Far Out Fairy Tales by Louise Simonson is a collective of graphic novels featuring a new spin on old fairy tales Cinderella (Ninja-rella), Red Riding Hood (Red Riding Hood Superhero), Billy Goat Gruff (Super Billy Goats Gruff), Snow White (Snow White and the Seven Robots), and Hansel and Gretel (Hansel and Gretel and Zombies). Each book starts with a cast list noting the names of each character, with picture, and either a title or characteristic about them. Every story is concluded with a brief history of the original story and the variations it took on throughout history. There is also a comparative blurp at the end between the mash-up and the original story.
My particular favorite was Ninja-rella. I love how the reader gets an image of the cast before beginning the story. The graphics in this story were beautiful and told a story all on their own. I love the image of her washing dishes with her hands and mopping the floor with her feet! What a great illustration! The story itself follows the main character through tragedy into hope and sprinkled with a little ninja power and magic! The writing is well done and the images layouts flow nicely.
To get a child’s perspective on the graphic novel, I read it to my daughters. They loved the way the stories were written, noting that each story had a new twist that add a new dimension to the original story. The only story they were divided on was Hansel and Gretel and the Zombies (HGZ). One loved the story and said it was her favorite overall. The other noted the Zombies were a bit too real and relatable, and felt they detracted from the story. The daughter who loved HGZ said her favorite part was that “the Zombies lived happily ever after, because you know, their Zombies and they can’t very well die again, can they!?”
While the illustrations were amazingly realistic and fun, some of the page layouts were a bit dissimulating. Rereading the page helped put the images in order, but having to back tract was a little frustrating. Do to some of the graphics, I recommend this book for ages 9 and up; it may be suitable to younger audiences based on parental guidance. Overall, this Far Out Fairy Tales had great characters, well-illustrated and a was lot of fun! We look forward to reading the other spin-offs that are coming out soon. I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a spin on an old tale. This book is available at your local bookstore or online at Amazon.com.
Check out other mash-ups like Goldilocks and the Three Vampires, Sleeping Beauty, Magic Master, and Jak and the Magic Nano-beans! Available now on Amazon.com!
This review has been cross-posted in Netgalley.