So I have been re-reading some of my favorite fairy tale stories…and I thought I would share what some of my favorite re-tellings are. If you love fairy tales as much as I do, these are some books to look at (if you want to enjoy a fun twist or two). Enjoy!
The Three Billy Goats Gruff:The Three Cabritos by Eric A. Kimmel. Illustrated by Stephen Gilpin
I love how in this re-telling of the 3 Billy Goats, the monster under the bridge is a Chupacabra (or a “goat-sucker!”). How funny that the monster the goats encounter would be one not only with such fun ties to this Texas/Mexican version of the story, but that this monster is perfect for three billy goats. And how fun that this has such a Southwestern flare. Or Mexican flare. Or both. I love the bits of Spanish that are sprinkled throughout the text.
Beauty and the Beast:
The Dragon Prince: A Chinese Beauty and the Beast Tale by Laurence Yep.
This is a beautiful retelling of Beauty and the Beast. In this one the Beast is really a dragon that forces a girl to become his bride. It almost has somewhat of the feel of the tale “East of the Sun, West of the Moon” as well. But I love how the Chinese culture just shines through this telling. And really, I love the Dragon Prince. He is so good and kind and if I could have a crush on a dragon, this would be the dragon I would have a crush on.
Jack and the Beanstalk:Jack and the Baked Beanstalk by Colin Stimpson
I’ll be honest, as a kid I never understood the “Jack and the Beanstalk” tale. Probably because I just couldn’t think about going and stealing a bunch of stuff from somebody else. Or maybe it is because I actually hate eating beans, so why trade a cow for those nasty things. But in this story, I actually really like this tale. I like how it has a feel of the Great Depression. I like how the giant isn’t all that bad and in fact, is a pretty great guy. I like how the whole city comes to love Jack and his family.
The Three Pigs:
The Three Ninja Pigs by Corey Rosen Schwartz. Illustrated by Dan Santat.
I love this re-telling. Not only do I love that the rhymes are great and the illustrations are amazing…but I love that the pigs are NINJAS! I mean, seriously. You just add a ninja to a fairytale story and things are all that much cooler. Not to mention it is not just the type of houses that the pigs build, it is the type of commitment to working hard that shows just what type of pigs will be prepared when the wolf comes. And I can’t even tell you just how much elementary school boys love this story…not just preschool kids. Ah, this one is great.
Ella’s Big Chance by Shirley Hughes
Of course I can’t go and put together a fairy tale list without adding a Cinderella story. (My problem is limiting myself to just one Cinderella story!) But I do LOVE this one. It is a Jazz-Age Cinderella tale where Cinderella doesn’t end up with who everyone thinks she will end up with. (Instead she ends up with the perfect person for her. Which is great, it just doesn’t follow the classic tale 100%.) But I love the illustrations, the fancy dresses. I love how Ella doesn’t just sit and take what is thrown her way. She really does try to do something to make her life better. I love how the people around Ella realize just what is happening to her (she isn’t an island of misery). Mostly, I just love this book. A LOT.
So, basically here are five fairy tales that have been retold in such a way that makes them all some of my favorite books. But like I said, I could make this list much longer and show you just how much I love fairy tales. Or you can realize that by just picking 5 of my favorites, you should probably head to the library to read these 5 brilliant books. Because they are that good. Hmmm, maybe I should go re-read them. Again. ‘Cuz that would just make this day all the better… 🙂