Reviews for Fairy Tale Detectives
Booklist Reviews 2005 November #2
Gr. 4-6. After their parents disappear, sisters Daphne and Sabrina Grimm are placed with a grandmother they have never heard about. Sabrina, the eldest, is highly suspicious; why didn't their parents mention Granny Relda? She grows more concerned once they arrive at Relda's home in the New England town of Ferryport Landing, where Relda serves emerald-green meatballs in rooms lined with books about magic. Then Relda reveals the truth: the Grimms are descended from the famous storytelling brothers, and Ferryport Landing is a magical town, populated with "Everafters," characters straight from fairy tales. After Relda goes missing, it's up to the girls, and their new magical friends, to rescue her and stop a corrupt politician--a well-cast Prince Charming. Buckley's debut novel gets bogged down in labored world building and sometimes stilted prose, but the wild parade of magical folk in the gleefully fractured fairy tales (Snow White teaches school; the Three Little Pigs are policemen) may draw some fans. A second volume in the Sisters Grimm series, The Unusual Suspects, is also available. ((Reviewed November 15, 2005)) Copyright 2005 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2006 Spring
Their ancestors wrote history books not fairy tales--as Sabrina and Daphne Grimm soon discover after arriving in Ferryport Landing, home to "Everafters" like Sheriff Hamstead, a now not-so-little pig. In fast-paced Detectives, the sisters encounter Jack (of Beanstalk fame) who's intent on reliving his glory days as a giant killer. Suspects is equally engaging but ends abruptly with "To be continued...." [Review covers these titles: The Sisters Grimm: Book One and The Sisters Grimm: Book Two.] Copyright 2006 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2005 October #1
Readers will definitely have to be up on their folktales, as well as children's lit classics in general, to catch all the references in this terrific, head-spinning series opener. Dumped roughly out of foster care into the arms of Relda, a twinkly-eyed woman claiming to be their grandma, Sabrina and Daphne Grimm, 11 and seven, find themselves in Ferryport Landing, a seemingly normal New York town originally (and more accurately) dubbed Fairyport Landing. It's inhabited by the likes of Mayor Charming, three chubby cops named Boarman, Swineheart and Hamstead and vulpine Mr. Canis-all transported overseas for their own safety long ago by four-times-Great Grandpa Wilhelm Grimm. Borrowing a flying carpet and a certain pair of silver slippers from a fashion-conscious Magic Mirror, Sabrina and Daphne quickly find themselves springing the renowned Jack from jail to help deal with a destructive giant who has snatched Relda. All is, however, not as it seems. Rich in well-set-up surprises and imaginatively tweaked characters, this tongue-in-cheek frolic features both a pair of memorable young sleuths and a madcap plot with plenty of leads into future episodes. (Fantasy. 10-12) Copyright Kirkus 2005 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.
Library Media Connection - February 2006
In yet another twist on the "orphans in peril" plot, this title places two orphans with a grandmother they thought had died before they were born. Sabrina and Daphne Grimm's parents disappeared a year and a half ago. The girls have been bouncing between the orphanage and foster homes ever since. They soon find out that they are related to the Grimm brothers, who arranged to have a spell cast on the Everafters (as the fairy tale folk like to be called). The spell traps the Everafters in Ferryport (originally Fairyport) as long as a Grimm is alive. The Grimms through the ages have actually been detectives, investigating magical crimes and events. Grandma Grimm begins to train the girls to carry on the family profession. Author Michael Buckley does a good job of twisting the fairy tales and placing the Everafters in the modern world. However, like the Harry Potter series (Scholastic, Inc.), the key is the human characters. Sabrina and Daphne seem much more like real children than Lemony Snicket's orphans. Sabrina's prickly skepticism and Daphne's desire for a home make the reader want everything to work out. With a sequel already in the works, adventures are bound to continue. The pen and ink pictures give a fairy tale feel and add to the humor of the book. Recommended. Suzanne Libra, Teacher Librarian, Huron Middle School, Northglenn, Colorado © 2006 Linworth Publishing, Inc.
School Library Journal Reviews 2006 January
Gr 4-6 -Buckley has created a world in which humans and fairy-tale creatures live side-by-side in rural New York in an uneasy alliance. Brought here by Wilhelm Grimm in an attempt to save them, the Everafters are now kept in check by the man's descendants. Enter Sabrina and Daphne Grimm, two sisters seemingly abandoned by their parents, who have been brought to live with a grandmother whom they thought was dead. Heartbroken and wary, the girls are immediately swept up in a mystery that includes giants, pixies, fairies, and witches. Readers well grounded in their fairy tales will get the most pleasure from recognizing the characters-Prince Charming, Jack-the-Giant-Killer, the Three Pigs, the Magic Mirror, and more-but the fast pace, sly humor, and cleverly inserted vocabulary lessons will entertain even those who are meeting the characters for the first time. Softly rounded, black-and-white illustrations and old-fashioned silhouettes at the chapter headings complete the first-rate design of this madcap adventure.-Sharon Grover, Arlington County Department of Libraries, VA [Page 128]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
VOYA Reviews 2005 December
After the mysterious disappearance of their parents, Sabrina and Daphne Grimm spend a year and a half as victims of New York's foster care system until a woman claiming to be their long-dead grandmother comes to claim them. Spirited away to rural Ferryport Landing, the girls find that nothing is as it seems, especially their grandmother and her friend Mr. Cannis. Granny reveals to the girls that they are descendants of the Brothers Grimm, and the fairy tales that the brothers wrote are actually a history of the magical people known as "Everafters." A branch of these Everafters is responsible for their parents' kidnapping. Sabrina and Daphne are incredulous and are about to run away once again, when a giant, bent on destroying the town, carries off Granny and Mr. Cannis This book is the first in a new fantasy series that is sure to appeal to younger fans of the genre. Sabrina and Daphne are intrepid heroines, and the modern interpretations of familiar fairy-tale characters are often truly hilarious (picture the Three Little Pigs as the town's police force). There is an unexpected twist toward the end of the novel that lifts the plot out of predictability. The only flaw is the author's tendency to place characters from classic children's literature alongside fairy-tale characters and seemingly attribute them all to the Grimm brothers. Older teens expressing interest can be referred to Bill Willingham's graphic novel series Fables (DC Comics, 2002), also about fairy tale characters in modern New York.-Arlene Garcia 3Q 4P M Copyright 2005 Voya Reviews.