Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Sisters Grimm: Book One - The Fairy-Tale Detectives

The Sisters Grimm: Book One - The Fairy-Tale Detectives

Michael Buckley
Illustrator:  Peter Ferguson 
Fiction  Series
For ages 8 to 12
Harry Abrams Inc, 2005   ISBN: 978-0810959255

Sabrina and Daphne Grimm are on there way to live with a grandmother whom they had always been told was dead. In the past their father had told them that his mother had died, and eleven-year-old Sabrina is determined to believe that what he told them was true. This grandmother therefore has to be an imposter. The problem is that Sabrina and Daphne’s parents disappeared into thin air a year and a half ago and since then the two girls have been in and out of foster homes of all kinds. One thing that the foster homes all had in common was that they were all awful. So for the time being the two girls really have no choice but to go to this so called grandmother’s house.

When they meet Granny Relda Grimm seven-year-old Daphne is quite ready to believe that she is who she says she is. Even Granny’s peculiar food and her odd house do not put the little girl off. Granny Relda is kind and she is a huge improvement on the foster parents the girls had before. Sabrina on the other hand refuses to allow herself to like Granny Relda. She is convinced that the old lady is a fake and she has every intention of running away as soon as the opportunity presents itself.

And then the most peculiar thing happens. A giant flattens one of the local farms near town. Or at least that is what Granny Relda deduces has happened. Apparently Granny Relda is something of a detective and she tells her granddaughters that she can tell that a giant has been in the area. Of course Sabrina scoffs at this analysis of the crime scene. After all there are no giants. Granny Relda then tells her granddaughters that there are all kinds of fairy beings in Ferryport because it is the refuge of all the creatures that the Grimm brothers documented in their famous book – which are true accounts and not fairy tales. Granny Relda tells the girls that Snow White is a teacher in the local school and that Prince Charming is the mayor. And there are giants. Sabrina still scoffs at the whole story right until the moment when a giant kidnaps her grandmother and her grandmother’s friend. Suddenly Sabrina has to accept that the whole Grimm legend is true. She is indeed a descendent of the Grimm brothers and she is a part of the Ferryport magic, whether she likes it or not. Most important of all, she has to do something to rescue Granny Relda before the giant does something dreadful to the old lady.

This first book in the Sisters Grimm series is sure to have young readers hooked and thoroughly entertained after they have read just a few pages. The characters are true to life and the plot will certainly keep readers guessing right to the very end of the cleverly crafted tale. Plenty of humor and suspense can be found throughout, and the ending leaves readers wondering what is going to happen next. Will Daphne and Sabrina be able to find their parents?