Thursday, April 2, 2009
Review of Troll's Eye View: A Book of Villainous Tales by Datlow and Windling
I wrote this review for School Library Journal, April edition. The rest of the grade 5 and up reviews can be found here. Preschool to grade 4 reviews are here.
DATLOW, Ellen & Terri Windling, eds. Troll's-Eye View: A Book of Villainous Tales. 176p. further reading. Viking. Apr. 2009. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-670-06141-9. LC number unavailable.
Gr 5–8—In their third collection for younger readers, Datlow and Windling have solicited original pieces from 15 well-known authors; the focus this time is on the bad guys of the fairy-tale world. Some tell a traditional tale from the villain's point of view, such as Nina Kiriki Hoffman's "Rags and Riches," a version of "The Goose Girl." Others demonstrate that change in perspective puts a whole different slant on fairy tales, as in Garth Nix's Rapunzel-based "An Unwelcome Guest" and Jane Yolen's "Troll," a revisionist look at "Three Billy Goats Gruff." Several poems are included as well; Neil Gaiman's "Observing the Formalities" is priceless and wouldn't be out of place in the New Yorker. Some stories are more successful than others, but almost all are both highly readable and thought-provoking. Many are funny, several are quite scary or creepy, and the final story, Kelly Link's "The Cinderella Game," is subtly yet powerfully chilling. A solid choice, particularly where sophisticated fractured fairy tales are popular.—Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library