Sunday, September 30, 2012

Free Ebook: Never After (Never After Series) by Rebecca Lickiss


Never After (Never After Series) by Rebecca Lickiss looks like a self-published book but it was originally traditionally published in 2002--I know since I have the paperback on my shelf and there is also a link to the paperback with the cover above. It is currently FREE in ebook format on Amazon and probably in other countries on Amazon although I cannot verify that.

Book description:

Once upon a time the anxious Prince Althelstan went in search of a bride ...

His restless cousin, Lady Vevila, went in search of adventure...

His friend Mazigian, proud graduate of the Recondite University, went in search of employment...

And each found what they were looking for—by following a folktale to a remote castle buried in thorns and briars. Behind its foreboding walls, one princess and three identical princes are cursed to eternal sleep. And it's going to take a mysterious dwarf named Rumplestiltskin, an enchanted toad, a wicked stepmother, and one even more wicked miracle to wake them. All it takes is one kiss, give or take a few, and a fairy tale really can come true.

There is also now a sequel only available in ebook, Never Say Never After Again (Never After Series). Yes, unfortunate covers, but on ereaders you don't have to look at those much anyway.

Miss Clara's The Twelve Dancing Princesses


Back in January, I posted a few entries dedicated to the illustrative work of Miss Clara. At the time, only one of her fairy tale books had been packaged for US audiences. Now there are two! The Twelve Dancing Princesses is officially released by Barefoot Books tomorrow. It, along with The Snow Queen, are now available in English, for Miss Clara is originally published in French.

I don't have page images for this book yet, but here are pages from the French editions. These books are chapter books but they are beautifully packaged with many, many of Miss Clara's illustrations. Her other fairy tale is Peau d'Ane, Donkeyskin to us, and I am fearful Barefoot Books won't option that one since it is a difficult tale for Americans to handle and is virtually ignored by us--unless you are me and have been working on a Cinderella book for years. But she has a Princess and the Pea (La princesse au petit pois) coming out in France in November so we have a good chance that it will find an American publisher, too.

I mean, don't you want that book? In English? To have and to share? So buy these. Please! Show Barefoot Books the Miss Clara love just for me! Both of these books qualify for Amazon's perennial Buy 4 for 3 promotion, too, so you could get extras and give as gifts.

And I'm not ignoring the fine writing of Mary Hoffman or Sarah Lowe for these English editions either. Not that I've read either one yet for I have only just ordered these myself.

And now I will hit the publish button and walk away from the keyboard so I can stop the gushing. Really, how often do I gush like this. I adore Miss Clara's work obviously.

Barefoot Books has these bookmarks for promotion--no, I don't have these either since I am not a Barefoot Books Ambassador, but they give you another taste for the book. I toured Barefoot years ago when I attended a summer symposium at Simmons College. They continue to be a great publisher and have a strong list of fairy tale related titles, too.

Banned Books Week: 9/30-10/6

Today starts Banned Books Week: Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Freedom to Read. There's always books we'd prefer not to read ourselves but taking the right away from others is a slippery, dangerous slope. And it's pertinent here at the blog because several fairy tales have been banned over the years, from the Grimms in general to tales in particular like Little Red Riding Hood--for having wine in her basket! Nevermind the more gruesome tales that are ignored by banners because they aren't as prominent.

During my years as a public librarian in California, I only had one book challenged by a patron and ironically it was fairy tale related. Only my coworkers knew about SurLaLune, so this was not related. I was quite simply the children's and YA librarian and had added the book to the collection.

What was the book? The Rose and The Beast: Fairy Tales Retold by Francesca Lia Block. Now this book is not light reading and deals with difficult themes. I wouldn't recommend it to every teen I know but it was sitting on the shelf next to the Gossip Girls series among others. My first reaction was total shock. Fortunately, I kept my guffaw muffled when I realized which book was upsetting the patron in the YA section. And refrained from saying, "You think this is rough, try this (fill in the blank several times)." I didn't handle the situation very well--it was a strange day and a strange incident--but it was well enough that the complaint went no farther for which I have always been thankful.

