Fairytales for Feisty Girls by Susannah McFarlane
Published by Allen & Unwin
Date: 29 August 2018
Feisty – Small, lively, determined and courageous – might seem like a strange word to use for fairytales, but these words are a perfect fit for what is a surprising take, or as some describe a tilt on the stories we grew up with, our Once upon a times…
Susannah McFarlane, many of you would know from reading EJ12 Girl Hero series, has used all her talent to bring together a series of well-known fairytales and made her characters into girls who can do whatever they put their mind to.
I read this book from front to back in one go even though I have never been much a fan of fairytales, so I knew from those first pages as it grabbed my attention that this book was something special with a bit of difference. I felt that many young children will be able to read about these girls and be inspired by them.
I was particularly inspired by Rapunzel, her creativity, her determination to remain positive, strong, to be herself and not what was expected of her. She solved problems, and used her knowledge and imagination to make things work. Rapunzel wasn’t reliant on anyone except her own abilities and she shows that all things are possible, as long as you have a go.
The illustrations are unique, sweet, and strong, the front cover whimsical and invites you to delve into the book. These are done by four talented Australian illustrators: Beth Norling, Claire Robertson, Lucinda Gifford and Sher Rill Ng. The borders around each page encapsulates the essence of fairytales and is reminiscent of a time when books were adorned with decoration.
I like that Susannah has left the Happily Ever After bit at the end, because after all that is what makes a fairytale the sense of surrealism that it is. Overall, it is a beautiful book that invites the reader to believe in themselves, to be courageous and celebrate how smart they are.
Thank you Allen & Unwin for the opportunity to read and honesty review this book.