Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Fairy Tales Revisited--Chapter Book Fairy Tales With a Twist

I've found myself recommending some of the same titles over and over again, both at the public library and in the school library. As this list grows longer, and my memory shorter, it's time to make another list. This one is a list of children's chapter books that are either based on/in a fairy tale or that take on additional levels of meaning if you are familiar with some of the traditional fairy tales. Without fail, each of the titles in this list has left me chuckling and wishing I had been the one to write that book or come up with that idea.

Patricia Wrede's Chronicles of the Enchanted Forest in which Princess Cimorene defies princessly tradition and goes in search of a dragon to serve and attempts to dissuade those pesky princes from attempts to rescue her--and manages to befriend a witch,melt a few wizards, foil a few dastardly plots, organize a dragon's cave and cook copious quanitites of Cherries Jubilee.

Dealing with Dragons
Searching for Dragons
Calling On Dragons
Talking to Dragons

Gail Carson Levine's standalone book

Ella Enchanted and her Princess Tales books in which she puts several new twists on many fairy tale conventions and archetypes

The Fairy's Mistake
The Princess Test
Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep
Cinderellis and the Glass Hill
The Fairy's Return
For Biddle's Sake

Esme Raji Codell's Diary of a Fairy Godmother in which young witch-in-training, Hunky Dory, defies the convention of her classmates and the expectations of all those expecting her to go into the family business (witching) and considers other possible magical career options, much to her family's distress but our enjoyment.

Jean Ferris' Once Upon a Marigold in which you'll recognize many of the fairy tale elements--but with some fun twists--evil Queen mothers (not step-mothers), people with mysterious histories, lost children adopted by trolls, crazy inventors and, oh yes, quite a few horrible (but in a good way) jokes.

E.D. Baker's Tales of the Frog Princess in which rather un-princessly Princess Esmerelda manages to kiss a frog--and be turned into a frog herself, with great adventure, albeit frog-sized, and hilarious results.

The Frog Princess
Dragon's Breath
Once Upon a Curse
No Place for Magic

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