I've been reading to my children ever since they were old enough to actively listen. We've read a ton of great books and some just alright books. This is the first time that I've ever just outright disliked a book. We read the book preceding this one, A Tale Dark and Grim, and, although I didn't love it, I thought it was entertaining enough and my boys loved it.
Around midway through this book, I bartered with my kids to stop reading it. That's how bad it was. The plot was all over the place. The little asides from the author were few and far between, which was disappointing because, I felt, that those glimpses into the author's mind and humor were the moments of brilliance in the last book.
This story follows Jack, Jill, and Frog as they make their way through calamity after calamity. As the story unfolds, the pair have to deal with public nakedness a la The Emperor's New Clothes,childhood bullies, swindling adults, giants, mermaids, trolls, and giant smelly salamanders. All of those things have the potential to be awesome, right? Wrong. Where A Tale Dark and Grimm succeeded in weaving each chapter's tale together to form a cohesive picture, this book failed. I never got what the point of any of the ordeals were. I didn't see what lessons were being taught the way I did with the previous book and I found myself yawning quite often and wishing I could skip pages the way I could when my kids were younger and weren't so sharp at catching me do it.
Boy, I was happy when we finally got to the last page. I feel sad to say it, but it just wasn't my cup of tea. My kids still enjoyed it, although not in as much of an engaged way like when we read Peter Nimble or the Harry Potter books. One star for the research into all of the fairy tales this book drew from, but I wouldn't recommend it.