Monday, June 1, 2009

BEA, part II

Fairy tales! Timeless themes retold and rewoven to meet our current needs--the pulse of our common humanity.

Little, Brown (Hachette) is bringing out Malinda Lo's debut novel, Ash, a lesbian retelling of Cinderella. "'I have a favorite tale,' Kaisa said, and she did not seem to think it was anything to be embarrassed about. 'Do you wish to hear it?' Once again Ash was surprised, and the paring knife slipped and nicked her finger, leaving behind a thin line of blood. 'Be careful," said Kaisa..." I am putting Ash at the top of my reading list for fall.

Arthur A. Levine Books (Scholastic) gives us Heartsinger by Karlijn Stoffels, translated from the Dutch by Laura Watkinson. "The spare, lyrical fairy tale revolves around Mee, a singer of sorrows, and Mitou, a merrymaker. ... The novel not only chronicles Mee and Mitou's travels, it also threads together the tales of the various characters they heal with their music."

Inner City Fairy Tales publishes its first book, The Three Princesses and the Lud-Dud Tree, by Lee Leavy, with illustrations by Sarah Carlson. Judging from this first effort, Inner City Fairy Tales will do well--I will follow their progress with interest.

Tin House Books offers The Little General and the Giant Snowflake, a seemingly H.C. Andersen-esque adventure by Matthea Harvey with illustrations by Elizabeth Zechel. "Meet a little general who is so fastidious he has different slippers for different days..." Got me right there. Can't wait.

Simply Read Books has some of the most sumptuous books I know. This fall from them we get Dragons Love by Stephen Parlato (breathtaking illustrations, like burnished metals set with gems), and a "unique boxed set of wordless picture books captur[ing] the magic of dreams" entitled Three Little Dreams by Thomas Aquinas Maguire.

New York Review of Books Classics deserves high marks for reissuing classic picture books of Norse myths and trolls by the D'Aulaires. A five-year-old boy bearing my name fell in love with those books, and through them the world of myth and fairytale...I wish the same happy fate on many other young readers today. Thank you NYRB.

Part III of my BEA report on Tuesday.

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