Title: Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses
Author: by Ron Koertge
Release Date: July 10, 2012
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Genre: Young Adult, Fairytale Retelling, Fantasy
Page Count: 87
Once upon a time, there was a strung-out match girl who sold CDs to stoners. Twelve impetuous sisters escaped King Daddy’s clutches to jiggle and cavort and wear out their shoes. A fickle Thumbelina searched for a tiny husband, leaving bodies in her wake. And Little Red Riding Hood confessed that she kind of wanted to know what it’s like to be swallowed whole. From bloodied and blinded stepsisters (they were duped) to a chopped-off finger flying into a heroine’s cleavage, this is fairy tale world turned upside down. Ron Koertge knows what really happened to all those wolves and maidens, ogres and orphans, kings and piglets, and he knows about the Ever After. So come closer
— he wants to whisper in your ear. (summary from goodreads)
I’m big on fairytale retellings, and as soon as I saw the cover for Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses, I knew I had to read it.
The retellings are, as you can tell from the title and cover art, quite dark. But my favorite parts were actually the illustrations, not the stories themselves. Almost all of the tales are written in verse, and the book is short. Really short. There are 23 stories in 87 pages. I would have liked for the retellings to be longer, because I think they would have been more memorable and had more of a punch if they weren’t so short.
I’m not sure who the audience is. I don’t think the book will hold the interest of teens or adults, and though I enjoyed it while reading, now I’ve pretty much forgotten most of it. I tried to pick out at least one memorable one to mention, but I can’t remember any. However, the papercut silhouette illustrations are gorgeous, and worth a look. They definitely capture the mood of what the author was going for, more than the verses.
Rating: 2 owls
Socialize with the author: