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Fairy Tales: Fairy Tales
Use this guide for getting started with your visual arts mural project.
This is a fascinating article about the historic roots of many famous fairy tales.
Story Nory Audio Podcasts of Fairy Tales
Storynory is a GREAT resource for audio versions of many famous fairy tales. You can download the MP3 files of these stories completely for free!
Fractured Fairy Tales in the AISL Library
The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig
When it comes time for the three little wolves to go out into the world and build themselves a house, their mother warns them to beware the big bad pig. But the little wolves' increasingly sturdy dwellings are no match for the persistent porker, who has more up his sleeve than huffing and puffing. It takes a chance encounter with a flamingo pushing a wheelbarrow full of flowers to provide a surprising and satisfying solution to the little wolves' housing crisis. Eugene Trivizas's hilarious text and Helen Oxenbury's enchanting watercolors have made this delightfully skewed version of the traditional tale a contemporary classic.
Falling for Rapunzel
"The course of true love never did run smooth." --William Shakespeare When the prince spies Rapunzel high in her tower, he's convinced she is the girl of his dreams. Of course he thinks he can save her the traditional way, but this is no traditional Rapunzel. She throws down everything but what the princ asks for--including a surprise that makes all his dreams come true. A hilarious fractured fairy tale with clever page-turns and vibrant, eclectic art that is perfect for funny Valentine's Day story hours.
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs
You thought you knew the story of the "The Three Little Pigs"... You thought wrong. In this hysterical and clever fracture fairy tale picture book that twists point of view and perspective, young readers will finally hear the other side of the story of "The Three Little Pigs." "In this humorous story, Alexander T. Wolf tells his own outlandish version of what really happens during his encounter with the three pigs.... Smith's simplistic and wacky illustrations add to the effectiveness of this fractured fairy tale." --Children's Literature "Older kids (and adults) will find very funny." --School Library Journal
Rapunzel - A Groovy 1970s Fairy Tale
Meet a truly funky, flares-clad fairy-tale heroine and a genuinely frightening villain in this hilarious re-working of a much-loved fairy tale. Poor Rapunzel can only dream about the world outside because her Aunt Edna keeps her locked up in their tower-block home. The lifts don't work and Aunt Edna is too lazy to take the stairs, so she uses Rapunzel's extraordinarily long hair to climb in and out of their tiny flat. Rapunzel's life is confined within orange and brown flower-printed walls, with only her beloved records for solace. But then one day, a handsome stranger climbs up her hair and a new adventure begins.Set in the glamorous seventies, this lively retelling is bursting with colourful period detail. Other books in the series: Sleeping Beauty, Little Red and Cinderella.
Yours Truly, Goldilocks
Presents the correspondence of Goldilocks, the Three Pigs, Baby Bear, Peter Rabbit, and Little Red Riding Hood as they plan to attend a housewarming party for the pigs and avoid the evil wolves in the forest.
Goldie and the Three Hares
The Hare family--Papa, Mama, andLittle Baby Hare--are enjoying a peacefulday in their rabbit hole until they heara big THUMP outside their door. Thethump is Goldilocks herself, who hasfallen down the rabbit hole after beingchased by the Three Bears. (I think you know why those bearswere chasing her.) The Hare family is happy to helpthe girl, who has hurt her foot. But asyou might imagine, Goldie is not a verygood houseguest. She is tough to please,since every chair is too hard, too soft, orotherwise not just right. (If you were the Hares, you mightagree that Goldilocks is loud, obnoxious,and demanding.) But when Goldie is finally comfy-cozyin the Hares' rabbit hole, how are theyever going to get her to leave? Margie Palatini and Jack E. Davisbring a hilarious, just-right twist to thenursery classic.
The Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot
Introduce kids to the planets and solar system in this fractured fairy tale retelling of the classic The Three Little Pigs. Parents and children alike will adore this out-of-this-world story, which is set in outer space! GREEP BOINK MEEP! The three little aliens are happily settling into their new homes when the Big Bad Robot flies in to crack and smack and whack their houses down! A chase across the solar system follows in this humorous and visually stunning book from Margaret McNamara (How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?) and Mark Fearing (The Book that Eats People). The endpapers even include a labeled diagram of all the planets.
Kate and the Beanstalk
Mary Pope Osborne and Giselle Potter's funny, magical retelling of a favorite fairy tale featuring Kate, a new and inspiring heroine. Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum'un, I smell the blood of an Englishwoman. Be she alive or be she dead, I'll grind her bones to make my bread. Readers will cheer on the resourceful, gutsy Kate as she outsmarts the famously greedy giant.
In this updated version of the Grimm fairy tale, Rapunzel has flaming red hair and is kept imprisoned by her Aunt Esme, a heartless school cafeteria worker, in a tenement apartment with a broken elevator.
Goldi Rocks & the Three Bears
A rockin' twist on Goldilocks and the Three Bears Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear know how to rock! But they need a new singer, so they audition everyone--the Three Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood, and more. To their dismay, no one seems just right. Could the perfect lead singer be the mysterious girl sleeping on Baby Bear's keyboard? This mash up of Goldilocks and the Three Bears and The Voice is a surefire storytime hit.
Once upon a planetoid, amid her tools and sprockets, a girl named Cinderella dreamed of fixing fancy rockets. 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.
Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion
A fun take on Little Red Riding Hood -- with a safari twist!Little Red is on her way to visit Auntie Rosie with a basket of goodies and some spot medicine. Along the way she meets the Very Hungry Lion. The Lion is eager to gobble up Little Red. The Lion's plan doesn't work out the way he wanted. Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion is a fractured fairy tale version of Little Red Riding Hood. It's a classic fairy tale with a safari twist! Alex T. Smith's fun, bold art brings Little Red Riding Hood to life in a refreshing new way that will delight young readers.
Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs
Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs is a new take on the fairy-tale classic Goldilocks and the Three Bears, so funny and so original--it could only come from the brilliant mind of Mo Willems, the author/illustrator of Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and the Elephant and Piggie series. Once upon a time, there were three hungry Dinosaurs: Papa Dinosaur, Mama Dinosaur . . . and a Dinosaur who happened to be visiting from Norway. One day--for no particular reason--they decided to tidy up their house, make the beds, and prepare pudding of varying temperatures. And then--for no particular reason--they decided to go . . . someplace else. They were definitely not setting a trap for some succulent, unsupervised little girl. Definitely not! This hilarious story is perfect for fans of the Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs.
Jack and the Baked Beanstalk
"Fee-fi-fo-fummy, I'm always counting money!" Jack and his mom run a little café, but business has dried up and they're nearly broke. So when Jack comes home with only an old can of baked beans in return for their last few pennies, his mother throws it out the window. Overnight it grows into a gigantic baked beanstalk, which takes Jack to the castle of a giant who spends all his time counting his huge fortune. Jack helps the giant to find something more fun to do, and saves the café in the process!
The Frog Prince, Continued
You may think you know the story of the princess and the frog she kissed, who turned into a handsome prince and lived happily ever after. Well, now discover the shocking truth!
Tales2Go has an excellent array of audio fairy tales! After you log in, type "fairy tales" in the "keyword" search field. You will find Grimms' Fairy Tales, Sleeping Beauty and other fairy tales by Charles Perrault, and selections from Hans Christian Andersen.
Fairy Tale Books in the AISL Library
The Little Mermaid
Hans Christian Andersen's beloved story about a mermaid who leaves the sea after she falls in love with a human prince receives a beautiful and poignant retelling.
Little Red Riding Hood
Little Red Riding Hood has to deliver goodies to grandma--but when the hungry Big Bad Wolf spots the girl in the woods, he decides to trick her into becoming dinner. "What a big mouth, you have, Grandma..."
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Who's been sitting in the chairs, eating the porridge, and is still sleeping in the bed? Three bears discover a little intruder in their home--and, like Goldilocks, young readers will find this retelling just right!
Cinderella, with its heroine's magical transformation and iconic glass slipper, is perhaps the most popular fairy tale of all time. This stunning new version will enchant children hearing the story for the first time.
In the Sherwood Forest, Robin Hood robs from the rich and gives to the poor--and has enough action-packed exploits to thrill any child.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Discover some of the most loved stories of all time in this collection of classic tales. Each story has enchanted children around the world for many generations, and will continue to do so for years to come.
Hansel and Gretel
Beloved author James Marshall--creator of George and Martha--puts a hilarious twist on a classic tale in his retelling of Hansel and Gretel. Abandoned in the woods, what will Hansel and Gretel - so innocent, so vulnerable, so deliciously plump - do when they come face-to-face with a dastardly, ugly, over-dressed witch?
