"The best children's stories are wisdom dipped in art and words." -Peter Reynolds

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Fairly Fairy Tales

Fairly Fairy Tales by Esme Raji Codell and illustrated by Elisa Chavarri was published in 2011 by Aladdin. This book is unlike any I have ever read! It is a collection of very short fairy tales. It begins with a boy asking his mother to read fairy tales aloud to him before bed. Then the book goes into a checklist pattern where one can tell the pair is reading the regular fairy tale. They mention three parts that are usually part of the fairy tale and always answer "Yes." as in yes, that is included in the story. But then at the end of the pattern the child asks about something silly and modern that is not usually part of the tale. Then they say "NOOOO!" but on the next page the text reads, "Well, maybe." and there are beautiful, two page spreads of what could have been in the modern fairy tale. The tales included in this collection are The Three Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, and finally Goldilocks and the Three Bears. At the end of the story the mother says it is bedtime and the boy falls asleep.

The endpages are bright lime green and it really energizes the reader for what is to come. The background on the pages is a simple white which helps the reader focus on the whimsical illustrations. The illustrations are very traditional in design but the colors are extremely bright and energizing. I really enjoy how Chavarri perfectly balanced a simple background with intricate illustrations. Children, parents, and teachers will enjoy making inferences from the busy illustrations. One of my favorite parts about this book is the back inside flap where the biography of the author and illustrator are shown. Instead of real photographs they are shown in cartoon form. How kid friendly is that?! I love it.

This is an excellent fairy tale collection book for children who have heard all the original fairy tales. It is a wonderful read aloud book for parents to read with their children before bed time. This book would be excellent for making inferences and rewriting fairy tales in school. It is an easy read and young readers of all ages would really enjoy it! Fairly Fairy Tales is a light and interactive read that should be part of any fairy tale collection.

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