Friday, May 13, 2016

Title: Grimm's Fairy Tales
Author: Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm
Narrator(s): Jim Dale, Janis Ian, Alfred Molina, Katherine Kellgren
Series: n/a
Length: 3 hrs 39 mins
Publisher: Listening Library
Publication Date: May 10, 2016
Source: audiobook for review from publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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GRIMM’S FAIRY TALES is the latest installment in Listening Library’s Classics series, which also includes Jack London’s The Call of the Wild; Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea; HG Wells’ The Time Machine; and L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Each title in the series features evocative narrations by Jeff Daniels, Brooke Shields, Sir Derek Jacobi, and James Frain and original cover art by illustrators Jerry Pinckney, Carson Ellis, Brian Floca and Noelle Stevenson.

Divya Srinivasan, whose illustrations have been featured on album covers and in work for This American Life and The New Yorker in addition to her own picture books, Little Owl’s Night, Little Owl’s Day, and Octopus Alone, contributed original cover art for GRIMM’S FAIRY TALES. She is also an avid audiobook user, listening while she sketches.

The GRIMM’S FAIRY TALES audio collection includes 21 classic stories:

Rapunzel, read by Katherine Kellgren
The Six Swans, read by Davina Porter
Cinderella, read by January LaVoy
The Twelve Huntsmen, read by Dion Graham
Little Red-Cap, read by Simon Vance
The Goose-Girl, read by Edoardo Ballerini
Little Briar-Rose, read by Grover Gardner
Sweet Porridge, read by Jayne Entwistle
Little Snow-White, read by Kate Rudd
The Golden Goose, read by Luke Daniels
Rumplestiltskin, read by Jim Dale
Eve’s Various Children, read by Roy Dotrice
Snow-White and Rose-Red, read by Julia Whelan
The Elves, read by Bahni Turpin
A Riddling Tale, read by Janis Ian
The Twelve Brothers, read by Graeme Malcolm
The Sea-Hare, read by Mark Bramhall
The Frog-King, or Iron Henry, read by Kirby Heyborne
The White Snake, narrated by Scott Brick
Hansel and Gretel, read by Robin Miles
The Shoes That Were Danced to Pieces, read by Alfred Molina

Even though I know that these are all classic tales, I feel like I'm reading them for the first time, like they've been reinvented with a grown-up me in mind: dark and macabre and grotesque. But that's probably because I grew up with the watered-down Disney versions for the most part. Not that I haven't read my fair share of these sometimes bloody lessons in morality, but I love having them all in one place like this, and narrated by such a fabulous all-star cast.

I love the narration of these stories. This collection kicks off with the incomparable Katherine Kellgren reciting Rapunzel and her performance is perfection. She really nails that witch. And January LaVoy delivers a heart-breaking rendition of Cinderella. Her narration always features so many varied voices and emotions. As does Jim Dale's, whose account of Rumplestiltskin is on par for what I expect from such a talented narrator. From the delightfully whimsical to the perfunctory yet magical performances, this well-rounded cast lends the perfect voice to each of these tales.

The musical interludes between each tale were lovely and magical and added just that extra something to the collection. I would love to have these tales bound up with that artwork from the cover to share with my daughter, but I know she'll love this audiobook just the same...when she's read for such grim tales. ;)

GIF it to me straight:

About the illustrator:

Divya Srinivasan lives with her daughter in Austin, Texas. Her illustrations have appeared in The New Yorker, and she has done work for This American Life, They Might Be Giants, Sundance Channel, Sufjan Stevens, and Weird Al Yankovic, among others. Divya was also an animator on the film Waking Life. She is the author and illustrator of the picture books Little Owl's Night, Octopus Alone, and Little Owl's Day (published by Viking Children's Books).

Find Divya:

Website | Goodreads

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