Hilary McKay's Fairy Tales
Best known for her contemporary stories, Hilary McKay has taken ten well-known fairy tales and given them a fresh twist by retelling them from a variety of viewpoints, often framing them in unexpected ways. The youthful protagonists of traditional tales are turned into parents and grandparents so if you ever wondered what happened following the ‘happy ever after’ you may find some suggested answers here. These retellings could also inspire children to write their own versions of favourite fairy tales too.
Rumpelstiltskin’s character is seen in a different light in ‘Straw into Gold’. ‘Over the Hills and Far Away’ melds the story of Red Riding Hood with the nursery rhyme ‘Tom, Tom, the Piper’s Son’. Gretel recounts the story of how she and Hansel stumbled upon a witch in the forest and escaped when she writes a composition for her teacher about what she did during the school holidays.
The book is illustrated delicately in black and white by Sarah Gibb who has created many picture book editions of fairy tales. In most of the pictures the figures are presented in silhouette reminiscent of Jan Pieńkowski’s style.
Hilary McKay will be talking about this book at the IBBY UK conference ‘Happily Ever After: the evolution of fairy tales across time and cultures’ which is taking place at CLPE on November 11th. Further information and booking