Books Based off of other Books, Children's, Coming of age, Family dynamics, Fantasy, Feel-Good, Fiction, Finding Your Self, humor, Maguire-Gregory, Mystery, Romantic Fiction, Social Commentary, what if, Young Adult

#420 Leaping Beauty by Gregory Maguire

Leaping Beauty by Gregory MaguireLeaping Beauty by Gregory Maguire

A person has to admit that the short nature of fairy tales could lend itself to the entire story being changed if only one or two simple things about the story were altered. Gregory proves this to be true in hits fairy tale collection.

Who doesn’t love a good fairy tale? Everybody loves fairy tales. Gregory has taken some of our most traditional fairy tales and turned them on their sides. Maybe there wasn’t a little girl bugging three bears, but maybe it was a fox instead. Maybe Cinderella was an elephant. Maybe Robin Hood was really a Robin, but he was also going to see his sick grandmother.

Gregory injects hilarity into these fairy tales with including some real-life problems and reactions to certain things. My favorite story out of this collection had to be So What and the Seven Giraffes. There was no Snow White, only a chimp named So What. His new bodybuilding gorilla step-mother didn’t like him, so she sent him off to be killed. The murderer didn’t want to kill him and let him go off into the woods alone, where he found a house that seven circus performing giraffes lived in. The giraffes taught him how to be a better person and have some responsibility.

What I liked

I knew Gregory was smart; I didn’t know he was hilarious. These stories are genuinely funny. They remind me of David Sedaris’ fairy tale book Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk. Gregory is very smart for playing on words and phrases in our traditional fairy tales to make them about something completely different yet about the traditional story at the same time. I may have to add Gregory to my list of hilarious authors to hang out with.

What I didn’t like

This book was definitely written for a younger audience in mind, but there are some more adult reactions and situations in this book that make me wonder. Of course a child probably wouldn’t notice these things, but I noticed them. None of these little mentionings are too terrible in and of themselves. You’re not going to throw this book across the room in disgust or anything, but as an adult you are going to notice these things. It’s more on par with how shows like Spongebob Squarepants sneak little bits of adulthood into their program. The kids don’t notice it, but the adults can get a little chuckle out of it.


It’s funny. Read it.

Weigh In

When it comes to fairy tales are you a traditionalist or do you like it when people retell the traditional stories in new and exciting ways?

Does anyone remember the book about the Stinky Cheese Man?


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