The stories, while most are less than a paragraph in length, are dark and thought provoking. Younger children can enjoy them at face value, while older children and adults might be left to ponder the deeper messages that have been passed down in various retellings over the centuries. There is a good deal of death in the tales, so while the more adventurous reader might be fine, it could prove to be a bit much for younger readers and listeners.
Shaun Tan’s use of muted backgrounds with flashes of colors provides an interesting contrast and keeps the reader coming back for a second (and third look). The use of mixed media is highly accessible, but more complicated than anything you can interpret from a first glance.
If you enjoy Neil Gaiman stories, fairytale retellings, or art books in any form; this is a perfect book to add to your collection and a refreshing departure from typical fairytale renditions.