Preserving the integrity of the great fairy tales in this age of animated versions can sometimes be a challenge. When a new, carefully rendered and extensively researched, illustrated version by Jerry Pinkney come along, we add it to the collection. Such was the case recently with his new book, Puss in Boots.
Pinkney’s version of the original fairy tale by Charles Perrault remains true to the original story written in 1697. Puss in Boots’ master, the youngest son of an impoverished miller, frets about making his way in life. He puts his trust in the cat. Puss in Boots gains the attention and favour of the king. Later, when the king and his daughter are travelling through the countryside, the cat uses trickery to introduce his master to king and sets about procuring a castle and a great kingdom for him. The king decrees that Puss in Boots’ master should marry his daughter. The cat is also given a royal title, and his life becomes very comfortable.
The old fairy tales served a useful purpose as moral tales centuries ago. Whether or not a reader wants to delve deeply into its meaning is up to the individual. But these tales have stood the test of time, and it’s great to see new, fresh, retellings such as this one.