Beanstalker and other hilarious scary tales

Kiersten White

Book - 2017

Snow White is a vampire, Little Red Riding Hood is a zombie, and Cinderella is an arsonist--and that is only some of the mayhem the reader will find in this collection of fractured fairy tales.

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jFICTION/White Kiersten
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Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room jFICTION/White Kiersten Checked In
Horror fiction
Humorous fiction
Fantasy fiction
New York, NY : Scholastic Press 2017.
First edition
Physical Description
211 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Main Author
Kiersten White (author)
  • Unfair hair
  • Snow White, Blood Red
  • The Princess and the ...pea?
  • Little Dead Riding Hood
  • Cinders and ashes
  • Goldilocks and the three sisters
  • Jack the Beanstalker
  • Bad apple
  • The boy who cried zombies
  • Vampires and Zombies and stepmothers, oh my!.
Review by Booklist Reviews

What do you get when you blend the bloodier, scarier appeal of fairy tales with zombies and vampires and then mix in broad humor based on linguistic mix-ups? A mash-up that will appeal more to fans of Goosebumps or Adam Gidwitz's A Tale Dark and Grimm (2010) than to those who like the Disneyfied tales. In White's version, Rapunzel sports a Mohawk and is the proud owner of a very, very long snake named Herr; Snow White's more likely to drain you dry than smile sweetly; and Cinderella is prone to arson—so no live cinders are allowed in her fireplace. The common thread that ties the stories together is the stepmother—just one—who tries her best to keep all her oddball stepchildren from wreaking complete destruction. Can her most unlikely charge, Jack, who infamously mixes up the ingredients of pease porridge with pee, actually save the day? Readers who like this kind of humor will eat it up (just don't taste the porridge). A clever, if at times slightly disgusting, read. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: White's a reliable best-seller in YA, and she tackles a consistently high-interest topic in this foray into middle grade—an irresistible match. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 4–6—Best-selling YA author White makes her middle grade debut in this creepy but hilarious collection of reimagined fairy tales. Readers will be quick to recognize familiar faces like Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, and Snow White, but the recognition stops there. These archetypal figures, along with their stories, are subverted by macabre characterizations that see them turning into zombies, vampires, or worse. In White's nameless "scarytale" kingdom, monsters and little girls might be the same thing. Princes and princesses might be locked in towers (or coffins) for a good reason. Each story blurs the line between good and evil, such that the only true foe is misunderstanding. With clever wordplay and confused homonyms (hair/Herr; pea/pee), White makes it clear that spelling and meaning matter greatly. But staying alive matters most of all. Even when the plot is frightening, readers can rest assured that there's a joke around the corner. Short, adapted nursery rhymes separate stories and elicit chuckles. Occasional spot illustrations also provide comic relief with their cartoony, exaggerated quality. The real star of this romp, though, is the narrator. Equal parts Terry Pratchett and Lemony Snicket, the unnamed omniscient narrator relates each scarytale. Some stories are scarier (and cleverer) than others, but the consistency of tone will have readers eagerly flipping from story to story. VERDICT For larger collections. This book will circulate best where fairy-tale retellings—especially Adam Gidwitz's "A Tale Dark and Grimm" series—remain popular.—Alec Chunn, Eugene Public Library, OR Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A wacky collection of fractured fairy tales by the best-selling author of the Paranormalcy trilogy features characters who prove less than virtuous in the face of spooky, hilarious and often icky challenges, from a girl who emerges from the forest as a zombie to a prince whose efforts to find a wife pit him against furry vampires. Simultaneous eBook.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Snow White is a vampire, Little Red Riding Hood is a zombie, and Cinderella is an arsonist--and that is only some of the mayhem the reader will find in this collection of fractured fairy tales.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Follows the exploits of Jack as he makes his way through a series of fractured fairy tales, joined by such other characters as a vampiric Snow White, a zombie Little Red Riding Hood, and an arsonist Cinderella.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Kiersten White, the author of the NYT bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy, is ready to make her middle grade debut!Once upon a time, a girl skipped into the forest and became a zombie.Wait, no, that's not how this story is supposed to go. Let's try again.Once upon a time, a boy did a horrible job as a sheep-sitter and burned his tongue on stolen pie.No, children in these stories are always good and virtuous. From the top.Once upon a time, a king and queen tried to find a princess for their son to marry, and he wound up fleeing from a group of very hairy vampires.Hmmm...What about, once upon a time, a bunch of fairy tales got twisted around to be completely hilarious, a tiny bit icky, and delightfully spooky scarytales... in other words, exactly what fairy tales were meant to be. Grab some flaming torches, maybe don't accept that bowl of pease porridge, and get ready for a wickedly fun ride with acclaimed author Kiersten White and fairy tales like you've never heard them before.