Imagine Your Story: Summer Reading Celebration 2020

A Wynk, a Blynk, and a Nod to Fractured Fairy Tales
It’s not summer without the Library’s Summer Reading Celebration. This year’s children’s SRC theme is “Imagine Your Story,” which can take on many different possibilities. We’ve decided to concentrate on fairy tales, but not just your traditional tales … we’re looking at those with an imaginative twist.
Does it bother you that Goldilocks just breaks into the Three Bears’ house, eats their food, breaks their stuff, then runs away without so much as an apology? Or that Snow White is happy to work as housekeeper for the dwarves until she elopes with a handsome prince she hardly knows? Or that the King in Rumpelstiltskin marries the miller’s daughter for her money-making ability? Or do you just get tired of telling the same old tale over and over again? Then … FRACTURE THOSE FAIRY TALES!
Once upon a time, favorite fairy tales got twisted and tangled, and everyone lived happily ever after. Fractured fairy tales provide comic relief in children’s literature. But for these fractured tales to “work,” kids need to have a basic knowledge of the classic tales. The library owns all the classic tales. Our collection is extensive. We also own MANY newer, twisted versions. So why not check out a few … or several … and embark on a reading adventure!
 
ELLA ENCHANTED by Gail Carson Levine

This 1998 Newbery Honor winning title which gives new twists to the classic Cinderella story has become a classic. It is a rich and creative retelling in which Ella struggles against a childhood curse of obedience. She overcomes her struggle thus becoming a strong and resourceful heroine. This middle grade novel is an excellent choice for tween readers! It was made into a film in 2004.
THE FAIRY-TALE DETECTIVES by Michael Buckley

This is the first book in the New York Times best-selling series, Sisters Grimm, in which two sisters learn that they are descendants of the Brothers Grimm. These stories mix humor, excitement, adventure, and imagination with mystery and lots of fairy tale twists.
THE GINGERBREAD BABY by Jan Brett

In this tale, a gingerbread baby escapes from the oven and leads everyone, except the boy baker, on a wild chase. The story remains somewhat true to the original tale, but Brett has added her own touches and even a surprise ending. Brett’s signature artwork includes the decorative borders for which she is known as well as many intriguing details, all of which provides the reader with a wonderful visual experience.
GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE DINOSAURS by Mo Willems

Mo Willems, author of the Pigeon and Elephant & Piggy books, gives us a prehistoric version of The Three Bears. Willems’ imaginative retelling is full of irony and wit, and his signature cartoon-style illustrations support his tongue-in-cheek story line. This is a zany tale and jokes abound throughout.
INTERRUPTING CHICKEN by David Ezra Stein

At bedtime, Papa prepares to read several fairy tales to Little Chicken. Before starting each story, he reminds her not to interrupt the story, which she, of course, is incapable of doing. Each time she interrupts, she amends the tale. Children familiar with Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, and Chicken Little are sure to laugh out loud. The cartoon-like illustrations add to the humor.
THE ISLE OF THE LOST: A DESCENDANTS NOVEL by Melissa De La Cruz

This is Book One in The Descendants graphic novel series. If you ever wondered what happened to the villains in the Disney stories, then read on. The villains and their children are trapped on The Isle of the Lost, a dark and dreary place. This should be great fun for those that are fans of the original stories and those that enjoy fairy tale spinoffs.
JACK AND THE BEANSTALK AND THE FRENCH FRIES by Mark Teague

In this retelling, the beanstalk provides so many beans that Jack’s mother creates a plethora of bean-inspired dishes, so much so that Jack tires of beans and dreams of hamburgers and fries. When he climbs the stalk and confronts the giant, Jack learns that he too is tired of beans. Together they plant a garden with a variety of vegetables which enables Jack to make fries from his home-grown potatoes. The story ends with the giant’s hand reaching down to offer a nice squirt of ketchup. Teague provides good storytelling, and his artwork is well-crafted.
LITTLE RED WRITING by Joan Holub, illus. by Melissa Sweet

In this parody of Little Red Riding Hood, a little red pencil embarks on her story writing assignment from school and encounters many perils along the path. This is a very witty and humorous retelling, and the illustrations are creative and fun.
RUMP: THE TRUE STORY OF RUMPELSTILTSKIN by Liesl Shurtliff

In this humorous chapter book for ages 8-12, the reader is given the back story on Rumpelstiltskin. His mother dies in childbirth and only manages to say half his name, “Rump,” which leads to much ridicule and teasing. In the kingdom in which he lives, one’s name is one’s destiny. Many of the elements of the original story are here, including the greedy miller, the miller’s daughter, and Rump’s ability to spin straw into gold. The story develops as he searches for his true name and destiny. Other fractured tales by the same author include Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood, Jack: The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk, and Grump: The (Fairly) True Tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.
THE TRUE STORY OF THE THREE LITTLE PIGS by Jon Scieszka, illus. by Lane Smith

This version gives us the wolf’s side of the story. Originally published in 1989, this title is often considered one of the first in the “fractured fairy tale” genre. It has entertained countless numbers of children and adults alike over the years and will no doubt continue to delight many more generations of readers.
 
 

Written by Terri Diebel and Cecilia Horn
Terri Diebel is a Children’s Librarian at the Covington Branch.Cecilia Horn is currently the Juvenile Collection Development Librarian for the Kenton County Public Library. Both hold Master of Library Science degrees and have worked in the field of Children’s Literature for many years. In recent years, they have collaborated on presentations at local, state, and national library and literature conferences.
“Children’s literature is our passion. Through this blog, we hope to share that enthusiasm and love of children’s books. As children’s literature enthusiasts, our blog name, “A Wynk, a Blynk, and a Nod to Books,” pays homage to the classic children’s poem from 1889, “Wynken, Blynken, and Nod,” by Eugene Field.”