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What are fractured fairy tales, you might ask? First, they are not broken. It’s just the opposite. They are familiar fairy tales that we all know and love that have been rewritten into a fairy tale parody of sorts by adding humor, satire, and/or unexpected twists.
We are all familiar with old favorites like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Little Red Riding Hood, Humpty Dumpty, and the rest of the classics, so why mess with a good thing? Reading an alternative version of these classic stories is a new and fun way to enjoy them all over again.
Creativity in storytelling and beautiful illustrations are the most important criteria for me when it comes to choosing children’s books. I also always appreciate a healthy dose of humor. When choosing which alternative fairy tales to include in this list, those two things weighed heavily in my decision. The fractured fairy tales below fit the bill. Their artwork will keep you engaged and the stories will have you and your kids smiling and laughing together. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about?
Some of these books have life lessons to learn, while some are just for fun. Either way, I hope you will love reading these modern versions of the books you loved from your childhood.
From Goodreads: Break-in at the Three Bears family home? It could only be one dame. Wicked witch gone missing from her candied cottage? Hansel and Gretel claim it was self-defense. Did Humpty Dumpty really just fall off that wall, or was he pushed? Here are five fairy-tale stories with a twist, all told from the point of view of a streetwise police officer called Binky, who just happens to be a toad in a suit and a fedora. When Snow White doesn't make it to the beauty pageant, Officer Binky is the first to find the apple core lying by her bed. When an awful giant mysteriously crashes to the ground, upsetting the whole town, Binky discovers exactly who is responsible. Author David Levinthal and illustrator John Nickle retell these classic stories in the style of a 1940s noir detective novel—for kids!
From Goodreads: Little Bear is all grown up and Goldilocks is a distant memory. One day, Little Bear wanders out of the woods and finds himself lost in the Big City. Will he find the city too noisy? Too quiet? Or just right? And what are the chances of him bumping into someone who remembers exactly how he likes his porridge?
From Goodreads: With a little help from her fairy godrobot, Cinderella is going to the ball--but when the prince's ship has mechanical trouble, someone will have to zoom to the rescue! Readers will thank their lucky stars for this irrepressible fairy tale retelling, its independent heroine, and its stellar happy ending.
From Goodreads: Updating the classic rhyme with "appliance humor," gives this book a hilarious twist and a great new take on the "beloved transitional object" story. Mary has a little lamp that she takes everywhere: to school, the movies, the circus, the zoo, even a wedding. One day Mary heads off to summer camp without her bendy-necked lamp and discovers that life without a lamp isn't so bad! In fact, when Mary returns home, her little lamp stays on her shelf for good. Now what will she find instead?
From Goodreads: Three pigs spend their money on different things: potato chips, sody-pop, and building supplies. It comes as no surprise that a wolf is able to blow down the first two pigs' houses. When the wolf can't blow down the third pig's brick house, everyone comes together and the fun begins. The first two pigs give him potato chips and sody-pop, and the third pig makes everyone a healthy meal. Since only one pig has a house left, the other two pigs and the wolf move in with her. The somewhat bad wolf is no longer hungry.
Acclaimed writer Joan Holub and Caldecott Honoree Melissa Sweet team up in this hilarious and exuberant retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, in which a brave, little red pencil finds her way through the many perils of writing a story, faces a ravenous pencil sharpener (the Wolf 3000)... and saves the day.
From Goodreads: There's been a terrible mix-up in the royal nursery. Priscilla the princess has accidentally switched places with Pigmella, the farmer's new piglet. The kindly farmer and his wife believe it's the work of a good witch, while the ill-tempered king and queen blame the bad witch-after all, this happens in fairy tales all the time! While Priscilla grows up on the farm, poor yet very happy, things don't turn out quite so well for Pigmella. Kissing a frog has done wonders before, but will it work for a pig?
From Goodreads: Every night the rhyme gets read. Every night Dish and Spoon run away. And every night they return--until tonight!Where can Dish and Spoon be? The rhyme can't go on without them, so Cat, Cow, and Dog set out to search for their missing friends. But where to start? Should they go north? East? Northeast? They'll just have to read Fork's map, ask directions, and try not to get lost in Little Boy Blue's haystack or under Miss Muffet's tuffet or in Big Bad Wolf's kitchen--"FEE, FI, FO . . ." Oh no. Could that be the giant?
From Goodreads: Once upon a time there were two girls who lived next door to each other. Cinder Edna was forced to work for her wicked stepmother and stepsisters, just as her neighbor, Cinderella, was Edna, on the other hand, had learned a thing or two from doing all that housework, such as how to make tuna casserole sixteen different ways and how to get spots off everything from rugs to ladybugs. And she was strong and spunky and knew some good jokes. Then one day the king announced that he would give a ball ...
From Goodreads: Little Red Riding Hood straps on her ice skates in this fractured fairy tale! A figure skating enthusiast, Little Red has worn her skates right out and must win a pairs competition to earn new ones. But who will be her partner? The Dish is already dancing with the Spoon, and Hansel is spinning Gretel like sugar. You won’t believe what big eyes, sharp teeth, and long snout her partner has…all the better to spin her with!
From Goodreads: A delightful retelling of the three little pigs story. Three little gators strike out on their own in an east Texas swamp. Their mother warns them to build strong houses that can protect them from Big-bottomed Boar, who likes to eat tasty, tender gators for his snack. Soon, First Gator builds himself a nice house out of rocks. Second Gator reckons rocks are too much work, so he builds his house with sticks. And Third Gator’s house of sand is the easiest one to build! But soon Big-bottomed Boar shows up. With a bump, bump, bump of the fierce boar's rump, he knocks over Third Gator's house of sand. It doesn't take long for that rump to bump Second Gator's house of sticks. But he can't knock over Third Gator's house of stones, so he tries another way in - through the chimney! Guess what happens to the Boar's rump after that?!
From Goodreads: In the old-growth forest, a dashing Bigfoot prince searches for his Bigfoot princess. Rrrrrella, who also lives in the forest, would be a perfect match. But can she get past her ugly stepsisters to win the prince's heart?
From Goodreads: Deep in the forest lives a witch named Willow. She is a good witch, who only uses good magic--until she meets Hansel and Gretel. Willow never used to worry about messy breadcrumb trails. Or entire portions of her gingerbread house being devoured. Or anyone fiddling with her spells and magic books and causing a ruckus. But Hansel and Gretel are two very naughty and very rude children, and they are trying Willow's patience. This subversive and deliciously wicked retelling of Hansel & Gretel from Bethan Woollvin, creator of Little Red and Rapunzel, features her signature striking and humorous visuals, and a twist ending that is sure to surprise and delight.
From Goodreads: My name is Humpty Dumpty. I'm famous for falling off a wall. (You may have heard about it.)But that's only half the story...Because I decided to get back up. And when I did, something amazing happened. This story is about my life...AFTER THE FALL. Inspiring and unforgettable, this epilogue to the beloved classic nursery rhyme will encourage even the most afraid to overcome their fears, learn to get back up--and reach new heights.
BORROW THESE BOOKS FROM YOUR LIBRARY
I hope you have discovered some funny fairy tales you would like to read from this list. While I am a book hoarder and love to buy all the books, I also love checking them out of the library first to make sure it will be a book we will read and love for years to come.
Now, finding books at your library has never been easier. To find out if they’re at your local library, check out Library Extension for Google Chrome. While looking for books on Amazon, this extension will let you know if your library has a copy, which I think is a fantastic idea.