Sunday, November 23, 2014
Fairy Tales with Feminist Twists: Poisoned Apples
Greenwillow Books, 2014
I consider myself fortunate in that I grew up in a time where being a princess was something I always saw as an honest-to-goodness Job rather than only being about handsome princes and happily ever afters. Thanks to the likes of Princess Diana, Meg Cabot's Princess Diaries series, and now Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, it was always clear to me that fairy tales, while lovely stories to get lost in, may not always be quite as they appear. I've been thinking about this a lot ever since finishing Poisoned Apples, a collection of 50 poems by Christine Heppermann inspired by classic fairy tales, but given contemporary and feminist twists.
While there are plenty of people out there who see fairy tales as detrimental to the minds of young girls, Heppermann's collection shows how the princesses in these tales are very much people too. Dealing with the pressures put on us by society and ourselves, some of the roots of these poems are more obvious than others, but each one packs a punch. The artwork that accompanies these poems adds to their emphasis, an additional reminder of how what we say, what we think, and how it looks on the outside can all be drastically different things.
I don't typically consider myself much of a poetry person - I can usually only appreciate it in small doses - but when I find something that speaks to me, it does so loud and clear. This is very much the case for many of the poems in these pages. Two in particular stand out, "The Woods" and "Nature Lesson", but I made copies of many others so I can draw from them in times of need.
Even if you don't consider yourself a particular fan of poetry or fairy tales, I highly encourage you to give this book a chance. It may be small, but it is fierce.
Comments welcome, and, as always, happy reading!
Christine Heppermann's Website
Christine Heppermann on Twitter