Since 2005, Michael Buckley’s bestselling Sisters Grimm series has delighted fans with the story of the Grimm family, guardians of the world's fairy-tale characters. There’s only one book left in the series, and this comprehensive guide provides the perfect refresher for fans looking to brush up before the dramatic final installment and is the perfect introduction for new readers. Featuring character profiles, maps of the town, found objects from life in Ferryport Landing, fairy-tale “facts,” and much more, this artfully designed guide supplements and enhances the beloved series. Even fan favorite Puck weighs in with his cheeky alternate take on all things Grimm.
Praise for The Sisters Grimm: A Very Grimm Guide
“Visually, the guide is stunning and showcases intriguing side characters.”
About the Author
Michael Buckley is the New York Times bestselling author of the Sisters Grimm and NERDS series. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and son. Peter Ferguson is a comic book and editorial artist who has illustrated a number of young adult novels. He lives in Argentina.
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PART ONE FERRYPORT LANDING
THE ORIGINS OF FERRYPORT LANDING
Contrary to popular belief, the stories told by the brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm were not fairy tales but rather actual events the brothers witnessed as part of their careers as professional detectives. Characters such as Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood, and Prince Charming were not the creations of storytellers but actual people who occasionally got into a whole lot of trouble. Sometimes, that trouble was more than they could handle, and the Everafters (that's what fairy-tale characters like to be called) decided to Move to America to seek a better life. Wilhelm Grimm decided to accompany Them and help them settle in this new land. He hired a ship called the Neuer Anfang (New Hope) and secured the deed for a large tract of land bordered by the Hudson River. This new town was called Fairyport Landing, and was originally intended as an exclusive Everafter territory, but soon humans moved in and tensions rose between the Everafters and their new neighbors. To protect the Everafters and keep the peace, Wilhelm turned to a powerful witch named Baba Yaga. Together the two cast a spell that confined the fairy-tale characters within the town's borders. But Baba Yaga made Wilhelm pay a price for his prison. If the Grimm family dies out or abandons the town, the Everafters will regain their freedom.
Unfortunately, the trouble did not end, and generations of Wilhelm's family have taken on the family business — keeping the peace, investigating any criminal Everafter activity, and documenting what they see.
PART TWO THE GRIMMS
Sabrina Grimm was an ordinary girl living in New York City with her mom, dad, and sister, Daphne, until one night her parents went missing. Sabrina had to grow up fast to take care of her little sister as they bounced from one foster family to the next. Many of their so-called caregivers were either criminally insane or insanely criminal. All the chaos made Sabrina tough, clever, brave, and extremely tenacious — which came in handy in the sisters' ingenious escapes from foster homes and unyielding defiance of their caseworker, Ms. Smirt. Sabrina feared that their parents abandoned them, and it made her suspicious, impulsive, sneaky, and stubborn, too. When the girls were taken in by their long-presumed-dead grandmother Relda Grimm, those traits kicked into high gear, making life very hard for the sisters.
Sabrina was determined to get Daphne away from Ferryport Landing, even if she had to drag her, but the truth about the town and the Grimm family tree could not be hidden forever. Granny was kidnapped by a giant, and the girls mounted a daring rescue. Since then, Sabrina has come face to face with Rumplestiltskin, the Jabberwocky, the Blue Fairy, the Wizard of Oz, Cinderella, and a seriously delusional Little Red Riding Hood, among many others.
With help from Granny Relda, Mr. Canis, and the frustratingly annoying Puck, she began her training as a fairy-tale detective following in the footsteps of generations of Grimms before her. But what truly matters to Sabrina is keeping her family together — no matter what the Grimms' main nemesis, the Master, and his band of evil Everafters, the Scarlet Hand, throw her way.
Unlike her sister, Daphne is a hilarious ball of optimism, completely enchanted with their new lives as fairy-tale detectives. Living in Ferryport Landing is like living inside a bedtime story, where all her favorite characters have come to life. Not only did Granny Relda offer the girls a real family, they got to be detectives who solve crimes committed by characters from storybooks! She's formed deep bonds with Relda, Canis, Puck, and Elvis. Unlike Sabrina, who has an unhealthy relationship with magic, Daphne is incredibly comfortable with wands and magic shoes — delighting in the amazing things they can do. Despite her growing independence, Daphne still turns to Sabrina in times of need.
