Book Review: Brave Red, Smart Frog

Brave Red, Smart Frog by Emily Jenkins
5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

This delightful collection of familiar fairy tales is told with a fresh voice and enchanting writing!

Including new versions of Snow White, The Frog Prince, Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, and several others that are less well-known, this book provides a crisp new look at these old tales while still remaining true to the main stories.

While the basic plots remain the same, it’s the sparkling dialogue and little inside jokes that make these fairy tales so enjoyable to read and reread.

The lovely illustrations bring the stories to life and give a nod to classic fairy tale illustrators like Arthur Rackham and Walter Crane. I love how elegant the illustrations are!
I especially loved that each fairy tale has some small detail that connects it to the other stories. (For instance, the huntsman who spares Snow White’s life is the same huntsman who kills the Big Bad Wolf and cuts Little Red Riding Hood and her Grandmother out of the wolf’s belly. The wood where Hansel and Gretel are lost is the same wood where Snow White meets the seven dwarves.) Although each tale is told in a separate chapter, these little elements make the book feel like a whole, instead of chopped up stories bundled together randomly. I really appreciated that the book flowed beautifully from story to story.

One of the best things about the writing is that it asks some deeper questions of the classic fairy tales and answers them in a new way. (Why did Hansel and Gretel’s parents really abandon them in the forest? How could an elegant princess fall in love with a smelly frog? ) The author takes the stories just a little deeper by looking at the roots of the characters’ personalities and circumstances, bringing a new light into the fairy tales, but without making them too complex for young readers.

A complete delight to read!

Disclaimer: I received an ecopy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts and are not influenced by anyone.

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