Anyway, read a fairy tale this week and you'll be celebrating Banned Books Week! And thank the librarians who fight to keep the books on the shelves where you can find them. It's not an easy job, emotionally or financially!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Bargain Ebooks: Princess Series by Jessica Day George


Princess of the Midnight Ball and its sequel, Princess of Glass (Princess of the Midnight Ball), by Jessica Day George are both $1.99 each in ebook format for a limited time. The third book in the series, Princess of the Silver Woods (Twelve Dancing Princesses), is due out in December so these are discounted in anticipation of that release. The books are inspired by Twelve Dancing Princesses, among others. These are discounts in the US and I do not know if they are discounted in other countries, too. Midnight has been discounted previously but this is the first time Glass has had such a deep discount to my knowledge.

Bargain Ebook: Villain School: Good Curses Evil by Stephanie S. Sanders


Villain School: Good Curses Evil by Stephanie S. Sanders is currently discounted to $1.99 in ebook format in the US.

Book description:

Twelve-year-old Rune Drexler is a student at Master Dreadthorn’s School for Wayward Villains. It’s like a military school for the children of evil villains. Rune is nearly failing his villain studies, so he’s sentenced to a Plot by his father, Master Dreadthorn. In seven days time he must:

1. Kidnap a princess

2. Steal a baby

3. Find a henchman and commit him to service

4. Overthrow a kingdom and place a new ruler on the throne

If he succeeds, Rune will be promoted to Fiend, if he fails, he’ll be exiled from the villain community forever. Luckily, he may choose two Conspirators, so Rune chooses his best friends Countess Jezebel Dracula and Big Bad Wolf Junior. Only one problem, Rune’s not very evil. In fact, his behavior on the Plot starts to seem suspiciously heroic....

New Book: Robin Hood by David Calcutt (Author), Grahame Baker-Smith (Illustrator)

Robin Hood by David Calcutt (Author), Grahame Baker-Smith (Illustrator) is a new book and just what I like in a Robin Hood book, beautiful illustrations. I love it now and would have adored it as a kid. I haven't read it, just seen the illustrations, but that's enough to add it to my wishlist. There's not been enough Robin Hood for kids in recent years in my opinion especially considering the success of BBC's Robin Hood and Merlin series. I prefer the Merlin series but prefer the Robin Hood legend.

Book description:

The champion of the destitute and downtrodden rides again. Meet young Robin Hood before he becomes the hero of Sherwood Forest, and follow along with his band of merry men as his adventures become the stuff of legend. This lavishly illustrated picture book makes a wonderful gift title and features nine tales including: Robin Becomes an Outlaw, Robin Meets Little John, Robin and the Widow, and Robin's Last Battle.

Friday, September 28, 2012

New Book: Long Ago and Far Away: Eight Traditional Fairy Tales

Eeep! I never posted this summer about Long Ago and Far Away: Eight Traditional Fairy Tales with an introduction by Marina Warner. It was released in June and I thought I posted but it was only ever in draft.

Book description:

Brand new translations of the earliest versions of best-known and most-loved fairy tales, with an introduction by renowned mythographer Marina Warner

Returning to some of the earliest written records of these stories, before the moralizing of the British Victorians and the sugarcoating of Walt Disney, unearths narratives that differ radically from those that children are told to this day. This collection contains brand new translations of "Beauty and the Beast," "Sleeping Beauty" and "Cinderella" in their original Pentamerone versions; the Grimms' "Hansel and Gretel;" Perrault's "Little Red Riding Hood;" and many others. Originally recorded orally and handed down through generations, early fairy tales were receptacles of sexual depravity (including incest, rape, and necrophilia) and murder. Marina Warner, one the finest of contemporary literary minds, explains in her introduction the reasons behind the tales' evolution from their original versions and the appeal they have today.
Now really, what more can be said? When a book description covers "sexual depravity (including incest, rape, and necrophilia) and murder" it just sells itself these days, doesn't it? Add this to my list with Grimm's Grimmest (which is out of print AGAIN!) and we're done with the horror seekers.

(And can I be just a little proud that the book recommendations from the book's product page mirror my Fairy Tale Nonfiction 2012 Listmania list? Yes, occasionally, I have a small impact because these were not grouped together previously. I've spent a year fleshing out that list! But then you readers look at all of these together and make it happen.)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Tonight: Once Upon a Time (ABC) Twitter Party

I received the following email for all you Once Upon a Time fans. There's a Twitter Party for the show tonight with the new season starting this Sunday. Isn't it nice when shows keep their time slot?

