Rosie Little's Cautionary Tales for Girls - Daniel Wood

Charming and thoroughly modern, Rosie shares with us her piquant and utterly engaging views on life and love, marriage and mating, desire and destiny as she tackles the sometimes thorny business of making her way through life. These are not, I should say at the outset, tales written for the benefit of good and well-behaved girls who always stick to the path when they go to Grandma's. Skipping along in their gingham frills - basket of scones, jam and clotted cream upon their arms - what need can these girls have for caution? Rather, these are tales for girls who have boots as stout as their hearts, and who are prepared to firmly lace them up (boots and hearts both) and step out into the wilds in search of what they desire. Taking her cues from the Brothers Grimm, Rosie - a thoroughly modern Little Red Riding Hood - tells us of love and desire, men and women, heartache and happiness. Beguiling, clever and funny, Rosie Little's Cautionary Tales for Girls is a sheer delight. With wit, simplicity and directness, Rosie offers her clear-eyed, slyly funny and rueful take on life, love and everything in between.

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The title on this book can be pretty misleading for a lot of book shoppers, so let me just say right up front that this collection of short stories is NOT, repeat NOT, for young girls. Cute as the title and book design is, these stories actually feature themes of loss of virginity, adult women dealing with fat shaming (largely within the family), painful and awkward moments of first love (or that first experience of unrequited love with the wroooong kind of guy), dangers of creeper guys, and one story even talks about domestic abuse. So yeah... unless you're cool with having those important life talks with your daughter way early in her life, I'd say this one is better off going to late teen girls or older.

 

"It was likely that he loved her because she was lovely, and not because she was perfect." ~~ from the story "Lonely Hearts Club"

 

Now, that being said, I ended up really enjoying this collection! I wasn't too sure how much I was going to enjoy the book after the first couple stories, but I stuck with it and am so glad I did. While there is some darker, more depressing material in a number of the stories, nothing is too creepy or scary until you get to "The Wardrobe". That's the one story where I got to the end and thought Wait... whaaaat just happened?! It went from being something that just seemed to be about an odd relationship into something that could have been a Twilight Zone episode! {I dunno, maybe it was}. "Eden" is a great story that creative types will love because it talks about an artist who is trying to work through hardcore procrastination. She has the best intentions to start painting, but it ends up taking her three days to set up her still life. Then her items for her still life don't look quite perfect, so she wants to shop for what's missing. Then she decides she needs to sharpen all her art pencils (nearly 100). Then friends come to visit. We've all been there. Also, the last story, "Rosie Little Joins The Dots" had just the perfect ending, I thought. 

 

A new life spread out before her like a bolt of beautiful green cloth, and she knew that she held the scissors in her own hand. But into this new life she had brought a stowaway.

~~ from the story "Lonely Hearts Club"

 

I really liked all the asides that the Rosie Little character interjected into the middle of the stories as the other characters are going through all their individual dramas {" A Word From Rosie Little On ___"}. My favorite was Rosie Little's story on cake forks and the analogy she does with that. Just brilliant :-) I definitely want to check out more of Danielle Wood's works but in the process of trying to look up her books, I discovered that she is an Australian author, and her titles seem to be reeallly limited here in the U.S.

:-( But I'm pretty good at tracking down obscure titles over time, so I'll let you know how the others are as I get them! 

 

>> One of the stories in this collection teaches the reader how to sing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" in Latin :-)...

as she says, "just in case you were wondering"