ISBN
9780142419670

A Tale Dark & Grimm

$7.99

Hansel and Gretel walk out of their own story and into eight other classic Grimm (and Grimm-inspired) fairy tales. An irreverent, witty narrator leads us through encounters with witches, warlocks, dragons, and the devil himself. As the siblings roam a forest brimming with menacing foes, they learn the true story behind the famous tales, as well as how to take charge of their destinies and create their own happily ever after. Because once upon a time, fairy tales were awesome.

FAITHFUL JOHANNES

Once upon a time, in a kingdom called Grimm, an old king lay on his deathbed. He was Hansel and Gretel’s grandfather—but he didn’t know that, for neither Hansel nor Gretel had been born yet.

Now hold on a minute.
I know what you’re thinking.
I am well aware that nobody wants to hear a story that happens before the main characters show up. Stories like that are boring, because they all end exactly the same way. With the main characters showing up.
But don’t worry. This story is like no story you’ve ever heard.
You see, Hansel and Gretel don’t just show up at the end of this story.
They show up.
And then they get their heads cut off.
Just thought you’d like to know.

The old king knew he was soon to pass from this world, and so he called for his oldest and most faithful servant. The servant’s name was Johannes; but he had served the king’s father, and his father’s father, and his father’s father’s father so loyally that all called him Faithful Johannes.

Johannes tottered in on bowed legs, heaving his crooked back step by step and leering with his one good eye. His long nose sniffed at the air. His mouth puckered around two rotten teeth. But, despite his grotesque appearance, when he came within view, the old king smiled and said, “Ah, Johannes!” and drew him near.

The king’s voice was weak as he said, “I am soon to die. But before I go, you must promise me two things. First, promise that you will be as faithful to my young son as you have been to me.”

Without hesitation, Johannes promised. The old king went on. “Second, promise that you will show him his entire inheritance—the castle, the treasures, all this fine land—except for one room. Do not show him the room with the portrait of the golden princess. For if he sees the portrait he will fall madly in love with her. And I fear it will cost him his life.” The king gripped Johannes’s hand. “Promise me.”

Again Johannes promised. Then the wrinkles of worry left the king’s brow, and he closed his eyes and breathed his last.

More Information
ISBN 9780142419670
Author Adam Gidwitz
Number of Pages 256
Reading Level 4.5
Publisher Penguin Random House
Book Dimensions 8 x 5 in.
Shipping Weight .45 lbs
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