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Monday, 25 October 2010

MG Monday: Review: Into The Woods by Lyn Gardner

Title: Into The Woods
Author: Lyn Gardner
Series: Into The Woods
Publisher: Corgi Childrens (RHCB)
Publication Date: 2nd August 2007

Thanks to Random House Children's Books for the review copy

Synopsis: From Amazon
Taking inspiration from numerous fairy-tales and weaving them into a wholly original story, INTO THE WOODS is a whirlwind of a novel, full of imaginative happenings, dastardly deeds and thrilling adventure. Our guides are sisters three: Storm, Aurora and Anything Eden. Accidentally orphaned and left to fend for themselves in a decaying mansion on the edge of the wilds, they come to the very much unwanted attention of the sinister Dr DeWilde: a scar-faced gentleman with a pied waistcoat and an unhealthy interest in rats. He's after a tiny little musical pipe that Storm has inherited, and he'll stop at nothing to get it. Fleeing into the woods, our courageous and eccentric sisters evade kidnap (almost), resist the temptation of sweet-filled orphanages (nearly!), and begin a treacherous journey across raging rivers, over mountains of ice, through deathly silent ghost towns and beyond the lairs of child-eating ogresses. With ravenously hungry wolves snapping at their heels every step of the way! Featuring wonderful illustrations by award-winning illustrator Mini Grey, INTO THE WOODS is a classic tale with a very modern twist and will delight readers of every generation

Wonderful re-telling of classic fairy-tales all woven together to create a multi-dimensional plot. Really interesting twists making it suitable for slightly older readers. It was so much fun to put all the pieces together and guess the fairytale being depicted. Especially to guess which character is from which tale. To fully appreciate the nuances of the plot I think you need a good knowledge of traditional fairy-tales.

Vivid descriptions with the use of many adjectives in order to create a full picture (plus adding to the vocabulary). Rich and interesting characterisation showing the differences as well as the similarities inherent in siblings. There is an element of the nature versus nurture debate within the narrative comparing the way in which Aurora and Storm's childhood differed and ultimately affected their relationship.

The third person narration guides the reader through the story, helping tie all the threads together. Sometimes the plot seemed a little drawn out which might challenge the attention span of some younger readers.

A brilliant twist at the end of the story showing how important an education is even when it is not appreciated at the time. The touching bond between the sisters had me trying to imagine which one of my girls would suit each of the characters in this book.

The beautiful illustrations reinforced and complimented the storyline perfectly.

On the whole, a deliciously twisted modern take on traditional fairytales.

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