The Adventurous Princess And Other Feminist Fairy Tales
Paperback: 60 pages $14.95
Publisher: Odyssey Books (June 1, 2019)
BOOK BLURB: What if Beauty stood up to the Beast, the Princess never tried to sleep on the pea (and wouldn’t have noticed it if she had), and the Swan Maiden took her revenge on the hunter who kidnapped her?
The Adventurous Princess and other feminist fairy tales is a retelling of nine traditional fairy tales with a feminist twist. Fairy tales open up new worlds full of enchantment and adventure, but many of these traditional stories also reinforce rigid gender roles and norms, perpetuate stereotypes, and lack diversity in their characters.
In The Adventurous Princess, the charm, whimsy, and magic of traditional fairy tales remain, but the diverse characters challenge stereotypes about who they should be or how they should act, stand up for themselves, and shape their own futures.
REVIEW: The Adventurous Princess is a charming book with delightful illustrations, and I absolutely love the feminist twists on the traditional fairy tales. Not that I’m a raging feminist, but for so long these stories, with only a few exceptions, had the strong male character in the lead and the hapless young maiden who falls victim to whatever skulduggery the men were about. And the diversity of the characters in this new look at the old stories is presented in such an engaging way that this lover of fairy tales didn’t mind at all.
The writing is marvelous, and I really like how the style matches that of the traditional stories in a way that immerses the reader into the spirit of the older versions, while providing the twists. There are humorous moments in each story, and I especially liked how it was done in the second story, Cinderella. It features an older character, Ella, who has to persuade the King to hold a ball and has a clever exchange with her Fairy Godmother.
This is a book for all ages. For mothers and fathers to read to their daughters and sons – perhaps switching genders so Mom reads to a son and Dad reads to a daughter. There are great messages that are artfully woven into the story through words and pictures, and I highly recommend this book.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Erin-Claire Barrow is an author and illustrator originally from the Adelaide Hills in South Australia. She paints in watercolours to create whimsical scenes, storybook illustrations, and bring to life the strange creatures of fairy tales and folklore. Erin-Claire is always on the lookout for ways to combine her passions for art and equality, and is particularly interested in how art can be used to raise awareness of social justice issues. In 2018, she spoke at TEDx Canberra on retelling fairy tales for our diverse, modern society to challenge stereotypes and encourage young people (and especially young women) to see themselves as the heroes of their own stories.
Come back on Wednesday when Erin-Claire will be my guest.