The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!

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Author: Jon Scieszka

Illustrator: Lane Smith

Publisher: Harper and Row

Date of Publication: 1989

Awards: ALA Notable Book,

Age Range: 4 – 8 years

Grade Level: Kindergarten – 3

Resources:

This book is just as the title describes and what enfolds is a fractured fairytale full of wit and character. The big bad wolf has earned quite the reputation, but what if it was all a big misunderstanding?! All Alexander T. Wolf was trying to accomplish was baking his sweet old grandmother a birthday cake. He went to visit his neighbors in search of a cup of sugar, but due to a cold he sneezed so ferociously it knocks down their houses! With the pigs already dead he can’t let a good pork dinner go to waste… When the police arrive with the third pig and its brick house in tact, well, things don’t look good for Alexander T. Wolf! It is up to the reader at the end to believe this other side of the story. This book is a classic fractured fairytale, and it’s no wonder why. The author and illustrator seem to go so well together you wonder if their words and art were meant to be! This is a great book to instill the idea that there are two, or even several, sides of every story, and to encourage critical thinking on which story to believe.

Leave Me Alone!

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Author/Illustrator: Vera Brosgol

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Date of Publication: September 13, 2016

Awards: 2017 Caldecott Honor

Age Range: 4 – 8 years

Grade Level: Kindergarten – 3

Resources:

A little old Russian granny just wants to be left alone to knit in some peace and quiet, but she’s never alone in her tiny cottage surrounded by tiny grandkids. She knows she has some very important knitting to do so she packs up to find some peace and quiet. She comes across bears that want to eat her, comes across goats that want to eat her yarn, and goes beyond this world to come across little green moon men! Finally she enters a wormhole and finds her peace and quiet. There she can finally knit 30 sweaters for her 30 grandkids. This book knows its humor well and it is perfectly expressed through both text and art. Children will love the interactive and repeated declarations of, “LEAVE ME ALONE!” This is a fun little tale that when it starts you sit yourself down ready for a classic folktale, but as it enfolds it takes unexpected turns every which way.

Ella Enchanted

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Author: Gail Carson Levine

Publisher: HarperCollins

Date of Publication: January 1, 1997

Awards: ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults, Newbery Honor Book

Age Range: 8 – 12 years

Grade Level: 3 – 7

Resources:

  1. Lesson plan designed by Scholastic comparing this book to the classic fairytale of Cinderella
  2. Lesson plan summarizing key plot points and outlining characters, discuss and analyze the story, then apply learning to a culminating activity

Ella Enchanted serves as a spunky retelling of the classic fairytale Cinderella. At birth Ella was cursed to never disobey a command by a fairy, and on her deathbed her mother commands she never reveal her secret to anyone in hopes she will not be taken advantage of. We follow Ella’s story as she interacts with classic fairytale characters, evil stepsisters, prince charming, a fairy godmother, ogres, dwarves, and many others. Finally we receive a telling of a story where the princess is not simply a meek and weak character meant to be saved by a man. Ella is a strong and intelligent role model who doesn’t take her misfortune lying down! This book is for anyone who has grown tired of the stale format of classic fairytales, anyone who knows that these stories do not reflect real three dimensional humans.

 

Waking Beauty

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Author: Leah Wilcox

Illustrator: Lydia Monks

Publisher: Putnam

Date of Publication: Jan. 10th, 2008

Awards: Praise from Kirkus Reviews, Publisher’s Weekly, and School Library Journal

Age Range: 3 – 8 years

Grade Level: Preschool – 3rd

Resources:

  1. Review by Kirkus Reviews
  2. Review by both critics and Goodreads users

This is a plain fun and silly fractured fairytale! You think you know the story of Sleeping Beauty? Well, let this retelling shift your perceptions! The book follows Sleeping Beauty and her prince as he comically misunderstands what he must do to wake her. Sleeping Beauty’s fairies are on the sidelines the whole time urging him that he must give her true love’s kiss, but each time he finishes the sentence with his own idea before he can hear them. He jumps on her bed, splashes her with water, even throws her into a pond, among other things. Finally he realizes he must kiss her and begrudgingly does so. Sleeping Beauty wakes and slaps him, where was his consent? As if she even wanted a kiss! This book is meant to bring on the giggles. The text is enough to keep your child on their toes, what will Prince Charming do next in his wacky confusion? The fun and colorful illustrations go hand in hand with this silly retelling. The end of the book also opens up the possibility of a conversation about consent, something that is often absent in classic fairytales as the female protagonists do not resemble strong independent women.