FUTURE SABRINA AND DAPHNE
When Sabrina and Daphne are pulled into a hole in time, they find themselves fifteen years in the future. The Ferryport Landing they step into is filled with dragons that hunt humans, monsters running amok, and the Master in total control of the world. When the girls are attacked by a crazed Big Bad Wolf, they are rescued by their future selves. Future Sabrina is a war-tested fighter armed with daggers, a sword, and even a whip. Future Daphne is a magic-wielding sorceress with a jagged scar across her face and a lifetime of bitterness. Still, the most shocking thing about the future for the girls is not how they turn out but rather the man Sabrina grows up to marry — a certain winged boy who has become a dashing winged husband. When the girls return to their own time, they make a pact to change as much as they can about the future, and when they next meet their future selves, Daphne's heart is not so cold, and her scar is nowhere to be found.
AKA GRANNY RELDA
At first glance, Relda Grimm seems gentle, compassionate, and patient, but she's also quite resourceful, determined, and incredibly smart (and don't forget the broadsword and a battle-ax she keeps by her bed). She never goes out without her trademark hat with an appliqué of a big, fuzzy sunflower in the middle, her handbag, and her trusty friend, Elvis. Relda is at her most dangerous behind the wheel of a car; however, Sabrina would argue that Relda's cooking is as just as dangerous as her driving. What she may lack in driving and culinary skills, she more than makes up for as a detective. Trained by her late husband, Basil, Relda has taken over the family responsibility despite the fact that she married into it. Now, her job is preparing her granddaughters for the day they will take over the family business.
JACOB AND WILHELM GRIMM AKA "THE BROTHERS GRIMM" JACOB (1785-1863), WILHELM (1786-1859)
Inspired by the stories they heard during their childhood in Germany, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm began researching, collecting, and transcribing folk tales in the early nineteenth century. Many of these stories were violent, filled with terrifying villains and horrible deaths. Naturally, kids loved them. This surprised the Brothers Grimm, who had written the books for scholars and adults. The first edition was full of academic footnotes and wasn't illustrated. Wilhelm went through and rewrote many of the stories, replacing evil mothers with wicked stepmothers, for example, and removing any mention of things he considered inappropriate for children. In 1812, they published the first edition of Kinder-und Hausmärchen (Children's and Household Tales), which consisted of eighty-six stories. Over the years, they added to their collections, removed some stories, and revised some others. When the seventh and final edition of the work was published in 1857, it contained 211 stories, including versions of many of the most famous tales: "Cinderella," "Sleeping Beauty," "Little Red Riding Hood," "Rumplestiltskin," "Snow White," and "Rapunzel." It's since been translated into 160 languages, and it's arguably the most famous and influential work of literature in the German language.
LIFELONG FERRYPORT LANDING RESIDENT BASIL GRIMM, DEAD AT 62
Lifelong Ferryport Landing resident Basil Grimm, sixty-two, was killed last night in the forests near Mount Taurus. A family spokesperson, Mr. Canis, claims his death was caused by an animal attack that the sheriff's office has declared a tragic accident. Police have quarantined the area and warn ALL residents to avoid the woods until the creature is found and captured.
Mr. Grimm, a descendent of the town's founder, Wilhelm Grimm, was a well-known amateur sleuth who was often at the center of solving some of the town's biggest crimes. Mr. Grimm was also deeply involved in local politics and city planning, and his name was often mentioned as a possible candidate for mayor, though his wife claims he was never interested in the office.
He was married for thirty-two years, having met his wife, Relda, in Berlin where the two enjoyed a whirlwind romance. Just one week later, they married and embarked on a two-year honeymoon traveling the world — including Istanbul, the Yukon, Hawaii, the Amazon, South Africa, and the Himalayas, just to name a few. Shortly after the birth of their first son, Henry, they returned to Ferryport Landing where they lived until his death.
