Monster Stew

Monster Stew

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by Mitra Modarressi, Dorling Kindersley Publishing Staff
     
 

Take three favorite fairy tales, add monsters, stir well...and what do you get? Monster Stew, of course! This flavorful mix is packed with irreverent new versions of beloved stories. How does a girl monster impress a prince and his parents when she's invited to visit-and sleep on a tower of mattresses? What happens when Jack cuts down the beanstalk-and leavesSee more details below

Overview

Take three favorite fairy tales, add monsters, stir well...and what do you get? Monster Stew, of course! This flavorful mix is packed with irreverent new versions of beloved stories. How does a girl monster impress a prince and his parents when she's invited to visit-and sleep on a tower of mattresses? What happens when Jack cuts down the beanstalk-and leaves the monster from the castle stranded down on the ground? What does a witch do when two plump young monsters start eating her out of gingerbread house and home? With zany stories and lush, riotous illustrations, Monster Stew is a delightful dish for young readers.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this hearty three-course storybook, Modarressi (The Beastly Visits) assembles a cast of sympathetic monsters that trump their human acquaintances. Each chapter revises a classic tale in favor of the underdog, and each cleverly refers to some stew ingredient. In 'Peas,' for example, the dinosaurish, aqua-blue prince Thugmond compares his squat and swamp-loving best friend, Griselda, with 'a dainty, delicate girl with golden hair and a gown of silk and satin. Not Thugmond's type at all.' Given the pea-under-the-mattress test, the dainty damsel can't sleep a wink: 'A girl so rude and fussy could never make Thugmond happy,' the king and queen decide, and finally allow Griselda a crack at the mattress (she peacefully slumbers). 'Beans' takes the side of a hairy blue giant who falls from a beanstalk but later befriends a thief named Jack, while the title story up-ends the tale of Hansel and Gretel. Modarressi's soft, padded-looking monsters have beady eyes and spiky fur, but their facial expressions show them to be good-natured and kind. The sepia-tinged palette of terra-cotta orange, claylike brown and ash green likewise communicates warmth rather than inspiring terror. Modarressi wittily champions monsters and wryly implies that it's people who need to learn some manners.
Children's Literature - Beverley Fahey
When monsters take over the retelling of familiar fairy tales3/4well, anything can happen. The dainty princess chosen to be the bride of Prince Thugmond is no match for Griselda, the girl monster, when both are put to the pea-under-the mattress test. A grumpy giant, stranded after Jack cuts down the beanstalk, finds a home and happiness with Jack and his mother; and one has nothing but sympathy for the witch who finds herself eaten out of gingerbread house and home by two greedy monsters. Take wacky and irreverent retellings, blend with lush illustrations, and the result is a delicious Monster Stew.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-Three amusing fractured fairy tales that feature unusual protagonists. In the first, based on "The Princess and the Pea," a young monster prince chooses his best friend Griselda, a tough, spiky-haired, horned tomboy, for his wife. Since she is far from a princess, his parents seek out a more suitable mate. The girl of their choice passes the test of royalty but is so ill-suited to their son that they finally relent and allow him to marry the indomitable Griselda. In the second tale, when Jack chops down the beanstalk, the grumpy giant he is running from is wounded. Befriended by the boy and his mother, the beast soon ends up as part of the family. In the final story, based on "Hansel and Gretel," two insatiable fuzzy critters eat up the witch's house and drive her off with only a broomstick to her name. The full-page watercolor illustrations are appropriately funny and ghoulish without being frightening. Children will love these quirky, irreverent twists on favorite stories, flavored with a mix of delightful creatures.-Sally R. Dow, Ossining Public Library, NY
People
Anne Tyler's author-illustrator daughter cooks up a mischevious brew with twists on three classic fairy tales.
Kirkus Reviews
A new slant on three familiar tales, featuring a cast of benevolent monsters. In 'Peas,' Thugmond, a round, green monster prince, would like to marry his monster friend, Griselda, but his parents disapprove because she's not royalty. After the 'real' princess makes such a rude fuss about a tiny pea buried under her stack of mattresses, though, Thugmond's parents see Griselda in a new light. In 'Bean,' Jack steals the proverbial goose that lays the golden eggs and clambers down the beanstalk ahead of the monster, a great hairy purple fellow. But when the monster gets injured in his fall Jack's mother takes pity on him and chastises Jack for stealing. In the end the three live happily ever after, together. 'Monster Stew' is a takeoff on Hansel and Gretel, starring two fuzzy young monsters who eat everything in sight. The dialogue in 'Peas' is funny and well-timed; character development makes 'Beans' the most effective story overall; 'Monster Stew," while funny, is a one-joke story that goes on too long. The humor is amplified by details of Modarressi's fully saturated watercolors; in one of the finest scenes in the book, the giant makes furrows for Jack by dragging his large fingers through the soil.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780789425171
Publisher:
DK Publishing, Inc.
Publication date:
09/01/1998
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
48
Product dimensions:
11.24(w) x 8.72(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
AD570L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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