It’s no secret that I read to my children all the time… I’m a former teacher who became a librarian, so books and reading are kind of my thing! When I report that my son loved a book or a book series, some people take it with a grain of salt. They say, “But he loves everything!” Well, he kinda does… And that’s OK. For the people out there who haven’t yet convinced their children how awesome books and reading can be, though, THESE BOOKS might be a breakthrough! Not only does Adam Gidwitz trust that many kids can handle the gory old versions of the Grimm fairy tales, but he also understands just how often to give little reassurances and asides [as the narrator] to take the edge off for kids who might get a little nervous about what is going on in the story.
Here are a few things you need to know before reading these books:
1) You don’t necessarily have to read them in order, since each book has different main characters — though you may want to read A Tale Dark and Grimm before The Grimm Conclusion, because the latter references the Hansel and Gretel’s stories in the former.
2) If you plan to read these stories out loud, you may want to establish a separate “narrator” voice, so the listeners can tell when the narrator is interjecting without you having to say so every time. (Especially because it happens A LOT!)
3) These books are HILARIOUS… in a dark and disturbing way. My son has inherited my sick sense of humor, so he and I often found ourselves cracking up so hard that we had to put the book down and just laugh [or risk losing our place]. We were even scolded a few times because my daughter was trying to sleep and we were being too loud! 😉