Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Fairy Tale Adaptations

One of the "it" books this year for middle grades is called "Rump" by Leisl Shurtliff. It's a chapter book with the back story of Rumplestiltskin, how this little guy learns to spin straw into gold and why he wants a baby (it's not as creepy as you think). It's a great story filled with interesting characters and great writing and good lessons about believing what "everyone says", the power of our choices, and what is destiny. I really liked it. I thought it would be great to pair with Paul Zelinsky's version Rumplestiltskin (and there is a Reading Rainbow episode based around it!). It would also be great to compare with a story like The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by John Scieszcka and any other version of the Three Little Pigs or if you wanted to go bigger, compare it to the Wizard of Oz and Wicked. Here's book trailer about it. I really love fairy tales and there are some great ones out there that you might never heard of. My students really liked "Tuesdays at the Castle" by Jessica Day George. It's about a princess named Celie who lives with her family in a castle that can change itself. If the castle is bored (like on the day the King has to hear petitions) it might open a door to allow the sheep to come in. If the castle likes you, it might give you things you like, flowers in your room or super comfy furniture. If it doesn't like you, it will give you uncomfortable furniture or if you seem untrustworthy, it might lock you in your room. It's a typical fairy tale with evil villains and characters who are worthy and do good deeds. There are two more in the series. Wednesdays in the Tower is the second one and the Thursday one just came out (I have it at my house!). I love Jessica Day George's writing style. She's great! Here's a book trailer about Tuesdays at the Castle. Eric Kimmel is a great writer of folktales and fairy tales. They are SO worth looking for. They are picture books and he uses different illustrators for almost everyone. One of my favorites is called Count Silvernose, about an evil Count who tries to lure three sisters into a pit of fire and brimstone. Luckily, ONE of them is smart enough to see through his vile plans. Another one is called "One eye, two eyes, three eyes", which is a very creepy version of a Cinderella story. That's one of the things that makes fairy tales so much fun, seeing how they are the same and how they are different. Albert Einstein said "If you want your kids to be smart, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be smarter, read them more fairy tales." That's advice I intend to live by!

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