4 stars · Fantasy · fiction · horror · paranormal · romance · Uncategorized · young adult

Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes

Two and Twenty Dark Tales : Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes

editors : georgia mcbride & michelle zink

contributors : nina berry, sarwat chadda, shannon delany, max scialdone, karen mahoney, Lisa Mantchev), Georgia McBride, C. Lee McKenzie Gretchen McNeil, Francisco X. Stork, K.M. Walton, Suzanne Young, Michelle Zink, Leigh Fallon, Angie Frazier, Jessie Harrell, Nancy Holder, Heidi R. Kling, Suzanne Lazear, Pam van Hylckama Vlieg, Leah Cypess

pages : 350

favorite stories : as blue as the sky and just as old; clockwork; blue; wee willie winkie; those who whisper; a ribbon of blue


In this anthology, 20 authors explore the dark and hidden meanings behind some of the most beloved Mother Goose nursery rhymes through short story retellings. The dark twists on classic tales range from exploring whether Jack truly fell or if Jill pushed him instead to why Humpty Dumpty, fragile and alone, sat atop so high of a wall. The authors include Nina Berry, Sarwat Chadda, Leigh Fallon, Gretchen McNeil, and Suzanne Young.

review :

I really love anthologies. Probably because a short story can hold so much potential and reading a book full of them can be as good as reading that many books. That was why I was so, so happy to have the opportunity to read this. I’m already in love with retold fairy tales; why not Mother Goose rhymes?

I can’t say that I expected this to turn out the way that it did. Some of the stories were much scarier than I anticipated, like the Jack and Jill one and especially Wee Willie Winkie. The latter doesn’t sound frightening at all, but I really think that’s the one with the potential for nightmares. Others were a bit sweeter and had happy endings though they still managed to have their surprises, twists, and turns.

So many of these tales left me thinking and then going back to reread the rhymes quoted at the beginning of the stories to see what bits and pieces the authors picked up on to interpret differently in their tales. All of them were very creative and while some of the stories never reached their full potential I have to applaud them full-heartedly for that.

I really recommend this book! It’s sure to have at least one story in it that you will fall in love with and it will leave you craving more!

4/5 stars


2 thoughts on “Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes

  1. Wow, I love anthologies too! And I absolutely adore old fairy tales and different, twisted meanings of them. Have you read ‘The Bloody Chamber’ by Angela Carter? I guarantee you would love it. Such dark, twisted tales! I will certainly check this one out.


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