In a beautiful collaboration, New York Times bestselling and Newbery and Carnegie Medal-winning author Neil Gaiman and Kate Greenaway-winning illustrator Chris Riddell have created a thrillingly reimagined fairy tale, "told in a way only Gaiman can" and featuring "stunning metallic artwork" (GeekInsider.com).
The result is a beautiful and coveted edition of The Sleeper and the Spindle that the Guardian calls "a refreshing, much-needed twist on a classic story."
In this captivating and darkly funny tale, Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell have twisted together the familiar and the new as well as the beautiful and the wicked to tell a brilliant version of Snow White''s (sort of) and Sleeping Beauty''s (almost) stories.
This story was originally published (without illustrations) in Rags & Bones (Little, Brown, 2013). This is the first time it is being published as an illustrated, stand-alone edition, and the book is a beautiful work of art.
From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Snow White meets Sleeping Beauty in this fairytale mash-up where things are not what they seem. When three dwarfs learn of a sleeping plague spreading throughout the land, they alert their queen. The queen, already feeling that marriage means the end of her ability to make choices in her life, gladly postpones her wedding, grabs her sword, and sets off with the dwarfs to get to the bottom of the magical curse. On their way, they encounter throngs of cobweb-covered sleepers. To their surprise, the slumbering masses talk in their sleep and eventually begin to lumber after them. The team forges ahead to the castle, where they find the sleeping princess and an old woman. The queen''s kiss, shown in a sumptuous spread, wakes the princess. The quest turns out to be just what the queen needs to be reminded of the choices she has. Riddell''s spectacularly intricate ink drawings, gilded with gold, bring Gaiman''s inventive story to life. Each page is packed with marvelous details—vines claustrophobically twist everywhere and expressions convey far more emotion than the words let on. Gaiman''s narrative about strength, sacrifice, choice, and identity is no simple retelling; he sends readers down one path then deliciously sends the story veering off in an unexpected direction. The only downside—the tale ends far too soon. VERDICT This highly recommended visually stunning twist on two classic fairy tales will be well received by fans of graphic novels and fantasy stories.—Amanda MacGregor, Great River Regional Library, St. Cloud, MN
“Gaiman and Riddell’s greatest [collaboration] to date.” -- Tor.com
“Told in a way only Gaiman can” and featuring “stunning metallic artwork.” -- GeekInsider
“A refreshing, much-needed twist on a classic story.” -- The Guardian
“Spellbindingly illustrated.” -- Gaby Wood, Saturday Telegraph
“Magical, sumptuous, transporting.” -- The Big Issue
“Unforgettable, unpredictable and utterly enchanting for anyone between the ages of seven and seventy.” -- Amanda Craig, The New Statesman
“A genuine treat.” --
“A spectacular art object...certainly a treasure.” --
“Riddell’s spectacularly intricate ink drawings, gilded with gold, bring Gaiman’s inventive story to life...This highly recommended visually stunning twist on two classic fairy tales will be well received by fans of graphic novels and fantasy stories.” -- School Library Journal
“A wholly original reimagining...Riddell’s artwork is the reason a library should own this title in their collection. His details are exquisite.” -- Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
“A striking volume...thrums with malevolence and confounds our expectations...[the pictures] seem to writhe creepily on the page.” --
Wall Street Journal
“Unabashedly feminist...So sonically tuned that it breathes on its own from the very first line. Adding to the wonder are Chris Riddell’s dazzling illustrations.” --
New York Times Book Review
From the Back Cover
It was the closest kingdom to the queen''s, as the crow flies, but not even the crows flew it.
You may think you know this story. There''s a young queen, about to be married. There are some good, brave, hardy dwarfs; a castle, shrouded in thorns; and a princess, cursed by a witch, so rumor has it, to sleep forever.
But no one is waiting for a noble prince to appear on his trusty steed here. This fairy tale is spun with a thread of dark magic, which twists and turns and glints and shines. A queen might just prove herself a hero, if a princess needs rescuing. . . .
About the Author
Neil Gaiman is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of books for children and adults whose award-winning titles include Norse Mythology, American Gods, The Graveyard Book, Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett), Coraline, and The Sandman graphic novels. Neil Gaiman is a Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR and Professor in the Arts at Bard College.
Chris Riddell is an acclaimed British artist who lives in Brighton, England. He has written and illustrated many books of his own, including Ottoline and the Yellow Cat and Ottoline Goes to School, and has illustrated, for Bloomsbury UK, The Graveyard Book; Coraline; and Fortunately, the Milk; as well as The Sleeper and the Spindle.