I’ve read most of the stories, but I have to imagine hearing them told will enhance them for me. There are also a couple that I don’t think I’ve gotten around to yet.

It’s suggested age is 10 and up and if it’s true that theses are the earlier versions of the tales, they can be a bit bloody and less happy than the stories we are used to.

Maybe I should just go ahead and pre-order it.

Thursday’s Tales is a weekly event here at Carol’s Notebook. Fairy tales, folktales, tall tales, even re-tellings, I love them all. Feel free to join in.

Thursday’s Tale: The Sleeper and the Spindle

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Today I’ve got a fairy tale re-telling to share. It is a gorgeous book, by the way, perfect for any of the fairy tale lovers on your gift list for Christmas.

Thursday’s Tale: The Sleeper and the Spindle The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman
Illustrator: [translator]
Published by HarperCollins on September 22nd 2015
Source: Gift
Genres: Fairy tale
Pages: 69
Format: Hardcover
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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.

This is a short story and feels like the fairy tale it is. The characters are all nameless, but we know the Queen is Snow White after the kiss from the prince. There are three (magic number) dwarves, a quest, magic, but I like the female twist. The one prince in the story is conspicuously absent, although the dwarves are loyal and trustworthy and brave.

The Queen learns about the sleeping princess and that the curse if spreading, so she heads out to deal with it. She puts on her armor takes her sword and tells her prince they’ll have to postpone the wedding. Doesn’t take him with her, you notice; she’s a little ambivalent about getting married. It’s a darker twist on the traditional tale and there’s a bit of a twist at the end. The end is not quite happy though, at least not in the typical fairy tale way.

Snow White is just awesome here. And the illustrations are gorgeous and intricate, black and white with touches of gold, definitely one to keep on my “favorites” shelf.

I wouldn’t pick this one up for little kids who love Disney princesses, but I think middle school kids (and teens and definitely adults) will enjoy it. There’s only a little violence and while there is a kiss, it’s not sexual- it’s part of the job.

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Thursday’s Tales is a weekly event here at Carol’s Notebook. Fairy tales, folktales, tall tales, even re-tellings, I love them all. Feel free to join in.

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