One of my favorite places to just poke around in the library is the Favat Children’s section. I love children’s books – at one point I even thought I wanted to major in it, if that was in any way possible – and strolling through those couple of aisles, always give me a very nice, private, unthreatening sensation of calm. It’s always nice getting new things, but equally delightful finding old children’s books that I had forgotten, some little piece that I’d picked up years and years ago in the corner of my elementary or middle or high school teacher’s classroom, in a town far, far away from here. Today I found The Rose and the Beast: Fairy Tales Retold by Francesca Lia Block. Years ago, it immediately attracted me probably from a combination of my children’s books/fairy tales/myths love and a lurking interest in dark stories and things and images – things that made me worship Tim Burton as a kid. These fairy tales are odd reimaginings of classic stories from the beautifully twisted, darkly poetic mind of Francesca Lia Block. They’re a jaded adult in the body of a girl-child, a tea party of the most tired experiences in a woman’s lifetime, a band of teen hoodlums getting drunk in the kid’s theater house they just broke into, sugar icing on a rotten cupcake – melancholy, and ironic, and sad in the sharpest way.