From ABC Entertainment:

Please join us on September 27th, from 8-9pm EST as we celebrate the return of ABC’s Once Upon a Time with a fun Twitter party hosted by Mom Spark! Fans will have a chance to catch-up with everything they need to know to get ready for the much anticipated season premiere on Sunday, Sept 30th 8/7c with features such as upcoming clips from the show, photos from the first season, and Once Upon a Time trivia games and quizzes! Make sure to join in order to win amazing prizes such as a Visa gift cards and Once Upon a Time tote bags! Be part of the magic by participating in the Once Upon a Time Twitter party and share what you’re most excited about this upcoming season! We will be using the hashtag #OnceParty. For additional info, check out!

New Book: Marvelous Transformations: An Anthology of Fairy Tales and Contemporary Critical Perspectives edited by Christine A. Jones & Jennifer

I first learned about Marvelous Transformations: An Anthology of Fairy Tales and Contemporary Critical Perspectives edited by Christine A. Jones & Jennifer Schacker two years ago during the American Folklore Society meeting here in Nashville. Well, the book is finally going to be published this October and will probably become a standard textbook for many fairy tale related classes. I haven't seen a copy in person, of course, but am eager to get my hands on one when I can. There is also a forthcoming companion website which I will post about when it becomes available.

Book description:

Marvelous Transformations is an innovative anthology of fairy tales and related criticism that reflects current, interdisciplinary scholarship on oral traditions and the cultural history of the fairy tale. In addition to the tales, original critical essays, newly written for this volume, introduce students to differing perspectives on key ideas in the field.

Table of Contents:

Table of Contents:

Introduction: "How to Read a Fairy Tale," Jennifer Schacker and Christine A. Jones


A. Early Written Traditions:

Anon., Egyptian Tales (New Kingdom, Dynasty 19, c. 1298-1187 BCE)

The Tale of Two Brothers

Lucius Apuleius, Metamorphoses (mid-2nd century ACE)

The Old Woman’s Tale (excerpt)

Marie de France

Le Fresne (c. 1160)

Anon., Alf Layla wa Layla (14th century)

The Story of King Shahrayar and Shahrazad, His Vizier’s Daughter

B. Early Print Traditions:

Giovan Francesco Straparola, Le Piacevoli notti (1551, 1553)

Crazy Pietro (Night Three, Tale 1)

Costantino Fortunato (Night Eleven, Tale 1)

King Pig (Night Two, Tale 1)

R.I. [Richard Johnson], The History of Tom Thumbe, the Little, for his small stature surnamed, King Arthur’s Dwarfe (1621) [website]

Giambatista Basile, Lo cunto de li cunti (1634-36)

Cinderella Cat (Sixth Entertainment of the First Day)

Old Woman Who Was Skinned (Tenth Entertainment of the First Day)

Cagliuso (Fourth Entertainment of the Second Day)

Sun, Moon, and Talia (Fifth Entertainment of the Fifth day)

Marie-Jeanne L’Héritier de Villandon, Oeuvres meslées (1696)

The Discreet Princess; or the Adventures of Finetta. A Novel.

Catherine Bernard, Inès de Courdoue (1696)

Riquet à la Houppe

Charlotte-Rose de Caumont de La Force, Les Contes des Contes (1697)

The Enchanter [website]

Charles Perrault, Histoires ou Contes du temps passé (1697)

Blue Beard

Cinderella, or the Little Glass Slipper

The Little Red Riding Hood

Sleeping Beauty

Marie-Catherine D’Aulnoy, Les Contes des Fées (1698)

The Fairies’ Tales

Finette Cendron

Henriette-Julie de Murat, Histoires sublimes et allégoriques (1699)

The Savage

Anne-Claude Phillip de Tubière-Grimoard de Pestels Levieux de Lévis, comte de Caylus, Féeries nouvelles (1741)

Sylvain and Jocosa

Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont, Young Misses Magazine, Containing Dialogues between a Governess and Several of Ladies of Quality Her Scholars (1759)

