Something to mull over...

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Peddler's Road - where Hansel and Gretel visit Neverland!

I am a dad of my own now, but back when I was a kid, my early exposure to literature and music included nursery rhymes, fairy tales and Christmas songs. So any trivia game that involves these, I will likely know the answer. Since there are a lot of fairy tale retellings nowadays, I am enjoying my responsibility to pre-screen books that I pass on to my pre-teens by reading them first. Some I disapprove of (like children's stories made excessively dark and gruesome) and some I am delighted with. I am happily delighted with Peddler's Road!

This colorful revision of the original Pied Piper's story is expansive and inclusive. The world it paints is graphically depicted in a map ala-Middle Earth. The main characters are the two kids of a professional archivist and researcher of fairy tales. But the interesting twist is that they meet the original 130 kids who were lured by the Pied Piper! How? You have to read the book to find out.

There are elements of Neverland here, as well as Hansel and Gretel, Raggedy Ann, Alice in Wonderland and Little Red Riding Hood. The monsters here are the ones we somehow tend to concoct as kids, regardless of race or creed. The rats are given life-sized roles here, instead of being just pests.

I liked this enough that midway through, I allowed my daughter to read it hoping she could catch up with me. Well, she ended up finishing it a day before I did, and now she is in Book 2. If there is one thing I could complain of, it is the pricing of the trilogy. My daughter is absolutely thrilled that there are 3 books - that means she has something to look forward to next year when Book 3 comes out. I am shocked by how expensive Book 2 was, even the ebook version. Unfortunately, our library only has Book 1, which I had already bought for myself. I feel like I have been lured by the Pied Piper... and here I am, merrily trading my hard earned money just to hear more of the story... and the music.