Reading Riot: The Sleeper and the Spindle
Looking for a unique book to enjoy? This week, library clerk Frances A. recommends one of Neil Gaiman’s latest illustrated tales for young adults.
Growing up, I always adored fairy tales and legends. I’d spend hours at a time with my well-worn copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales and later Edith Hamilton’s Mythology. But one thing always bothered me about these stories of good and evil, magic and mystery. After the Prince has slayed the dragon, after the impossible challenges have been met and conquered, what then? What happens after ‘Happily ever after?’And what about the women? Must all princesses always be helpless, damsels in distress? Must queens be vain and vengeful?
In his new book, The Sleeper and the Spindle, Neil Gaiman puts his whimsical, fairy tale like writing style to good use and tackles some of these common tropes. Without ever using their names – in fact he never names any of the characters in the book – Gaiman invokes memories of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Sleeping Beauty, all while intertwining the two stories and adding to the lore of each. I especially loved the strong and adventurous Queen and delighted in the plot twists toward the end of the story. If you’re not already sold, the artwork, simple yet elegant line drawings with gold accents, featured throughout the book is absolutely beautiful.
The “Sleeper and the Spindle” is a fun, quick read that adults and teens alike are sure to enjoy.
~ Frances, clerk, Bealeton branch library
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