Title: Time Lord Fairy Tales
Author: Justin Richards
2017 Book Challenge Entry: A book with a mythical creature
Thoughts: Something I have shared here, and have no shame about in my life, is my obsession with fairy tales. I absolutely love them. As a kid, I had illustrated collections that I would read over and over again. In my teenage years, I began looking into the original fairy tales that inspired Disney movies. Specifically the ones that didn’t just end with the princess and the prince getting together, but also threw in the occasional evil step sister getting her eyes pecked out ya know? As a full blown grown up who is married, gets oil changes and pays bills, I still seek out fairy tales all the time. While there is something comforting about the familiarity in a good fairy tale, there is also something dark and sinister and a large part of me loves that dark and sinister slice in these tales that are supposed to be for children.
I also happen to be a bit of a Doctor Who fan. I’m not going to go out and say that I am the world’s foremost Whovian. I’ve never seen the original series and I am woefully behind on the Capaldi years. Although I will say, holy crap so excited for Jodie Whittaker to take on the role. She’s wicked awesome and she is probably going to kick some serious ass. Anyway, the concepts in Doctor Who have always resonated with me on a human level. He is an alien who basically wants to help people. In one of the first episodes featuring companion Amy Pond (one of the best in my humble opinion), the Doctor is compared to a Star Whale. He is very old and very kind and the last of his kind and he can’t stand to hear children cry in pain and suffering. He helps where he can. He is also an obnoxious show off sometimes, but hey. We can’t all be Gregory Peck. Basically, I love it. I love the show, I love the writing and I love that it is one of the reasons being a nerd is totally amazing.
What Justin Richards does in Time Lord Fairy Tales is take these two wonderful things, fairy tales and Doctor Who and smush them together in a delightful mash up. It’s just delicious. Like…mint and chocolate. Or peanut butter and chocolate. Or bananas and chocolate. Are we getting the theme here. It’s just awesome. The thing that floors me is that he is able to take old old stories, stories that have been around for hundreds of years in some cases and give them new life without losing the universal feeling you get from reading the originals. He is able to inject characters we know from the show into Goldilocks and the Three Bears, or Hansel and Gretel. It’s so creative and…
See what I did there? It’s a thing from the show that the guy says…
Sorry. I digress.
Anyway, I adored this book. Eric and I got into a habit of bringing it with us when we were out running errands or at home when we had a chill night in and just read them to each other. Because they were short stories, we could take our time. We didn’t feel pressured to remember a thousand characters and intersecting storylines. I don’t mind that, because I’m a nerdy reading type, but reading isn’t exactly Eric’s favorite past time. Short stories are definitely the way to go with him and he loved these. We would read together and talk about the stories and laugh about the inside jokes Richards plonked into his text for the fans.
I think this would also be a wonderful collection for kids. Because of the elements of science fiction and fantasy, it actually forces them to think on a higher level than typical fairy tales. The language is rich and exciting and he uses loooooovely imagery to help you create these fantastical scenarios with creatures that don’t exist and we have no real reference for. There are bits of scary woven through (oh the Weeping Angels! It’s such a good one!), but all classic fairy tales have a frightening element to them. I might harbor a secret desire for our kiddo to know The Three Little Sontarans better than the story of The Three Little Pigs. Does that make me a bad person?
I’m a huge huge fan of this book. I can’t wait to share it with our nugget when she’s old enough and for any fan of Who, it’s a must for your bookshelf.