A Retelling by Hilary McKay

A retelling, especially a fairytale's, is always special to me since it never fails to bring out random fond memories of my childhood nighttime. Straw into Gold: Fairy Tales Re-spun by Hilary McKay is exactly how I imagine a clever retelling would take shape. Brilliant and enchanting, I've been attracted to the idea of exploring Hansel and Gretel's story from their teacher's point of view since the very beginning as well as the twist in the famous Cinderella's tale, therefore, me jumping into McKay's imaginary respun is quite an experience I never expected to very much need.

Basically, Straw into Gold is a collection of ten fairytale retellings such as Rapunzel, Cinderella, The Princess and the Pea, Rumpelstiltskin, The Pied Piper, The Swan Brothers, Snow White, Red Riding Hood, The Twelve Dancing Princesses, also Hansel and Gretel. It's admittedly hard to grow tired of something as everlasting as a fairytale, and while we could still clearly grasp the original vibes of every lore in this book, I found each of the twists refreshing and the choices of the perspective way creative.

After falling in love with the idea, I realized that what I loved the most about Straw into Gold as a whole was the fact that it was retold very cleverly. Though I wasn't at all familiar with half of the tales retold, going through each story still felt like a trip to Grimm's Fairy Tales universe but less gruesome and more mundane. Magic was still the important key shadowing some of the tales but somehow Mckay managed to make them feel more honest and lifelike. What I Did in the Holidays, and Why Hansel’s Jacket Is So Tight was my favorite by far.

I can't deny how big of an impact fairytales have made on our childhood hence it's easy to understand why some might consider retellings quite tricky. For me though, Straw into Gold was a success partly because the tales managed to follow their predecessors' footsteps similarly while at the same time did a little jiggle up and down on the spot one did not predict. If you're a big fan of fairytales (which I assume you are) or retellings in general, I think it's a must to give this book a try. You might feel the magic or find it interesting to say the least, who knows?

Actual rating: 4.3