Paying Piper by Ilana Waters

WatersPayingPiperWhy I Read It: I enjoyed the author’s other story, The Adventures of Stanley Delacourt.

Where I Got It: Free on Smashswords.

Who I Recommend This To: Great story for kids, and for parents to read to kids.

Publisher: Self-published (2013)

Length: 20 pages

This was a charming retelling of a classic, and provided a lesson not just for children but for everyone – essentially we should all be kind to one another. And look at that cover. How could you not enjoy a book with that cover? The town of Hamlin has a rat problem, and the Mayor agrees to pay a traveling musician to dance the rats out of town for good. Pied Piper isn’t just any musician, and his music isn’t only that of a flute. No, his haunting melodies, pointy ears, and ability to speak with the rats tells the reader he is much more.

This tale follows the classic storyline in that The Piper removes the rats and then the Mayor makes the mistake of paying The Piper one quarter of the agreed upon price. So, of course the children must be taken next. But instead of being the typical sinister tale (which supposedly originated due to a plague outbreak that took the town’s children), Ilana Waters twists the tale in a unique way. Instead of reflecting the sadness of mass graves (which were often the results of the plague in 1500s Germany), the author shows how people can slip into every day unkindness, and pass those traits on to their children if they are not careful.

I won’t spoil the ending for you, so let me just say that it is clever and I was not expecting it. Also Waters provides some discussion questions at the end about when, if ever, it is OK for a child to go off with a stranger.

What I Liked: The cover (lush & simple at the same time); the ending; it’s a retelling of a much loved and ancient tale.

What I Disliked: I didn’t really have anything to go here, but I will say this childrens’ tale is worthy of some illustrations and perhaps a future edition would have some.

I currently have an interview and giveaway running for 3 ebooks of The Adventures of Stanley Delacourt (there will be 3 winners). Check that out and enter if you would like a chance to read Ilana Water’s middle grade fantasy adventure novel.

9 thoughts on “Paying Piper by Ilana Waters”

  1. I do love fairy tales and I’m always promising myself to read full books of Grimm and the like! The Pied Piper is a really good story. I do have a book of old fairytales and folklore from around the world – all bound – and have never read it! What’s up with that? Erm, time, I suppose. I really do need to get more organised. I probably need to have a resolution like others not to buy more books until I’ve read what I own – but, well, I don’t want to. LOL
    Lynn 😀

      1. Ha, I think we need some sort of self help group. Admittance is the first step.! Book Buyers Annoymous. The thing is I do read quite a bit – I know you get through LOADS!, but, even saying that, I buy far more than I can possibly read. I just can’t resist. I might miss something!!! But then, I have this horrible thing where the longer I’ve had a book the less likely I am to read it – even if it was something I was really looking forward to in the first place! What is that about?
        Lynn 😀

        1. That is true! Well, for some books. I get so excited about them, purchase them, but then have other obligations and can’t get to them right away, so they languish. And languish….and languish.

  2. Hi “Dab!” Thank you so much for having me on your blog, and for your glowing review. We are truly living in a golden age of fairy tales–they are everywhere! If you want to start with the Brothers Grimm (any of you), it goes without saying. But also check out the Color Fairy Books by Andrew Lang–The Blue Fairy Book, the Green Fairy Book, etc., if you’re interested.

    Oh, and “Paying Piper” is FREE on Kobo as well. Tried to get it free on other sites, but they all have their own rules . . . blah! The cover was done by StreetlightGraphics(.com), in case you were wondering–a fantastic team. I’d love to have the whole thing illustrated . . . maybe someday. 🙂

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