A twisty-turny, not-quite fairy tale that is sure to please, now in paperback!
Storm, Aurora, and Anything Eden live in a decaying mansion on the edge of the wilds with their erstwhile father and indolent mother. When an accident leaves them orphaned and at the mercy of the sinister Dr. DeWilde, these three courageous and eccentric sisters are forced to flee into the woods, where they encounter kidnappers, sweets-filled orphanages, mountains of ice, diamond mines, and some ravenously hungry wolves.
Taking inspiration from numerous fairy tales and weaving them into a wholly original story, Into the Woods is a whirlwind of a novel, full of imaginative happenings and dastardly deeds.
"Following their mother's death and father's abandonment, Storm and her sisters are left alone. The arrival of the evil Dr. DeWilde and his retinue of wolves forces the girls to flee, running into the woods before he can locate a musical pipe given to Storm by her mother. The ensuing adventure takes the girls afar as they encounter a house of sweets, a long-lost great-grandmother, and the Pied Piper, who lures children away. Gardner's fast-paced fantasy-adventure cleverly borrows from well-known fairy tales, and astute readers will enjoy identifying the many folkloric references. The sisters are especially interesting characters--homebody Aurora is addicted to cooking and cleaning, fearless Storm is drawn to pyrotechnics and acting on impulse. The baby astounds all with her amazing vocabulary. Grey's appealing black-and-white illustrations add humor and detail to the story. This will be a popular pick, especially for fans of Jean Ferris' Once upon a Marigold (2002) or Gail Carson Levine's Princess Tales series. --Kay Weisman Copyright 2007 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"First-time novelist Gardner reinvents the Pied Piper story, imbuing it with plenty of charm. Storm lives with her parents, absent-minded dreamers who "had simply used up all their love on each other and had none left to spare for her." Older sister Aurora is the de facto head of the house and they are soon joined by baby sister Any (short for Anything). On her deathbed, Storm's mother gives her a tin pipe, with an admonition to "use it wisely and only if you have desperate need." Meanwhile, the villagers are fed up with a profusion of rats, and a sinister man named Dr. DeWilde is called in to solve the problem. Before long, Dr. DeWilde shows up at the girls' house-where they now live alone, their father having fled the scene-demanding the pipe, which Storm refuses to relinquish. The girls escape into the woods where a series of misadventures separates them from Any; they learn that their sister is being taken to Piper's Peak, where children "become slaves in the Piper's kingdom." As the girls attempt to rescue Any, Storm learns the pipe's real value, and the doom it would spell should it fall into the evil doctor's hands. Gardner has crafted a fast-paced and entertaining adventure filled with cheeky humor and wordplay; even if the book's playful tone precludes the possibility of a dread ending, it's a blast of a journey. Ages 8-12. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved