Posts tagged ‘fairy tales’

CINDERELLA GONE WILD

Zombie Books for kids: Princess of the Dead (from Cinderella)

Written by Dina T. Seth

 

Do you like classic fairy tales? Maybe you can’t turn down a good horror story? Not the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the name of Cinderella. This book is a macabre twist on the fairy tale.

The first scene opens with Cinderella working feverishly tending the home at the edge of the forest. Familiar characters include the wicked stepmother, two ugly stepsisters, fairy godmother and the prince. But in this version the fairy godmother is not the kind-hearted hero, the prince no heroine, and the major players become zombies who are victims of a disease that Cinderella actually initiates. Will Cinderella and the Prince live happily ever after?

This book is cleverly written, though the amount of violence, gore and detail are too probably way too much for elementary school readers. Recommended for middle-school, young adult and adult readers who enjoy fantasy and horror stories.

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TRAINING FOR THE FUTURE

The Innovative Engine

Written by Jim Gribble

Illustrated by Jack Gribble

This book is a unique tale combining technology, fairy tales, and student writers. The Innovative Engine grew up in New York City hearing the tales of the little engine that could. One day she received a letter from a teacher with a special request that she readily accepted. A group of student bloggers would board her at Grand Central Station. There they would begin a nationwide trip stopping at cities, farms, and lake country to learn about innovation and write about their discoveries.

After stopping at Washington D.C. and receiving a tour of the Capitol, the students travel west to explore old technology and experiment with new ideas. The Innovative Engine is then equipped with solar panels, the students learn about using magnets for transportation, and how to transform the engine into a vegetable garden to feed the hungry. At the end of their journey, the President greets them and thanks them for blogging about their discoveries.

Readers find a pleasant mix of traditional characters, a dose of upcoming technologies, and meet some student journalists of the future.  Illustrations and images that were drawn by the students for their blog entries are included. The plot is unique, fanciful and creative. Particularly recommended for middle-grade students, but an enjoyable read for all ages.

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HALLOWEEN HAUNTINGS

halloweenmysticalpeterpicHalloween: Mystical Peter: (Peter, A Darkened Fairy tale)

Written by William O’Brien

The author has written many tales based on the character of Peter. In this book O’Brien has focused on Halloween with its spells, witches, goblins, vampires, zombies and the like. He has provided the reader with a series of dark poems that evoke images of the best and worst Halloween has to offer. O’Brien employs his creative talents with a skill in using descriptive language including rhyme, alliteration, and onomatopoeia to evoke fear and dread in the souls of readers. At the end of the book, O’Brien adds a prose story about Charlie Featherwick. He lives in a strange town called Temptus Vale whose inhabitants include a witch named Mrs. Cruelmonger. When a group of children play a prank on her on Halloween night, the stage is set for an adventure that none of them will ever forget.

This collection is a perfect choice for a Halloween party read. Imagery is clear, crisp and really frightening. Fair warning for children who are easily spooked. Targeted for readers who are eight to eighteen, but not for the fainthearted.

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THE SECRET DOOR

The Witch With The Glitch: A Fairy Tale And Adventure (A Lost Book Adventure)

Written by Adam Maxwell

Cover by Dale Maloney

witchglitchpic

Charming adventure of Nina and her two friends Ivy and Oswald who frequently meet in her Aunt and Uncle’s bookshop. Doesn’t sound like the place for a real adventure? Well, it turns out there is a hidden room in the bookshop, and once Nina places the key in the lock the children are on their way to a journey into the unknown. This time the children find themselves in the parlor of a gingerbread house. To their chagrin the three friends find themselves transformed into a vampire, ghost, and a werewolf!

They will meet a witch who has a problem using and controlling her powers, a village of strange little people, two kidnapped children, and a magical cat named Izzy. The three friends will have to learn to control their new identities and transform themselves. If they are unable to find Izzy before midnight, Belinda the witch will be unable to undo their spells, and they will be trapped forever. Will they be able find their way back to the bookstore and their families?

The author combines fairy tales, adventure, paranormal and lots of humor to keep the plot interesting. Characters are well-developed and the dialogue crisp and clever. This book is perfect for readers in grades three to six. Chapters are short and vocabulary provides enough challenge while not being overwhelming for the early reader. A few illustrations would have enhanced the book’s appeal. This could be a fun story to share with a family or class around Halloween.

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GOTCHA ENDINGS

Four Fantastic Surprise Endings for Children 3-6

Written and illustrated by Scott Gordon

FourFantastic

Four stories centering on familiar themes and characters with surprise endings. Each story features one protagonist speaking to the reader in first person. The first story showcases a frog who was once a king now trying to woo his sweetheart. In the second book, a little chickadee discovers there is a certain someone that he cannot get off his mind. How can he tell her that he loves her? The third book features a rather self-centered Easter bunny who is attempting to train the “new guy.” He gives a lot of history about the Easter bunny and what it takes to fill the job. Finally in the fourth book, a robot from the planet Infinim, which is a replica of earth, is interviewing candidates who want to be robots for his planet. Readers will be surprised at the current candidate who is interviewing for the position. Who is he and will he make the cut?

The photos and illustrations are delightful. While the stories feature somewhat familiar characters, the clever surprise endings will delight both the child and adult reader. Each story is about the average length of a picture book. These tales are targeted for the three to six age audience, but older children will appreciate the subtleties and clever twists. The collection is a nice set of bedtime stories or family read aloud. Highly recommended.

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21st CENTURY FAIRY TALES

Three Little Pigs Get An Extreme Home Makeover
Written by Caprice Hokstad
Illustrated by Richard Svenson

3pigsmakeover,pic

Hokstad has done a marvelous job of putting a modern day setting and spin on classic fairy tales. Adult readers will find themselves smiling at the innovative settings and modern day language. The three little pigs live in Florida and must contend with a hurricane instead of a wolf. Goldilocks becomes the home invader and the Three Bears a model family. Hansel and Gretel are the victims of a nanny instead of a witch, and the gingerbread house meets an unlikely demise. Jack’s beanstalk is genetically modified, and an unscrupulous salesman meets his fate. Rapunzel is not the timid captive held in the tower. What will happen to those gorgeous locks of hair? Finally, in the Pied Piper story, students in an elementary school must face the music when one of their science experiments goes amiss and rats overrun the school. The principal demands a humane solution to solve the problem.

Young children won’t understand the humor, but many children in the middle grades who are already familiar with the classic tales will love the satire. Their parents will, no doubt, be amazed at the creative twenty-first century scenarios. Each of the story has an original illustration appropriate to the new version. For lovers of fairy-tales, this one is a definite change of pace.

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BAIT AND SWITCH

The Seven Sisters: A Fairy Tale

Written by G.C. McRae

Thesevensisters,pic

Story of a foolish king, his selfish wife and seven princesses involved in a deceitful plot. Once there was a foolish king who squandered his subjects’ money, so he was strung up by his toes! Now the brother of this king was so afraid of a similar fate that he permitted all his minsters and advisers to make his decisions. Eventually his subjects insisted he take a queen; he decided on the spinster daughter if a king from a faraway kingdom. She made many demands to which the king agreed. There was one problem he could not solve. The princess did not want more than one child running around the palace; the king had seven daughters.

The king’s advisers concocted an elaborate ruse Six of the daughters would be hidden far away in the castle. Only the eldest would be seen by the new queen. As each of the daughters grew old enough to marry, each of them would secretly leave the castle. Because the daughters looked so similar, the king hoped that his wife could be deceived. Though she was suspicious the ruse succeeded until twelve years had passed and the queen began to age. She grew increasingly jealous of the fact that the princess remained beautiful. The queen removed all the mirrors and banished old women from the kingdom because they reminded her that she was losing her own youth

The youngest princess and the court physician scheme to find a solution, but it backfires. What will happen to the king, the queen, the seven princesses and their kingdom? Is there a lesson to be learned?

The cover of the book is beautifully illustrated; the plot is fairly well developed with a clever ending. I think this book will appeal especially to middle grade students and young teens. Humor, fantasy and fairy tale are nicely interwoven.

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