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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
What is your all-time favorite fairy tale? I think mine is Beauty and the Beast. What if the Beauty in the story really is the beast? Twist the original tale around and re-tell it and you can create another version of what it means to find true love, for the real beauty lies deep within. And then there’s The Little Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe. As a child, I always thought it funny that someone would live in a shoe with so many children, too. But what if it were really a child who lived in the shoe and there was a giant who comes calling and kidnaps her father? Oh! What a twisted tale that would be!
Bernice Seward’s book, The Girl Who Lived in a Shoe and Other Torn-Up Tales, is an entertaining collection of twisted and mixed-up fairy tales written by various authors. Each one is cleverly constructed (or perhaps I should say re-constructed) in the classic form of a good, wholesome fairy tale. There is a moral or lesson for each tale, and there’s a compelling plot that leads the reader anxiously to the climax where the moral or lesson unravels and is revealed. As well as the re-told Beauty and the Beast and The Little Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe, there’s a twisted and re-told tale of The Three Billy Goats Gruff, Rip Van Winkle, The Boy Who Cried Wolf (I love how this is twisted around), and other pieces of various classic fairy tales interwoven within each twisted tale. Brilliant! Loved it!