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Category Archives: Fairy Tales

Pupunzel

Title: Pupunzel
Author: Maribeth Boelts
Series: Dog Fairy Tales (unofficial title I just made up)
Recommended for: K-3rd Grade
Pages: 48
Call Number/Link:  READER BOELTS, M.

Synopsis:  In this Step 3 send-up, a cocker spaniel named Pupunzel grows long golden fur when a witch takes her from her family and locks her in a tall tower. Will Pupunzel’s mama and brothers and sisters ever be able to rescue her from the tower? Or does Pupunzel have some tricks up her fur?

Comments: This story is a VERY cute and clever version Rapunzel retold with puppies. The beginning of the story is pretty faithful to the original tale, with the mother puppy eating some rapunzel plants from a witches garden. The witch takes a golden haired cocker spaniel puppy and her family tries to rescue her. The ending is actually sweet, with the puppy kissing the witch to break a spell that had turned a princess into a witch. This is a great early reader for kids who have read all the Disney books, and a nice read-aloud for pre-school children with a good attention span.

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2017 in Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Princess, Readers

 

A Treasury of Classic Fairy Tales

Title:   A Treasury of Classic Fairy Tales
Author:   Chris Colfer
Series:   The Land of Stories
Recommended for:   fans of the Land of Stories series, anyone who would like to read fairy tales and nursery rhymes
Pages:   323 p.
Call Number/Link:   J FICTION COLFER, C.

Rating:  ***

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

An illustrated nursery rhyme and fairy tale collection that features the classic tales that Alex and Conner fall into in the Land of Stories series.

The treasury includes these classic fairy tales:  Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, Goldilocks and the three bears, Jack and the beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, The three little pigs, Rumpelstiltskin, The elves and the shoemaker, Beauty and the beast, The boy who cried wolf, Sleeping Beauty, The princess and the pea, Rapunzel, Henny Penny, The little mermaid, Three billy goats gruff, The Snow Queen, The frog prince, Puss in boots, Thumbelina, The Gingerbread man, The ugly duckling and Pinocchio.

The treasury includes these Mother Goose nursery rhymes:  LIttle Bo Peep, Little Miss Muffett, Little Jack Horner, The old woman who lived in a shoe, Humpty Dumpty, Rub-a-dub-dub, Three blind mice, Baa, baa, black sheep, Georgie Porgie, Hey diddle diddle, Pat-a-cake, Jack and Jill, Jack be nimble.

It concludes with Mother Goose’s Fairy-tale survival guide.

Comments:

This is a good, traditional retelling of fairy tales, folk tales and nursery rhymes.  I did not read every fairy tale in the book, but the ones that I read were true to other versions I’d read previously.  Due to the length of the stories, the collection would probably be best read aloud to children in kindergarten and up.

As for the preschool set, I think it would be better to share a collection (or individual tale) with less text and more pictures.

I thought it was a great idea for the author to write this traditional collection so that readers of his Land of Stories series would have a better understanding of his source material.

 

 

 

 

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Posted by on March 23, 2017 in Fairy Tales

 

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Fairy Tales I Just Made Up!

fairy-tales-i-just-made-upTitle: Fairy Tales I Just Made Up: Snarky Bed Time Stories For Weirdo Children
Author: Ray Friesen
Series: N/A
Recommended for: Grades 3-7
Pages: 80
Call Number/Link:  J Fiction Friesen, R.

Synopsis: All the beloved fairytale classics are kinda… broken. I mean, they don’t have ANY Dinosaurs, Robots, Zombies or Space Aliens in them. I don’t know what those guys from olden days were thinking. So! I took all those cherished children’s stories, added some crazyness, and vastly improved them! Probably!
Fairy Tales I Just Made Up is jam-packed with weirdo fun, including The Dumbest Love Story Ever, Magical-Science, and Bacon Helicopters.

Comments: I grabbed this book because of the funny title and it was exactly as advertised. It is illustrated by the author of Pirate Penguin and Ninja Chicken. The first story made me laugh out loud (literally!). It is an odd retelling of tales that reminds me of the ways that younger kids think, full of non sequiturs, silly jokes, and very literal interpretations (goldilox can turn things into gold, Robin hood is a bird). Each story is illustrated by a different artist, one is done in clay (IlluClayted), and in “The Princess and the Whatever” all the artists drew a different princess. The only problem with this book is that it might be too wacky! There are some recurring characters to look out for throughout the stories that are drawn in the different styles. This might be a funny read aloud book for an older kid’s bedtime.

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2017 in Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Funny, Juv

 

The Adventures of Sir Lancelot the Great

Title: The Adventures of Sir Lancelot the Great
Author: Gerald Morris
Series: The Knights’ Tales
Recommended for: Third Graders and Up; Boys Who Like Adventure and Swordfights; Fantasy Fans
Pages: 92
Call Number/Link:  J MOR (To add Link highlight and click the chain up top.)