Beauty and the Beast

C. Romanticism to the fin de siècle:

Johann Ludwig Tieck, Peter Lebberechts Volksmährchen (1812)

The Elves [website]

Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm, Kinder und Hausmärchen (1812-14, 1819, 1857)

Hansel and Gretel

The Worn-out Dancing Shoes

Snow White

The Maiden Without Hands

Six Swans

Thomas Crofton Croker, Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland (1823)

The Crookened Back

Hans Christian Andersen, Eventyr, fortalte for børn (1835-45)

The Tinderbox

The Princess on the Pea

The Red Shoes

Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Engebretsen Moe, Norske Folkeeventyr (1845-48)

East o’ the Sun and West o’ the Moon


Little Annie the Goose Girl

George Cruikshank, Gorge Cruikshank's Fairy Library (1854)

Cinderella and the Glass Slipper [website]

Aleksandr Afanas’ev, Narodnye russkie skazki (1855-64)

The Frog Princess

Baga Yagazas

The Maiden Tsar

Danilo the Luckless

John Francis Campbell, Popular Tales of the West Highlands (1860)

The Story of the White Pet

Christina Rossetti, Goblin Market and Other Poems (1862)

Goblin Market

Anne Thackeray Ritchie, Bluebeard's Keys and Other Stories (1874)

Bluebeard’s Keys (excerpt)

Mary de Morgan, On a Pincushion, and Other Fairy Tales (1877)

A Toy Princess

Henriette Kühne-Harkort

Snow White, Freely Adapted from the Grimms (1877, theatre script) [website]

Luigi Capuana, C’era una volta . . . fiabe (1882)

The Talking Tree

Flora Annie Steel, Wide Awake Stories, A Collection of Tales Told by Little Children, Between Sunrise and Sunset, in the Panjab and Kashmir (1884)

Princess Aubergine

Rosamund Marriott Watson, The Bird-bride: A Volume of Ballads and Sonnets (1889)

Ballad of the Bird-bride

Victor Stevens, Little Red Riding Hood, or The Saucy Squire of Sunnydale (1900, pantomime script) [website]

D. Modern/postmodern Tales:

Daniil Kharms

A Children’s Story (c. 1920s-30s)

Arkady Gaidar

Skazka o voennoi taine, o Mal’chishe i ego tverdom slove (1935)

Sylvia Townsend Warner, The Cat's Cradle-Book (1940)

Bluebeard’s Daughter

Gianni Rodari

Nino and Nina, Venti storie più una (1969)

Robert Coover

Excerpt from Briar Rose (1996)

Nalo Hopkinson

The Glass Bottle Trick (2000)

Neil Gaiman

Instructions (2000)

Kelly Link

Swans (2000)

Natsuki Takaya

Excerpt from Furūtsu Basuketto (Fruits Basket, 1999-2006; Shōjo manga series) [website]

Marina Warner

The Difference in the Dose: A Story after Rapunzel (2009)

E. Contemporary Transcriptions and Translations:

John Alden Mason (collector)

Juan Bobo and the Riddling Princess: A Puerto Rican Folk Tale (1914-15)

J. Manuel Espinosa (collector)

The Enchanted Frog (Alensio Chacon, performer, 1931)

Linda Dégh, Hungarian Folktales: The Art of Zsuzanna Palkó

The Serpent Prince (Zsuzanna Palkó, performer, 1950)

A.K. Ramanujan, Folktales of India: A Selection of Oral Tales from Twenty-two Languages

Hanchi (Chennamma, performer, 1955)

Marius Barbeau (collector)

Princess Tomboso (Michael Hornyansky, reteller, 1958)

Hasan M. El-Shamy (collector)

The Daughters of the Bean Vendor (Tahiyyah M., performer, 1971)

Donald Braid (collector)

The Boy and the Blacksmith (Duncan Williamson, performer, 1987)


Introduction: How to Read the Critical Essays


Bill Ellis, The Pennsylvania State University

Christine A. Jones, University of Utah & Jennifer Schacker, University of Guelph

Gina Miele, Montclair State University


Cristina Bacchilega, University of Hawaii, Manoa

Marina Balina, Illinois Wesleyan University

Anne Duggan, Wayne State University


Henry Glassie, Indiana University

Elizabeth Wanning Harries, Smith College

Armando Maggi, University of Chicago


Donald Haase, Wayne State University

Molly Clark Hillard, University of Southern Mississippi

Sophie Raynard, SUNY Stony Brook


Ruth B. Bottigheimer, SUNY Stony Brook

Nancy Canepa, Dartmouth College

Muhsin Jassim al-Musawi, Columbia University

Film: Blancanieves by Pablo Berger

Snow White! In Black & White! With Matadors! And since it is a silent film, it's viewable by anyone without subtitles. Now we just have to wait for distribution but you can read more about it at the following articles.

