Grumbles from the Forest: Fairy-Tale Voices with a Twist by Jane Yolen (Author), Rebecca Kai Dotlich (Author), Matt Mahurin (Illustrator) was released a few days ago.
What were all those fairy-tale characters thinking? Jane Yolen and Rebecca Kai Dotlich answer this question in paired poems, with sometimes startling results. The Princess claims all those mattresses kept her awake—not a silly pea—while the poor pea complains that the princess snores. One Snow White begs the witch to settle by the bay and throw that mirror away. Another boldly tells the mirror she “won’t be guided by a glass that’s so one-sided.” Grumbles from the Forest is a bewitching brew of voices—grumbling, pleading, bragging, reminiscing, confiding—that bubbles with magic and wonder. The spectacular paintings that tie the poems together are full of surprise and intrigue. This stunning collection includes end notes that briefly describe the tales and their history and an introduction that invites readers to imagine their own poems from unusual perspectives.
This review from Kirkus Reviews is one of the best I've read:
An intriguing idea becomes a thought-provoking collection of short poems from characters readers only thought they knew. Yolen and Dotlich have taken 15 well-known fairy tales ("Cinderella," "Snow White," "Jack and the Beanstalk," etc.) and written two short poems in various formats spoken from the point of view of a character. The Princess and the Pea each get a voice, and so do the Frog and the Princess. Tiny Thumbelina gets two tiny poems, a cinquain and a haiku. The frontmatter lists who wrote what, and a very brief summary of each tale is listed at the end. While short, these notes include tale variants, which is very nice indeed. The beginning poem, "Once," is by Yolen; and the closing, "Happily Ever After," is by Dotlich. While every poem is accessible, some are richer and darker than others. "Beauty and the Beast: An Anniversary" (Yolen) visits the couple in their old age and is wistful and touching; "Snide: An Afterthought" (Dotlich) is as the title states: "Ever after, I refused to call him / Rumpelstiltskin; / to me, he is a nasty little man." Mahurin's surreal images are layered with color, now matte, now iridescent, with exaggerated perspectives and dreamlike, occasionally nightmarish, elongated or oversized figures. The poets invite and may well entice readers to write their own fairy-tale poems. (Poetry/fairy tales. 5-9)Here's images of the Table of Contents pages--some of the poems can also be previewed through Amazon's Look Inside the Book feature.
All of my knowledge of the book so far is from the preview--don't have a copy yet--but it was enough to see some of the beautiful illustrations like this one:
And to see that SurLaLune gets a shout out in the appendix. Thank you!