Basil is survived by his wife, Relda, and their two sons, Henry and Jacob.
JACOB ALEXANDER GRIMM
AKA JAKE, UNCLE JAKE
Unlike his mild-mannered older brother, Jake Grimm is a bit of an adventurer who finds himself in trouble more often than not. (He's got the broken nose to prove it!) Jake is a master of magic, and in his travels he's collected powerful items of enchantment, many of which he keeps in the many pockets of his trench coat. Despite his charm and ever-present smile, Jake carries a lot of guilt and pain in his heart. He blames himself for the death of his father and for driving his brother away. Sadly, when he finally opens his heart once more to the lovely Briar Rose, her life is cut short by a dragon controlled by the Scarlet Hand.
HENRY AND VERONICA GRIMM
Henry grew up fully embracing the Grimm family legacy. He and his brother, Jake, were wild boys growing up in Ferryport Landing as they trained to be fairy-tale detectives. Henry even fell in love with a grown-up Goldilocks. When a well-meaning Jake found a way to drop the magical barrier, he unwittingly freed a nightmarish monster known as the Jabberwocky from a magic spell. The beast killed Henry and Jake's father, and in despair, Henry left town. Once he was in New York City, he began to rebuild his life and met the lovely Veronica.
Feisty, independent, and beautiful, it's easy to see why Veronica is Henry's true love. After they married, the couple moved back to Ferryport Landing briefly, and Veronica began to learn the ropes of the family business. But when she and Henry learned there was a baby on the way, the couple decided it was best to leave the dangers of the town behind. Henry swore he'd never return and vowed that his children would have nothing to do with magic, Everafters, or Ferryport Landing. Henry even went so far as to tell the girls that their grandmother Relda had died before they were born and forbade them from reading fairy tales. Veronica, however, didn't share his views and worked with New York City's small Everafter community in secret. She helped the struggling community find work, build schools, and adapt to modern American life. She even developed a close friendship with the Wizard of Oz, who sadly turned out to be a member of the Scarlet Hand. He kidnapped Henry and Veronica and handed them over to the Master, who cursed them with a sleeping spell that can only be broken by true love's kiss.
Named after the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, this big dog is a 200-pound Great Dane. Relda calls her overly-affectionate sidekick "her boyfriend" and says he has the best sniffing nose in the county. He's an essential tool in Granny's detective work and often acts as the family's protector, especially when a monster rears its ugly head. Still, you have to keep an eye on him. He has a knack for stealing sausages from the fridge, which make him terribly gassy! When the girls visit the future, they meet his grandchildren — four rowdy pups named after other rock and roll royalty: John, Paul, George, and Ringo.
Two-year-old Basil's short life has been marred by shocking events. Stolen from Veronica while she lay under the effects of a sleeping spell, the boy was raised by the Master to be a vessel for his own dark soul. None of the other Grimms knew he existed until he was almost a toddler.
HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN
Hans Christian Andersen was a Danish writer who became internationally famous for his children's stories (many of which were written for adults). Some, like "The Emperor's New Clothes," were based on folk tales, but others, such as "The Steadfast Tin Soldier," he created entirely himself. "The Ugly Duckling," "The Little Mermaid," and "The Little Match Girl" are three of his most famous original tales. In fact, "The Little Mermaid" was first written as a ballet. Andersen may have wanted to be a dancer; he loved singing and acting, but he was tall and awkward with a very large nose. The other children teased him about his appearance. Thus, "The Ugly Duckling" may have been the story closest to his heart. He once remarked that the tale was "a reflection of my own life" and often referred to it as his autobiography. His stories contain strong moral lessons and don't always have happy endings. Nevertheless, children and adults across the world loved them, and still do. The Danish are proud of Andersen, and they have a statue of the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen's harbor. International Children's Book Day is celebrated on his birthday, April 2. There's even a statue of him in New York's Central Park, which acts as the magical entrance to the Kingdom of Faerie in the Sisters Grimm books.
