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Tell a Fairytale Day

Friday, February 26, 2021


Robin Wright and Cary Elwes in The Princess Bride

Happy Literary Friday, My Lovelies!  Today is Tell a Fairytale Day, and I will be sharing with you a few of my favorite fairytale stories and fairytale "retellings."  

If you are looking for something to read this weekend, I have you covered!  You can't go wrong with any of these.

We're currently living in a dystopian novel, Lovelies.  I need a break, don't you?  There's a reason I want to celebrate this day because: What do fairytales have in common?  "...and they all lived happily ever after..."  

Without any further ado, here is my perfect list of "re-TELLings" of fairytales.  (See what I did there?)

7 Must-Read Fairytales 

Mermaid is a fantastic retelling of The Little Mermaid, only it's a little bit darker and a bit more "adult." Told alternately from Margrethe's and Lenia's point of view (the two women in a love triangle involving a prince), I found the love triangle disturbing in the gothic story.  Yet miraculously, Turgeon writes a very satisfying albeit bittersweet ending.  You can read my full review HERE.

This novel more closely aligned with Hans Christian Anderson's Little Mermaid.  My favorite thing about the book is Ann Claycomb's voice.  The book is very creative:  Claycomb does an amazing job retelling a classic story with a modern twist.  I think she's a wonderful storyteller, and I hope that she updates many more fairytales in the future.  You can read my full review HERE.

Salting Roses is a retelling of Cinderella, and it is not your typical rags to riches story.  The book challenges the reader to evaluate his or her on preconceptions and prejudices concerning those with and without money.  The Alabama setting is also a plus for the story; the reader gets a true sense of place, especially with small town pettiness and hypocrisy.  The ending also includes a bit of poetic justice which is always nice in literature.  You can read my full review HERE.

This novel is one of the best debuts I've ever read.  Its structure is a little complicated as there are two narratives woven together within the context of a fairytale.  The turn of the century narrative in Vienna has magical realism elements.  There is also a World War II narrative, and I find Granville's premise about the Nazi's use of fairytales as propaganda both interesting and insidious.  I highly recommend this book in spite of the disturbing narratives which merge in a surprising twist.  Eliza Granville is an author I will continue to read because her voice is unique and exceptional!  You can read my full review HERE.

The Darkest Part of the Forest is typical Holly Black:  a dark fairytale with fairies, hipsters, hipster fairies, romance, action, suspense, and fantastic character development.  And if that isn't enough the setting is perfect:  A New England town called Fairfold where humans live alongside fairies in the forest adjacent to it.  Oh, but it gets better:  Fairfold benefits from being a tourist town.  If this doesn't pique your interest, you can read the rest of my review HERE.

This Newberry Honor book by Gail Carson Levine is a fantastic retelling of Cinderella.  Both of our girls loved it, and the movie is also a lovely adaptation.  I have not reviewed it here on the blog, but I've read it many times.  Ella has a handicap in that she cannot tell a lie, and that can be dangerous, actually.  If you've never read it, it's a classic that can be enjoyed by anyone at any age.  You can read more about Ella Enchanted on Goodreads HERE.

It's "inconceivable" to me if you've never read The Princess Bride and/or seen the screen adaptation, both by William Goldman.  It has everything: pirates, giants, fire swamps, cliffs of despair, revenge, love, and R.O.U.S. or "rodents of unusual size."  I have definitely saved the best for last, so start here if you are The Princess Bride illiterate.  Read more about it on Goodreads HERE.

You might have noticed that many of my reviews include the word "dark."  Well, when you think of the purpose of fairytales, they were meant to teach tough truths about life, and to teach a moral in a memorable way.  Entertainment was a secondary function.  So when you think about it, we do live in a dark world.  But when our fairytale heroes and heroines overcome evil and save the day, it's empowering, isn't it!

I hope you have a very happy Tell a Fairytale Day!  Pick-up one of these books, or watch one of the movie adaptations this weekend.

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill


  1. Thanks Ricki Jill, we could all use a good fairy tale and happily ever after!

  2. I could definitely deal with a happy ever after tale right about now. Thanks for the suggestions. I'm off to pin this post so I can remember the all.

  3. These all sound great. Have a wonderful weekend.


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.


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