The Sleeper and the Spindle

By Neil Gaiman


In a beautiful collaboration, New York Times bestselling and Newbery and Carnegie Medal-winning author Neil Gaiman and Kate Greenaway-winning illustrator Chris Riddell have created a thrillingly reimagined fairy tale, "told in a way only Gaiman can" and featuring "stunning metallic artwork" (

The result is a beautiful and coveted edition of The Sleeper and the Spindle that the Guardian calls "a refreshing, much-needed twist on a classic story."

In this captivating and darkly funny tale, Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell have twisted together the familiar and the new as well as the beautiful and the wicked to tell a brilliant version of Snow White's (sort of) and Sleeping Beauty's (almost) stories.

This story was originally published (without illustrations) in Rags & Bones (Little, Brown, 2013). This is the first time it is being published as an illustrated, stand-alone edition, and the book is a beautiful work of art.

Praises & Awards


“Gaiman and Riddell’s greatest [collaboration] to date.”


“Told in a way only Gaiman can” and featuring “stunning metallic artwork.”

The Guardian

“A refreshing, much-needed twist on a classic story.”

Gaby Wood, Saturday Telegraph

“Spellbindingly illustrated.”

The Big Issue

“Magical, sumptuous, transporting.”

Amanda Craig, The New Statesman

“Unforgettable, unpredictable and utterly enchanting for anyone between the ages of seven and seventy.”

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A genuine treat.”

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“A spectacular art object...certainly a treasure.”

School Library Journal (starred review)

“Riddell’s spectacularly intricate ink drawings, gilded with gold, bring Gaiman’s inventive story to life...This highly recommended visually stunning twist on two classic fairy tales will be well received by fans of graphic novels and fantasy stories.”

Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)

“A wholly original reimagining...Riddell’s artwork is the reason a library should own this title in their collection. His details are exquisite.”

Wall Street Journal

“A striking volume...thrums with malevolence and confounds our expectations...[the pictures] seem to writhe creepily on the page.”

New York Times Book Review

“Unabashedly feminist...So sonically tuned that it breathes on its own from the very first line. Adding to the wonder are Chris Riddell’s dazzling illustrations.”

From Neil

Behind the Book

The Sleeper and the Spindle began life as a short story about fairytales. Two fairytales in particular: Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White.

I wondered what would happen if a queen went off to wake the sleeping princess in the tower. And if the Queen in question knew a lot about magical sleeping, perhaps from having spent a year asleep in a glass coffin, having consumed a poisoned apple . . .

The story I wrote was funny and odd and (I have been assured) feminist, mostly because all of the active people in it, except dwarves, are women.

Chris Riddell is a remarkable illustrator. We started working together in the UK in 2008, but none of his illustrated work on my fiction has been seen in the US until now.

Chris’s black and gold illustrations for The Sleeper and the Spindle were a whole new magical world, from the tracing paper cover to the final endpaper.

I’m so thrilled that it’s coming to America. Chris Riddell’s art, one of the most beautiful books you will ever put on your shelves, and a story about smart women, and evil, and life. I hope you enjoy it.

Product Details

ISBN: 9780062398246

ISBN10: 0062398245

Imprint: HarperCollins

On Sale: 22/09/2015

7.000 in (w) x 10.000 in (h)

Pages: 64

List Price 24.99 CAD