Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes by Nina Berry, Sarwat Chadda, Shannon Delany, Max Scialdone, Karen Mahoney, Lisa Mantchev, Georgia McBride, C. Lee McKenzie, Gretchen McNeil, 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
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Horror, Short Stories, Fairy Tales
Release Date: October 16, 2012
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.
"We do not walk, but float, like wisps of breathy yearning escaping a lover's lips. We do not touch, except in our ancient ways--and only then, under cover of darkest sleep."
Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes is one of the creepiest and hauntingly eerie books I’ve read in the long time. I mean Mother Goose Rhymes turned scary? I love it! The quote above is from my one of my favorite retellings, Blue by Sayantani DasGupta based on Little Boy Blue.
I absolutely love the way in which this story is woven together. The woman, Blue seems ethereal (probably because she’s a spirit haha) and provokes this feeling of deep sadness inside of me and I have no clue why! But when the boy finds her and asks for her story their interaction, it was beautiful and dark yes, but in a good way. Plus, the word usage and descriptions, I just really loved it.
My second favorite story in the book was Little Miss Muffet by Georgia McBride. This story was all kinds of creepy centering on a family of spider shifters? Spiders freak me out so thinking that there are humans who can transform into them make me want to run and hide in a pool of water or somewhere else spiders don’t like to go. Little Miss Muffet was one of the most disturbing stories in the book; for god’s sake she ate her Mother in spider form! *shivers* Creepy
Wee Willie Winkie by Leigh Fallon was another really great one. It was about a young girl who moved with her family to a town with practically no kids because of the Wee Willie Winkie who is fae and lures children under 16 to their death. It was awesome and creepy.
The anthology as a whole was really fun to read and definitely perfect for this time of year.I’d definitely recommend it!
Nina Berry is the author of the acclaimed YA paranormal OTHERKIN series from KTeen and the upcoming historical thriller PAGAN JONES series from Harlequin Teen. She grew up bodysurfing in Hawaii, learned to throw snowballs at the University of Chicago, and now lives and works in Hollywood, pretending to lead the glamorous life.
When she’s not traveling, reading or tweeting links to save the tiger, she writes all kinds of things, some of which might surprise you.