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[Monday Reading] Mixed Up Fairy Tale Characters in Reinvented Children’s Stories

"There Is No Dragon In This Story" by Lou Carter and Deborah Allwright | "Goldilocks For Dinner: A Funny Book About Manners" by Susan McElroy Montanari and Jake Parker.


It's Monday! What Are You Reading

Myra here.

It’s Monday, What are You Reading is a meme hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers (new host of Monday reading: Kathryn T at Book Date). Since two of our friends, Linda from Teacher Dance and Tara from A Teaching Life have been joining this meme for quite awhile now, we thought of joining this warm and inviting community. 

One of the great things about our current reading theme is that it allows us to find reinvented stories that tap on intertextuality or knowledge of other books to make their narratives work. Here are two titles that do just that.

There Is No Dragon In This Story [Amazon | Book Depository]

Written by Lou Carter Illustrated by Deborah Allwright
Published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books (2017)
ISBN: 1408864908 (ISBN13: 9781408864906). Borrowed from Singapore National Library Board Overdrive. Book photos taken by me. 

The story seems simple enough initially – in fact the first full page-spread shows this quite clearly. Except .. the dragon isn’t too happy that he is once more depicted as this fire-breathing villain who abducts princesses who needed to be rescued by knights. Enough already, he says, and he walks out of that tale to join another story.

I deliberately included the image above as this is one of the issues I have to contend with when reading picturebooks in their e-versions; sometimes, just ever-so-rarely, the typography gets jumbled up. At any rate, that is our Dragon walking out of his story.

However, he is beginning to realize that joining another story isn’t all that simple. Little Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks, even Hansel and Gretel refused to have a dragon in their stories. They pointed out that there are no dragons in their tales; so all he heard was a resounding “No!” That is, until the time the Giant in Jack and the Beanstalk sneezed and wiped out the sun, bringing darkness throughout this fairy tale town.

Gingerbread Man exclaimed that here is a time for Dragon to finally step up, because a hero is needed given this turn of events. Whether or not Dragon is able to change character and transform who he is, I shall leave for you to discover. A very entertaining story, especially to those who have an affinity for fire-breathing, well-meaning magical creatures.

Goldilocks For Dinner: A Funny Book About Manners [Amazon | Book Depository]

Written by Susan McElroy Montanari Illustrated by Jake Parker
Published by Schwartz & Wade Books (2019)
ISBN: 0399552359 (ISBN13: 9780399552359). Borrowed from Singapore’s National Library Board Overdrive. Book photos taken by me. 

Goblin and Troll, as can be seen in the book cover, are good friends. They seem to have a lot of things in common: finding children gross and rude being one of them. And so, one lazy afternoon, they resolved to “find the rudest child of all and have it for dinner.”

The first child they encountered was Mary who was growing lovely silver bells, except that she seemed to be quite huffy, and with a gigantic chip on her shoulder. After deliberating whether she fit the criteria of being rude, Goblin and Troll decided that she was more Contrary rather than Rude, and so moved on to the next child.

After awhile, they arrived at the home of the three Bears who found a child rude enough to eat their porridge, break one of their chairs, and is, at that same moment, still sleeping on Baby Bear’s bed! Bingo! Troll and Goblin have found a winner, and so they decided to invite the snarky Goldilocks to their home for dinner.

Look at that huge cauldron Goblin is preparing for Goldilocks. Whether or not she gets devoured, I shall leave for you all to discover. This is an amusing and clever tale that is far from being didactic, a tad scary, but still highly entertaining.

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Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

6 comments on “[Monday Reading] Mixed Up Fairy Tale Characters in Reinvented Children’s Stories

  1. lindabaie

    Fairy Tales, even fractured ones, are always popular and these look fun, Myra. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for sharing these Myra. I love fractured fairy tales even better than the originals.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, I really want that dragon book. I’m a sucker for books where the character just walks off the page and demands a better story! Too funny. Thanks for sharing, as this was not yet on my radar.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Completely Full Bookshelf

    There Is No Dragon In This Story sounds like such a sweet book, and Goldilocks For Dinner sounds fun as well! Thanks for the great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I totally get what you are talking about with e-versions of picture books. I’ve used Digital Editions, Kindle, opening books directly in my browser, and Bluefire Reader. And most often I have an easier time reading picture e-books in Bluefire or in one of my browsers (I believe Chrome worked well). But there were some platforms that made it all jumbled and completely frustrating since I like to see full page spreads the way they were intended to be by the author/publisher. Oy! Thanks for these shares, Myra! I hope you have a fantastic reading week.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love books like There is No Dragons…–they are so funny though I haven’t read this one.

    Happy reading this week 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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