a companion to A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz You can find out more about him by clicking on his name.
Where the first book follows Hansel and Gretel through various Grimm fairytales this book follows cousins Jack and Jill through Grimm and Anderson tales , along with rhymes from Mother Goose. Jack and Jill are not happy in their respective homes. Jack longs to be admired and Jill longs for beauty and both are bent on making decisions that will enable them to reach their goals. Off to a rough start, they find themselves working together with the help of a talking, three-legged frog.
After making a deal with a strange baby-faced ancient woman, Jack and Jill set off on a quest that sends them to many different places. They go to the clouds where they meet a murderous group of giants who are outwitted after stunning amounts of vomit. From there they journey to the sea only to find beautifully cruel mermaids and then on to the goblin market where truth is not valued, nor are body parts or life. Lastly they find themselves underground where they befriend an enormous salamander that smells worse than any combination of smells you can imagine – and that is on the outside before they enter his gullet to retrieve a lost treasure.
Irreverently disgusting, this book is full of revolting delights. It is a well written blend of fairy tale telling with a vocal narrator who offers cautions and belated apologies for events that may have scared or offended. Along the way there are other ideas to ponder…
One is the ravens’ distinction between being confused and being con-fused.
“As long as you are con-fused you will never find what you seek. Even though it is right there.”
“There is this weird thing that happens, when you stop worrying so much about what other people think of you. When you are no longer – to use the ravens’ word – con-fused. At that moment, you suddenly start seeing what you think of you.”
You’ll love it from beginning to end. Enjoy!