Check the Shelf Book Review: Far Out Fairy Tales

Far Out Fairy Tales Book Review

Far Out Fairy Tales by Joey Comeau, Louise Simonson, Sean Tulien, Otis Frampton

Illustrated by Omar Lozano, Jimena Sanchez S, Fernando Cano

Publisher/Year: Capstone Stone Arch Books |  April 1, 2016

Pages: 176

Series: Stand Alone

Genre: Middle-Grade Graphic Novel, Twisted Fairytales 

Format: eBook

Source: Free From Publisher Through NetGalley (Thanks!)

Amazon | Goodreads

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. That did not sway my opinion in the least.

Shannan’s Summary

What would happen if one detail changed in the fairy tales we know so well, how would the story as a whole change? Far Out Fairy Tales takes 5 well-known fairy tales and twists them a little.  Cinderella becomes Ninja-rella, it’s Snow White and the Seven Robots, Red Riding hood is a superhero, Billy Goats Gruff is a video game and Hansel and Gretel and Zombies.  While the endings may be happy, the journey is a whole new experience.

First Off…

I’ve been getting into graphic novels over the past year, but I’m finding I prefer the non-traditional type of graphics and stories, so this book looked right up my alley.

The Story:

All the stories have an interesting take on a traditional fairy tale.  While in some ways they modernize the fairy tale, the don’t completely hit the nail on the head.  Since fairy tales were ways to warn and teach children of the dangers of the world, I always like when the subtle teaching aspect is left intact.  In these stories, they strip away a lot of the “insta-love” and “outward appearance” moments that most fairytales have and focus instead on internal beauty, resilience, and intelligence.  I did like that it gave strength to the girls and didn’t make them depend on a guy loving them for them to survive.  I also like that there were no romances, just straight friendship.

What seems lacking in this book is the diversity of characters.  Almost all the main characters are white (Billy Goats stay animals in their story.)  Ninja-rella was the one that made it obvious because all the main characters were white in a story set in an eastern Asia setting.  There were a few background characters that culturally represented, but that was the extent of it.  Snow white I can give them a little flexibility because they kept with the description, but when you’re the odd one out among a green-skinned alien race, I think you can write the girl any way you want.

All that aside, I did enjoy reading them and think the reimagining is one that makes the stories different enough to be interesting.  I found myself chuckling at points and really enjoyed the Billy Goats Gruff story since that’s not one you see redone often and it has a special place in my heart.

The book as a whole is a quick read, but I think it would be perfect for a kid that is struggling or doesn’t like reading.  This might be a great option to try and hook them.

The Writing

The writing is age appropriate and is in the smaller chunks typical of graphic novels.  It talks to the age of the kids without talking down to them.  I did like at the end it tells how the changed the original story and how the story has changed over the years.  It’s a concept that usually isn’t taught till upper grades in school, but is done in a way that younger readers can understand.

In the End

The reimaginings were fun and kept the whimsical nature of a Fairy Tale.  This is great for an elementary age kid that is starting to show interest in graphic novels or need a simpler reading structure.

10 Second Summary:

  1. Creative Retellings-  I really enjoyed the twists they put on these stories.  It really modernized them without losing the original concept
  2. Strong Female Characters– The typically helpless girls are given their strength back in these stories.
  3. Lacks Racial Diversity–  Everyone is white.  Some more diversity would be nice.

Check the Shelf Review

Overall I would say Paperback.  I think kids starting to read on their own would love it.  And it would even be a good read -together book for kids and parents.


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