Hansel and Gretel
It's a tale as timeless as storytelling itself: two children, lost in the woods, stumble upon a candy house that isn't all that it seems. From Hansel's trail of bread crumbs to Gretel's ingenious triumph over the witch, the details of this familiar fairy tale enchant children year after year. Now, in an update on her classic retelling, Caldecott Honor winner and New York Times bestseller Susan Jeffers brings Hansel and Gretel to life for a new generation.
Beautiful Rapunzel is locked away in a tall, tall tower, visited only by the little creatures of the forest and the witch who has imprisoned her. Until one day a handsome prince, passing by on his horse, is transfixed by the magical sound of Rapunzel singing to her animals friends and knows he must reach her... Can true love transform Rapunzel's life forever?
Surely among the most original and gifted of children's book illustrators, Paul O. Zelinsky has once again with unmatched emotional authority, control of space, and narrativecapability brought forth a unique vision for an age-old tale. Few artists at work today can touch the level at which his paintings tell a story and exert their hold. Zelinsky's retelling of Rapunzel reaches back beyond the Grimms to a late-seventeenth-century French tale by Mlle. la Force, who based hers on the Neapolitan tale Petrosinella in a collection popular at the time. The artist understands the story's fundamentals to be about possessiveness, confinement, and separation, rather than about punishment and deprivation. Thus the tower the sorceress gives Rapunzel here is not a desolate, barren structure of denial but one of esoteric beauty on the outside and physical luxury within. And the world the artist creates through the elements in his paintings the palette, control of light, landscape, characters, architecture,interiors, costumes speaks to us not of an ugly witch who cruelly imprisons a beautiful young girl, but of a mother figure who powerfully resists her child's inevitable growth, and of a young woman and man who must struggle in the wilderness for the self-reliance that is the true beginningof their adulthood. As ever, and yet always somehow in newly arresting fashion, Paul O. Zelinsky's work thrillingly shows us the events of the story while guiding us beyond them to the truths that have made it endure.
Hansel and Gretel
Caldecott Honor winner Rachel Isadora gives readers a stunning new interpretation of this classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale, setting the infamous witch's cottage deep in a lush African forest. Hansel and Gretel's plight feels all the more threatening as they're plunged into the thick, dark jungle of Isadora's rich collages.
The Twelve Dancing Princesses
A retelling of the traditional tale of how the king's twelve daughters wear out their shoes every night while supposedly sleeping in their locked bedroom.
The Princess and the Pea
When a prince sets out to find a princess to marry, he soon discovers this is not a simple task. There is no shortage of so-called princesses, but how can he tell whether or not they are what they claim to be? Then one night, a great storm rages, there's a knock on the palace gate, and the prince's life is never the same. Caldecott Honor winning artist Rachel Isadora exquisitely illustrates this retelling of the classic Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale and takes readers to a beautiful African setting - a first for the true story of a tiny pea that changed everything.
The Frog Prince
The youngest daughter of the king lives a very special life, indeed. Her days are spent in lovely gowns, playing happily with her favorite golden ball. When her beloved ball is lost, she strikes a bargain for its return with a thick, green frog--a deal she doesn't intend to keep! But the ugly frog, refusing to be left behind by the fleeing princess, insists she share her life with him as promised. This Brothers Grimm tale of a spoiled princess finding her handsome prince by breaking a witch's spell has enchanted readers since it was written in the early 1800s. With enchantingly elegant illustrations, Anne Yvonne Gilbert brings Kathy-jo Wargin's retelling of the classic to a new generation of readers.
The Wild Swans
Princess Elise lives a very happy life alongside her eleven brothers-until her father, the king, marries again. Consumed with jealousy, the wicked stepmother banishes young Elise form the kingdom and dooms her beloved brothers to wander the earth as wild swans. Only Elise's courage and steadfast love can break the spell, but she will be forced to suffer greatly if she is to save her brothers.
The Ugly Duckling
For two hundred years, Hans Christian Andersen's The Ugly Ducklinghas been a childhood favourite all over the world. Now Robert Ingpen brings his spectacular adaptation to new generations of readers. Born bigger and different than the other hatchlings, the ugly duckling is ridiculed by his brothers and sisters, rejected by the other ducks, and eventually shunned by his own mother. The little bird leaves his home, embarking on a brave journey through hecklers, hunters, and cruel seasons-only to discover that the beauty he was seeking was inside him all along. A beautifully told and brilliantly illustrated edition of this classic, essential story every child should embrace.
