Middle Grade Review: Tales of Fearless Girls: Forgotten Stories from Around the World (Isabel Otter)
About This Book:
This enchanting anthology of 20 forgotten fairy tales features stories of strong girls from different cultures around the world. Includes a story map, background information on the stories, talking points, and an index.
Throughout history, stories were passed down through the oral tradition. And often, the female characters in these stories were viewed as weak, vain, jealous, or just plain boring! This enchanting anthology of 20 forgotten fairy tales features stories of strong girls from different cultures around the world. Every tale features a female heroine who approaches life with humor, wit, cunning, and bravery. The collection includes stories from countries such as Mexico, Scotland, Siberia, Iran, Japan, China, Nigeria, Spain, Italy, Germany, India, and more. Includes a story map, background information on the stories, talking points, and an index.
*Review Contributed by Olivia Farr, Staff Reviewer*
What I loved: The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous, and I loved the way they brought the stories to life. The pages are colored throughout, adding some visual interest to each story, even when pages are text-only. Some of my favorite stories were "The Magic Boxes" and "The Shining Dragons," but they were all intriguing in their own ways. For fans of fairy tales or short stories, there are some that will appeal to everyone. The breadth of countries from which these come is also great. While there are certainly a lot from Europe, the book does include several other countries as well.
What left me wanting more: Some colors were more difficult to read from than others, such as the dark orange background with black print that was a bit tricky for older eyes to read, as a warning for parents planning to read these aloud with their children. Some stories are also a little brutal, such as "Arora and the Giants," where Aurora does not want to marry the giant her adopted mother has chosen for her, selects a man she just met, and then tricks her adopted mother into killing her son to help the man get free. There was not really a good guy in this story (the mother is forcing Aurora into marriage and Aurora tricks her in a brutal way) and might be tough for younger or sensitive readers. Caregivers may use some caution in which stories from the collection they share with children, though these are not out of line with typical fairytales.
Final verdict: A beautifully illustrated collection of stories, TALES OF FEARLESS GIRLS brings stories about courageous women from around the world into this imaginative book
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