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Retold Fairy Tales
Fractured Fairy Tales
Cinderella Tales
Arthurian Legends
Robin Hood Legends
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Everything Old

is New Again:

Fairy Tales & Legends


Fractured fairy tales are perfect for anyone who has ever enjoyed fairy tales. They may be compared with the originals, or appreciated for their breaks in established form. Generally they are intended for readers who have a familiarity with fairy tale themes and motifs, but can be enjoyed by anyone. (Note: fractured versions of the Cinderella story are listed with the other Cinderella books. Several of the following short story collections also include versions of Cinderella.)


Ahlbert, Janet and Allen. The Jolly Postman.
Boston: Little, Brown & Company, 1996.

An interactive tale about a postman delivering letters to well-known fairy tale characters. Great fun. There is also a Christmas version.

Briggs, Raymond. Jim and the Beanstalk.
NY: Coward, McCann & Geohegan, Inc., 1970.

Jim climbs a beanstalk and meets a grumbly Giant (the son of the original).

Cole, Babette. Princess Smartypants.
NY: Putnam Publishing Group, 1987.

A Princess outsmarts herself with the tasks she sets would-be suitors.

French, Fiona. Snow White in New York.
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986.

A Snow White story set in the 1920s. The jealous stepmother tries to get rid of Snow, who becomes the toast of New York.

Lansky, Bruce (Ed.). Newfangled Fairy Tales.
NY: Meadowbrook Press, 1997.

Little, Jean and Maggie de Vries. Once Upon a Golden Apple.
Toronto: Viking, 1991.

An amusing introduction to fairy tale themes and formats, as a dad keeps getting his story 'wrong'.

Lowell, Susan. The Three Little Javelinas.
Northland, 1992

A Southwestern view of the three little pigs, who in this version use sticks, tumbleweed, and adobe bricks.

Mossie, Diane Redfield. Briar Rose and the Golden Eggs.
NY: Parents' Magazine Press, 1973.

After reading a fairy tale, a large white goose named Briar Rose thinks she would get better treatment if her farmer thought she could lay golden eggs.

Munsch, Robert. The Paper Bag Princess.
Toronto: Annick Press, 1982.

A tale about a Princess named Elizabeth who overcomes a dragon to save a rather un-princely prince.

Scieszka, Jon. The Frog Prince Continued.
London: Puffin Books, 1991.

Story of the prince who keeps trying to find the correct witch to turn him back into a frog.

_____. The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales.
NY: Viking, 1992.

Caldecott honor book. Ridiculous retellings of fairy tales with sophisticated humor and great artwork.

_____. The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs.
NY: Viking, 1989.

The true story, told from the wolf's point of view (he's really just misunderstood). Young adults tend to love this. Great as a starter for creative writing assignments or to introduce a civics lesson or mock trial.

Tolhurst, Marilyn. Somebody and the Three Blairs.
NY: Orchard Books, 1990.

A reversal of the classic story, when a young bear drops in to the Blairs' house while they are out.

Trivizas, Eugene. The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig.
NY: Scholastic, 1994.

An altered retelling of the traditional tale, with a surprise ending.

Tunnell, Michael O. Beauty and the Beastly Children.
NY: Tambourine Books, 1993.

The King still behaves pretty beastly and passes his curse onto his children.

Turkle, Brinton. Deep in the Forest.
NY: E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc., 1976.

A wordless picture book about a bear that visits, reversing the three bears story.

Waddell, Martin. The Tough Princess.
NY: Philomel Books, 1986.

The story of an inept king and queen who decide to have a son to save them or a daughter who would be rescued, but instead have a tough daughter.

Williams, Jay. Petronella.
NY: Parents' Magazine Press, 1973.

When the King and Queen's third child is a girl instead of a boy, she decides to rescue a prince for herself, but ends up deciding princes are not what they are cracked up to be. Very humorous.

_____. School for Sillies.
NY: Parents' Magazine Press, 1969.

A wandering scholar outwits a King to win the hand of the Princess.


Dahl, Roald. Dahl's Revolting Rhymes.
Puffin Books, 1995.

Gorier versions, told in verse, of six traditional tales.

Fisher, David. Legally Correct Fairy Tales.
NY: Wane, 1996.

Contains 14 familiar fairy tales and children's rhymes humorously rewritten as if they form the basis for legal action. Includes "Hansel & Gretal," "Sleeping Beauty," "Snow White," "Pinocchio," "Little Red Riding Hood," and "Goldilocks." Fun to use in government classes or with a mock trial program.

Fraser, Betty. Fractured Fairy Tales.

Bibliography and links.

Galloway, Priscilla. Truly Grim Tales.
NY: Delacorte Press, 1995.

Garner, James Finn. Once Upon a More Enlightened Time.
NY: Macmillian, 1995.

_____. Politically Correct Bedtime Stories.
New York: MacMillan, 1994.

Selected Adult Novels Using
Fairy Tale Archetypes

"There is an underground connection between fairy tales and modern fiction---between one of the oldest forms of literature and one of the most recent. More often than we realize, the stock situations and stock characters, especially the female characters, of the classic fairy tale reappear in the novels we read today. They don't appear only in novels, of course: they turn up in films, plays, poetry, comic strips, advertisements, and dreams---and also in real life, which as usual imitates art (Lurie 29)."

Barth, John. Chimera.

Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre.

AS Byatt. Possession.
(Winner of the Booker Prize, its fairy tale link is with the Melusine legend.)

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. Tender is the Night.
(Sleeping Beauty-also consider Fitzgerald's and Zelda's own lives)

Gardner, John. Grendel.

Goldman, William. The Princess Bride.

Halprin, Mark. A Winter's Tale.

Oates, Joyce Carol. Bellefleur.

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