Synopsis:

“Many years ago, the storytellers say, the great King Arthur brought justice to England with the help of his gallant Knights of the Round Table. Of these worthy knights, there was never one so fearless, so chivalrous, so honorable, so…shiny as the dashing Sir Lancelot, who was quite good at defending the helpless and protecting the weak, just as long as he’d had his afternoon nap. Behold the very exciting and very funny adventures of Lancelot the Great, as only acclaimed Arthurian author Gerald Morris can tell them.” –Amazon

 

My Thoughts:

This series is a hilarious and well-done introduction to the Arthurian legends. Morris has obviously read (and better yet, likes!) Mallory’s Le Morte d’Arthur, yet he also understands how children’s minds work, as well as what appeals to them. The stories of Sir Lancelot presented here feel fresh, funny, and accessable for third-graders, but do not compromise the integrity of the original tales. For instance, when he meets the Lady Elaine of Shalott, Sir Lancelot gets shot in the–well, we’re not told exactly where he’s shot, but he has to sit on a pillow when he rides, and the accompanying illustrations provide more clues. After sustaining this injury, however, Sir Lancelot is able to return (anonymously) to a tournament at court, where he saves the day in more ways than one. Thus, the beauty of the original story is intact, but the readers are sure to howl with laughter once they “get it”.

 
 

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Outlaws of Time: The Legend of Sam Miracle

 

Title: Outlaws of Time: The Legend of Sam Miracle
Author: N.D. Wilson
Series: Outlaws of Time
Recommended for: Tweens and up, especially those who’ve read Percy Jackson/Harry Potter and want more, but any who love action/adventure/fantasy/sci-fi, or are at least willing to try it. Also Firefly Fankids.
Pages: 329
Call Number/Link: J FIC WILSON

Synopsis: “Misfit twelve-year-old Sam Miracle’s life is made up of dreams, dreams where he’s a courageous, legendary hero instead of a foster kid with two bad arms that can barely move. Sometimes these dreams feel so real, they seem like forgotten memories. And sometimes they make him believe that his arms might come alive again. But Sam is about to discover that the world he knows and the world he imagines are separated by only one thing: time. And that separation is only an illusion. The laws of time can be bent and shifted by people with special magic that allows them to travel through the past, present, and future. But not all of these “time walkers” can be trusted. One is out to protect Sam so that he can accept his greatest destiny, and another is out to kill him so that a prophecy will never be fulfilled. However, it’s an adventurous girl named Glory and two peculiar snakes who show Sam the way through the dark paths of yesterday to help him make sure there will be a tomorrow for every last person on earth.” — Amazon.com

My Review:

Hold onto your hats! This book picked me up and spun me around and dropped me into a world of Old West gunfights; time travel; mysterious magic; and more until I didn’t quite know which way was up (in a good way). The adventures are exciting and the story is excellent. While there is a fair bit of violence, it is at the service of the story–that is, it is NOT violence for violence’s sake, and its costs and effects are clearly shown–and the story would probably not be a problem for an average reader.
Time travel, although a very tricky thing to write, is handled well here, too; I have no idea if it jives at all with the laws of physics, but I was able to follow the line of logic without too much trouble, and don’t think it would confuse readers who are used to fantasy or science fiction. As for the characters, the heroes and villains are all very well and clearly drawn without veering into stereotypes (although I think the author let himself have quite a lot of fun with the villains.) The ending, while fairly satisfying, requires a sequel. No ifs, ands, or buts about it; we have to know what happens next!

Highly recommended.

 

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Teacup

Title: Teacup
Author: Rebecca Young
Series: N/A
Recommended for: Preschoolers on up, and anyone who likes beauty and adventure.
Pages: 40
Call Number/Link:  E YOUNG, R. 

Synopsis: 

Teacup is a beautiful book in more ways than one.

Firstly, the illustrations are the best I have seen in quite some time. I could pore over some of the spreads for ages, and the color palettes are stunning.

Second, the story is refreshing: a boy (almost a young man) sets out from home to make his way in the world, a theme that evokes classic fairy tales and great epics alike, and promises just the right amount of exciting adventure without being too much for more sensitive children.
Furthermore, the illustrations are lovely, and support the story very well: for instance, the passage “some days the sea was kind, gently rocking him to sleep” is accompanied by a bright-white illustration, with some dolphins and the interior of the boat being the only source of color besides the text. On the very next page, however, “Some days the sea was bold, and the boy held tightly to his teacup.” This sea is stormy, full of dark blues and greens, and the little white boat seems very small indeed.
I’ll finish here for fear of spoiling the ending, but let it suffice for me to say that it is a good one. I highly recommend this book.

 

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Grimm’s Fairy Tales AudioBook

Title: Grimm’s Fairy Tales (AudioBook CD edition) Grimm's Fairy Tales
Author: Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
Series: Listening Library’s Classics 
Recommended for: Ages 10+
Time: 3 Hours, 38 Minutes
Call Number/Link:  CD J 398.2 GRI

Synopsis: This audio collection contains 21 of the most timeless and enchanting folk and fairy tales collected by the Brothers Grimm as read by a cast of award-winning narrators.

Comments: The Listening Library’s audio collection of Grimm’s Fairy Tales presents these tales in all of their original, macabre glory, with the charm of being read aloud by lovely British grandparents. I had forgotten how stereotypical Grimm’s stories are until I listened to every man fall in love at first sight with a girl whose beauty outshone the sun, and she fell for the disguise of the wicked stepmother for the third time in a row, and the penalty for not being able to do an impossible task is death; and all this is perfectly fine. The lesser known tales, like The White Snake and Snow-White and Rose Red, were a nice inclusion to the the well-known classics. This audiobook is definitely for older elementary school kids who are ok with death, bloody dismemberment, and severed horse heads that still talk when nailed to a gate.

I was hoping for some celebrity readers, like Benedict Cumberbatch, but the assembled award winning narrators gave nuanced performances that brought characters to life. There is also a pleasant musical interlude between tales that added a little extra something to the collection. For an audio sample of Rapunzel, click here.

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2016 in Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Juv