Pan’s Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of the Faun By Guillermo del Toro and Cornelia Funke

“Her mother said fairy tales didn’t have anything to do with the world, but Ofelia knew better. They had taught her everything about it.”

I love fairy tales, not the sanitized Disney versions, but real fairy tales. Gritty and raw. I’m rapidly galloping toward 49, and they still haven’t lost their charm for me. I also believe fairy tales are one of the most important things you can share with your children. Fairy tales stoke the imagination and provide a bit of a scare within safe confines.

I’m just going to put this out there: I stan (as my kids would say) Guillermo del Tor (henceforth known as GDT for the sake of brevity and because it’s 1:30 AM.) Hellboy, the first Pacific Rim, The Shape of Water, and, of course, Pan’s Labyrinth. In fact, Pan’s Labyrinth is my all-time favorite movie, so you can imagine my delight when I found the book version at Barnes and Noble. The book is so gorgeous that I checked it out of the library to read. That way my beloved copy would stay pristine. Some of you get that, I’m sure. I keep it in my curio cabinet with the GDT Funko Pop my boyfriend bought me as a just because present.

GDT’s incredible movie + Cornelia Funke’s achingly beautiful reimagining = Perfection

Pan’s Labyrinth is set in fascist Spain in 1944. The protagonist, Ofelia, is a thirteen year old girl, the beloved daughter of a tailor and a seamstress. Her world is changed for the worse when her doting father dies, and her mother marries a cruel officer in Franco’s military force. Ofelia’s mother is going through a high-risk pregnancy, and has to spend most of her time in bed.

The book has brave rebels, fairies, quests, a morally ambiguous faun, and a possible long lost princess. It has tragedy and beauty, and it gives me all the feels.

I think this the first book adapted from a movie that I have loved as much as the movie. I highly recommend the book and movie. The movie is in Spanish with English subtitles. If that’s not your thing, read the book. It follows the movie to the T.

One caveat: it is sold as a children’s book, but I would suggest reading it first yourself before reading it to a child younger than about fifth grade. There are some violent scenes that could be deeply troubling to a young, sensitive soul.

Happy Reading Y’all,

Wendy

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