From San Sebastián Film Festival: Snow White hits Andalusia by Olwen Mears:

Time was silent cinema didn’t have to be visually engaging to hold an audience’s attention. With the advent of talking pictures, special effects and – more recently – 3D, that is no longer the case. Blancanieves, in monochrome and starring Maribel Verdú as the wicked stepmother, is nothing if not aesthetically stunning. Berger was clearly aware of the task he was facing in this respect, and for the most part he pulls it off. One scene in particular, in which Carmencita is reunited with her father, looks like something out of a Jan Pienkowski illustration.

Berger also adds some nice touches that pay homage to the medium and simultaneously tip the wink to the audience. A white communion gown is dipped into black dye and turned into mourning attire, while the seven bullfighting dwarves (based on reality, apparently) name the main character Blancanieves “after the girl in the fairytale”.

At 98 minutes, Blancanieves is the same length as The Artist, though it feels longer at times. I briefly lost interest towards the middle when the film felt cluttered, as if trying to fit in too much. There are several scenes between the young Snow White and her father, for example, when one would suffice, and there is a sense that the film is dragging its feet.

From Blancanieves: Toronto Review:

Blancanieves raises the question of whether the receptiveness of international audiences to black & white silent film homage was expanded or exhausted by The Artist. Comparison is inevitable, but these two elaborate exercises in cinematic nostalgia could hardly be more different. While Michel Hazanavicius’ Oscar winner was a playful valentine to pre-talkies Hollywood, Spanish writer-director Pablo Berger’s inventive Andalusian reworking of Snow White is a love letter to 1920s European silent film, liberally mixing humor and melodrama.

The Brothers Grimm fairy tale has been in revisionist overdrive lately, from the silly farce of Mirror, Mirror to the stylish action and minimal enchantment of Snow White and the Huntsman. Berger’s rethink is arguably more original than either of them, retelling the timeless story in a culturally specific new context, its distinctive flavor enhanced by Alfonso de Vilallonga’s sumptuous, flamenco-inflected score.

Berger sets both the opening and climactic action in a grand bullfighting arena in Seville, tying the Snow White tale to a national tradition that combines spectacle with fiery dramatics. And via the art of the toreador, he makes deft narrative use of a predominantly male ritual to give his heroine a contemporary edge.

From TIFF 2012: Interview with Pablo Berger, director of Blancanieves by Brandi Dean:

For the second year in a row, a black and white silent film is generating buzz at the Toronto International Film Festival. Blancanieves, the second feature film from Spanish director Pablo Berger, has audiences lining up to see the film twice. On Tuesday morning, Berger learned that the film has been shortlisted to represent Spain in this year’s Oscar nominations. Esteemed film critics have lodged rave reviews and Roget Ebert even went so far to as to suggest that Blancanieves has a fair shot at the coveted Blackberry People’s Choice Award.

Unlike last year’s buzzy silent film The Artist, Blancanieves is truly a silent film. While The Artist was modern film – a charming and entertaining one, no doubt – in the style of silent film, Berger’s movie goes all the way. This retelling of the familiar Snow White story, transferred to Spain and the bullfighting ring, harnesses all the power of the visual storytelling that is inherent in a film without dialogue. While silent film fans are going to go nuts over this movie (I know, I’m one of them), wider audiences, perhaps softened by the success of The Artist, are going to experience the full, almost magical spell that the best silent cinema can weave.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bargain Book in UK: The Goddess Test by Aimée Carter

The Goddess Test (A Goddess Test Novel - Book 1) (The Goddess Chronicles) by Aimée Carter is the Amazon UK Daily Deal--see, I do love you UK readers!--which draws inspiration from mythology. The ebook is £1.19 in the UK. It is not bargain priced today in the US where it remains $7.01.

