I have read many retellings of traditional fairy tales but none quite as special as these wonderful collaborations from David Roberts and Lynn Roberts- Maloney. Beautifully told and exquisitely illustrated, they are a true delight to behold. Each tale is set in a distinct period and David Robert’s creations have the most marvellous attention to detail, perfectly evoking the era and transporting you to a different time and place. So without further ado let me take you back in time and then in a twist of events on a magical trip to the future with Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella.
Rapunzel – A Groovy 1970s Fairy Tale
Rapunzel is a truly groovy chick living with her wicked Aunt Edna who has locked her up in a hideous tower block with a broken lift. Like any teenager in the 1970s her bedroom walls are covered with posters of her favourite idols and she spends her days listening to her vinyl collection on her record player. The only difference being she is locked away to protect her from the scary outside world, not realising that it’s her villainous Aunt who presents the real danger. When a chance encounter with a boy called Roger who sings in the local school band, Rapunzel learns there is more to life than lies within the walls of the tower. Each of the pages are filled with glorious details, a Rubix Cube, a chopper bike, platform shoes and my personal favourite a David Bowie vinyl capturing the essence of this time. Allow yourself to be immersed in this fabulous 70s homage to this traditional fairy tale.
Sleeping Beauty – A mid-century fairy tale
Meet a science-fiction-obsessed heroine, a jealous witch and a resourceful rescuer in this stylish reworking of the classic fairy tale Sleeping Beauty. Living in the 1950s Annabel loves to read stories all about the future, but a curse means that she may not live past her 16th birthday. An unexpected birthday present of a record player puts her into a deep sleep when she accidentally pricks her finger on the needle. Fast forward a 1000 years and a young explorer Zoe who is intrigued by books and history discovers the fate of Annabel amongst the library stacks and is determined to save her. An enchanting twist on this classic tale this story celebrates the power of books and their endurance in a world far away in the future. I love the fact that Annabel is saved by the love of her Aunts and the inquisitiveness of Zoe not a handsome prince of a white horse. A joyful and endearing tale which will captivate children’s imaginations.
Cinderella – An art deco fairy tale
This stunning reinterpretation of Cinderella oozes style and sophistication capturing the glamour of the 1920s, in the exciting time of the flapper girls. David’s sublime illustrations convey brilliantly the wit and humour of Lynn’s storytelling in this fun and lively version. The villains of the piece are magnificently malevolent making Cinderella’s life a misery whilst her father is completely oblivious to her plight. Every detail of this period is faithfully reproduced by David Roberts, giving the reader a real insight into the past whilst maintaining the original elements of this tale. A simply flawless picture book which deserves to be treasured.
A huge thank you to Pavilion books for sending me these gorgeous books.