Luminous illustrations by Bagram Ibatoulline combine with Brian Alderson’s wry retelling for a gorgeous gift edition of a well-loved tale. A childless woman visits a witch who gives her a barleycorn — and hidden in its bloom is a tiny girl. For one so small, Thumbelina’s life is full of misadventures as she floats through the pages like a wisp on the wind, encountering kind and unkind creatures in succession. But old Mrs. Toad with her "rek-kek-kek" and the alarming Man in Gray cannot crush her spirits, and Thumbelina’s gentle concern for a winged soul in need paves the way to her freedom and happiness. In a warm, witty retelling accessible to younger children, Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of a girl no bigger than a thumb is lavishly illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline. Showcasing art evocative of Victorian storybooks — with a touch of the dreamlike Rousseau — this is truly a breathtaking edition of a treasured classic.
The Little Match Girl
The luminous art of three-time Caldecott Honor recipient Jerry Pinkney transforms the nineteenth-century Danish girl of Andersen's tale into a child plucked straight from America's melting pot, shedding new light on the invisibility of the poor among the prosperous-a circumstance as familiar in Andersen's day as it is in our own. "[A] beautifully illustrated version of a classic tale."(Booklist, starred review)
Beauty and the Beast
This retelling of the classic fairy tale will appeal to children because of its mystery, suspense, and romance, and to adults because of its exploration of the duality in human nature.
The Korean Cinderella
"This masterfully retold version of Cinderella presents real Korean customs and includes dramatic, brightly colored illustrations" (Children's Literature). This is an enchanting and magical variant of the favorite fairy tale. Publishers Weekly noted that "the text is especially noteworthy for its instructive but unobtrusive incorporation of Korean words." Children's Literature pointed out that "it should be noted that all the illustrations--from those depicting Korean rituals to the smallest clothing details--are the result of the illustrator's extensive research and passionate interest in Korean culture." Like the tree planted to honor her birth, Pear Blossom is beautiful, and the pride of her elderly mother and father. But then her mother dies, and her father remarries. Pear Blossom's stepmother resents her new daughter's beauty. Out of jealousy, she makes Pear Blossom perform impossible chores while her own daughter, Peony, watches idly. But fortunately, Pear Blossom is not alone. With the help of magical creatures--togkabis--she can accomplish each task, and triumph over her stepmother's cruelty. Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies (NCSS/CBC)
The Egyptian Cinderella
"A stunning combination of fluent prose and exquisitely wrought illustrations" (School Library Journal). "An inventive twist on the classic tale" (Publishers Weekly). This Egyptian spin on the classic Cinderella tale was initially recorded in the first century by a Roman historian and is retold here by folklorist Shirley Climo. Poor Rhodopis! She has nothing--no mother or father, and no friends. She is a slave, from the far-off country of Greece. Only the beautiful rose-red slippers her master gives her can make Rhodopis smile. So when a falcon swoops down and snatches one of the slippers away, Rhodopis is heartbroken. For how is she to know that the slipper will land in the lap of the great Pharaoh himself? And who would ever guess that the Pharaoh has promised to find the slipper's owner and make her queen of all Egypt? Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies (NCSS/CBC)
In the first English retelling of this ancient Cambodian tale, our heroine goes further, survives more, and has to conquer her own mortality to regain her rightful place. Angkat--child of ashes--endures great wrongs as she seeks to rise above the distresses caused by her own family. Angkat appeared in an 18th century French essay which was found by Dr. Coburn deep in some dusty archives while she was researching Khmer culture and folklore. This ancient and truly captivating version of the Cinderella story will delight and enthrall readers of all ages. Eddie Flotte, a renowned watercolorist, places the reader in the scene of the story. He broadens the storytelling by effectively employing dramatic expressions, gestures, and ambiance in each illustration. This will be a welcome addition to the bookshelf of every library, classroom, and family.
Cinderella's wicked stepsisters and their mother treat her cruelly, but Cinderella responds only with kindness, and so gets rewarded with happiness at tale's end.
Found in Iraq and older than the Bible, the Koran, or the Torah, this stirring epic - the world's oldest written story - now becomes available to a general readership for the very first time. Lugalbanda woke with a jolt. He opened his eyes and what did he see but the terrible Anzu bird beating its wings in its nest high above. . . . Did he quake? Did he quail? No. Lugalbanda the Brave sat and stared, and into his head came a brilliant idea. Before the Bible and the Koran, before even the Greek and Roman myths, there came a story from the land we now call Iraq. Speaking across five thousand years, in a voice so fresh and timeless it could have been written yesterday, this tale tells of an extraordinary journey, of a magical bird, of a battle that wouldn't end, and of wisdom gained. It is the story of Lugalbanda, a boy in a time of war. Etched on clay tablets in cuneiform, lost underground for thousands of years, and rediscovered just 150 years ago, this account of the epic adventures of a loyal, resourceful boy is renarrated in lyrical prose by Kathy Henderson and set against Jane Ray's glorious images glinting with gold.