Book description:

It's always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall. Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests. Kate is sure he's crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.

Bargain Ebook: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson is a TODAY only ebook bargain for US readers. This is not a fairy tale retelling but a very well reviewed fantasy novel that should appeal to most SurLaLune readers.

Book description:

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness. Elisa has always felt powerless, useless. Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king who needs her to be the chosen one, not a failure of a princess. And he's not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies, seething with dark magic, are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could save his people. And he looks at her in a way no man has ever looked at her before. Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn't die young. Most of the chosen do.

Bargain Ebook: The Raven Ring (The Lyra Novels) by Patricia C. Wrede

The Raven Ring (The Lyra Novels) by Patricia C. Wrede is $1.99 in ebook format TODAY only on Amazon as their Daily Deal. No, this is not a fairy tale retelling like some of her books, but Wrede is a fave around here at SurLaLune so this was a must share.

Book description:

In this book from Wrede’s acclaimed Lyra fantasy series, a young woman must fight for her life while on a quest to claim a magical family heirloom.

Three weeks after Eleret’s mother is killed, the messenger arrives with the tragic news. She died far from home, succumbing to wounds sustained in battle, and Eleret must travel to reclaim her belongings. The overland journey to the city of Ciaron is treacherous, but Eleret has no fear. She straps a dagger to her leg and sets off to recover one of her mother’s prized possessions: a ring etched with a raven. Though she makes it to Ciaron safely, getting home is another story.

Eleret doesn’t know what’s special about her mother’s ring, but someone wanted it badly enough to kill for it. To make it home in one piece, she must unlock the mysteries of the ring her mother died to protect.

New Release: In a Glass Grimmly by Adam Gidwitz

In a Glass Grimmly by Adam Gidwitz is released tomorrow.

It is the companion book to last year's successful A Tale Dark and Grimm. I bought that one as a Christmas present for my niece and we read it together during her holiday visit. I remember being surprised at the tales it included--the world is a'changing--and having Leighton ask repeatedly if what I was reading out loud were my words or the book's words. They were usually the book's. But I guess the constant tongue in cheek warnings of grimm things to come sounded like me. It was fun discussing the referenced tales with her such as The Robber Bridegroom since it plays a part in that book and is a Bluebeard I know rather much about. Bluebeard and his cronies are so very fascinating--why are those tales being ignored so much by the horror leaning writers?

Needless to say I am fascinated to know which tales are going to appear in this new book.

Book description:

More Grimm tales await in the harrowing, hilarious companion to a beloved new classic

Take caution ahead--
Oversize plant life, eerie amphibious royalty, and fear-inducing creatures abound.

Lest you enter with dread.
Follow Jack and Jill as they enter startling new landscapes that may (or may not) be scary, bloody, terrifying, and altogether true.

Step lively, dear reader . . .
Happily ever after isn't cutting it anymore.

In this companion novel to Adam Gidwitz's widely acclaimed, award-winning debut, A Tale Dark &Grimm, Jack and Jill explore a new set of tales from the Brothers Grimm and others, including Jack and the Beanstalk and The Frog Prince.

Monster High Scary Tale Dolls

I know next to nothing about the Monster High toys put out by Mattel. They have a website and a huge online following. I stumbled across these exclusive Target edition dolls this past weekend when shopping for something else. First thought, "Barbie mated with Todd McFarlane's fairy tale figures!" These lean more Barbie than McFarlane--a visit to the website proves that point where the characters have favorite foods, colors, pet, crushes and GFFs instead of BFFs--but these are still toys that would have never been around when I was a kid.

Anyway, enterprising sellers have these available on Amazon where you can see better box images--complete with rhyming fairy tales on the back--are viewable. There are also many, many YouTube videos of these dolls alone. How I missed these since they were released a few months ago, I don't know. Call it the "moving house syndrome."

And, yes, the best prices on these are at Target (no SurLaLune affiliation) since that is where they are especially licensed for distribution. They are limited edition, too. Fascinating toy line, especially the zombie parts and assemble your own doll sets. Hopefully these children will become doctors when they grow up....or genre fiction writers.