PART THREE FRIENDS
AKA THE BIG BAD WOLF, THE (REAL) WOODCUTTER, TOBIAS CLAY
n first impression, Mr. Canis appears to be quite old, skinny, and frail. But looks can be deceiving. This withered old man hides a monster inside of him named the Big Bad Wolf. It's not easy keeping the beast at bay, but with the right amount of meditation, determination, and yoga, he has learned to tap into the monster's incredible abilities without releasing its rage. He has shown a super strength and a keen sense of smell, which come in handy for Relda, who has been his companion and protector for almost fifteen years. Before that, he was an unstoppable killing machine, but it was his own destructive power that made him a man. The horn of the North Wind, which provided his "huff and puff," was used against him by Sheriff Hamstead — taming the monster and allowing the "Canis" personality to emerge. Mr. Canis didn't know who he was or how he'd gotten there, but he had vague memories of what the Wolf had done and the guilt he now feels is unbearable.
AKA THE TRICKSTER KING; PRINCE OF FAERIE; EMPEROR OF PIXIES, BROWNIES; HOBGOBLINS; ELVES; AND GNOMES; ROBIN GOODFELLOW; THE IMP; MASTER OF MAYHEM; SAVIOR OF THE SHIFTLESS; ETC. ... ETC.
hile Puck claims he's a "supreme villain" and world famous scoundrel, he oddly enough spends a lot of time playing the hero. Puck has been around for 4,000 years and has been great story material for writers like William Shakespeare and Rudyard Kipling, and he would be the first to tell you so. As the son of King Oberon and Queen Titania, Puck is a fairy with the ability to fly. But don't mistake him for Peter Pan, or he'll use his flute to summon his loyal swarm of pixies to poke you like a million bees. He despises that tight-wearing nitwit. Unlike Peter Pan, Puck can also transform into a variety of dif- ferent animals — sometimes to lend a helping hand but more often than not to pull a prank on Sabrina. Though he's incredibly immature and smells like a compost pile, Sabrina finds herself drawn to him. Much to his chagrin, he kind of likes her, too.
Mirror is the guardian of the magic mirror from the story of Snow White. He was the first enchanted mirror created by the Wicked Queen and serves as the template for all those that came after. His main job is to serve his master as an all-seeing eye and as the guardian of the Hall of Wonders, which exists inside the mirror's reflection. On the outside, he appears as a floating, bald head, but when you step into his home, he's really a short, chubby man in a black suit and tie who enjoys tanning, Pilates, facials, and studying his own reflection. Sabrina often confides in Mirror, feeling he's the only one she can talk to. And, he's always there for her because Mirror can't leave the confines of the Hall of Wonders.
Excerpted from "A Very Grimm Guide"
Copyright © 2012 Abrams Books and Michael Buckley.
Excerpted by permission of Abrams Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
AN INTRODUCTION BY THE TRICKSTER KING, 11,
PART ONE FERRYPORT LANDING,
PART TWO THE GRIMMS,
Future Sabrina and Daphne, 38,
Relda Grimm, 40,
The Brothers Grimm, 42,
Jacob Alexander Grimm, 46,
Henry & Veronica Grimm, 48,
Baby Basil, 51,
Hans Christian Andersen, 52,
PART THREE FRIENDS,
Mr. Canis, 58,
Prince William Charming, 64,
Snow White, 68,
Sheriff Ernest Hamstead, 72,
Andrew Lang, 74,
Mr. Seven, 76,
Washington Irving, 78,
Briar Rose, 82,
Charles Perrault, 86,
Anonymous Female Storytellers, 90,
Mallobarb & Buzzflower, 91,
The Council of Mirrors, 92,
PART FOUR ENEMIES,
Jack the Giant Killer, 96,
Casper Sheepshank, 100,
The Wizard of Oz, 104,
L. Frank Baum, 106,
The Queen of Hearts, 108,
Lewis Carroll, 110,
Sheriff Nottingham, 112,
Little Red Riding Hood, 114,
The Black Knight, 121,
Carlo Collodi, 122,
Prince Atticus, 124,
The Master, 126,
A Final Note from Puck, 127,