Twelve Impossible Things Before Breakfast

Author: Jane Yolen

In this varied collection of short stories, esteemed author Jane Yolen takes a page from Alice, bringing us a selection of impossible, unexpected, and wonderful things. In Twelve Impossible Things Before Breakfast, you will actually encounter Alice, forced to face the Jabberwock herself. You’ll also meet the girl who threw Peter Pan’s smoothly-greased workforce into turmoil, the boy who saw the aliens first, a bridge seeking a resident troll, and many others.

I found this collection of short stories to be exactly what I’ve come to expect from Jane Yolen: excellent. Truly, her writing never ceases to amaze me in both its originality and in the consistent quality of the writing. The stories in this collection are hugely varied–which is nice because short stories that are all alike can get boring very quickly. Yet all of the stories ring with a sense of wonder and creativity. There’s a mix of original ideas and outtakes on traditional stories. Some of the tales feel quite dark and eerie, while others are sweet or funny. I was particularly amused by “Brandon and the Aliens” which has a strong flavor of Bruce Coville (intentionally, I think). It’s fun that she has a section at the end where she explains where the stories came from, what sparked the ideas. I would definitely recommend Twelve Impossible Things Before Breakfast to anyone who likes short stories full of wonder.



Filed under Book Review

2 responses to “Twelve Impossible Things Before Breakfast

  1. This sounds wonderful! I love Jane Yolen! I’ve read her picture books and I’ve read Briar Rose, but not this one. Thank you for the great review! I’m off to hunt it down!


    • Absolutely! Truly, I don’t think I’ve read anything of hers that I wouldn’t recommend, although I think Briar Rose was a bit much for me when I first read it in early high school. I should probably re-read it–and come away with a completely different impression, no doubt!


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