Little Red Riding Hood
Traveling alone, deep in the woods, Elisabeth suspects her basket of treats isn't the only thing a sly wolf is after. A classic of children's literature, this retelling of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale brings new life to an old favorite with illustrations that children will linger over. Surrounded by an abundance of wildflowers, mushrooms, pinecones, and birds, Elisabeth heads off in her red cloak to visit her ailing grandmother. She's all alone--until she is joined by a wicked wolf, who urges her to stray from her wooded path. Framed with hand-drawn patterns and textured vignettes, Trina Schart Hyman's illustrations add intrigue to the familiar story, filled with subtle detail and depth. With the help of a brave woodsman, Elisabeth and her grandmother are saved, and Little Red Riding Hood learns a valuable lesson. Little Red Riding Hood was a Caldecott Honor Book, and received a Gold Kite Award for Picture Book Text.
A magical adaptation Charles Perrault's French classic that has been translated and illustrated by Marcia Brown, earning her the Caldecott Medal as well as the love of children everywhere. Even in rags, Cinderella is a hundred times more beautiful than her cruel stepsisters. And how she wishes to go to the prince's ball! But her sisters delight in telling her that people would only laugh at her at the palace. Fortunately, Cinderella is blessed with a fairy godmother who can turn pumpkins into golden coaches, lizards into footmen, and rags into riches. At the ball, Cinderella will have the most thrilling night of her life--until the stroke of midnight!
"Illustrations featuring mix of styles in both clothing and architecture set the story in an imaginary yet vaguely familiar landscape, lit by a dreamlike haze. The smoothly told story...contains the familiar details and a happy ending in which Cinderella forgives her stepfamily." (The Horn Book Club) This satisfying tale never grows old. Koopman's illustrations are jewel-toned and Cinderella herself...is attractive as a person and figure." (Yellow Brick Road)
The Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Three Billy Goats Gruff
Three classic fairy tales all dressed up in new clothes for contemporary readers Fairy tales play an integral role in child development as they introduce the tenets of storytelling and the concept of good and evil. Here are three beloved fairy tales bound up in one fresh edition, newly retold and illustrated in Edward Miller's bold and inviting style. This timeless picture book is perfect for parents and children to read together.
Snow-White and the Seven Dwarfs
A Caldecott Honor Book New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of the Year New York Times Outstanding Book of the Year A beautifully illustrated retelling of the classic Grimm's fairy tale about a beautiful princess whose lips were red as blood, skin was white as snow, and hair was as black as ebony.
The classic Grimm tale of the strange little man who helps the miller's daughter spin straw into gold.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Jan Brett's richly illustrated take on a classic tale--it's just right! Everybody loves the story of the curious little girl named Goldilocks, who made herself quite at home in the house of the three bears. Jan Brett's lavish illustrations for this classic tale, full of details and surprises, gives this edition a special flair. Children will marvel at the enchanted world created herein.
A Caldecott Honor author/illustrator team brings us a Caribbean Cinderella story, told from the perspective of the magical godmother. You may think you already know this story about a beautiful servant girl, a cruel stepmother, a magnificent ball, and a lost slipper. But you've never heard it for true. Now you can hear the tale from someone who was there: a poor washerwoman from the island of Martinique. She has just one thing in the world to love, her goddaughter Cendrillon. When she finds Cendrillon heartsick over a rich man's son, at first she doesn't know what to do. But she has sharp wits, a strong will, and the magic wand her mother left her--and soon she has a plan to give her dear Cendrillon the gift of a love that will change her life. Adapted from a traditional Creole story, this fresh retelling captures all the age-old romance and magic of Cinderella, melding it with the vivid beauty of the Caribbean and the musical language of the islands.
Vassilisa the Wise
Based on an authentic Russian folk ballad, this action-adventure story pits a clever and courageous woman against Prince Vladimir of Russia. "The rich, layered watercolors reflect the story's origins; costumes are striking and the decorative patternings throughout give effective contrast."-Booklist
Puss in Boots
By outwitting an evil giant and gaining a fortune for a poor young man, the resourceful Puss in Boots proves himself the Master Cat of them all.