Saturday, August 30, 2008

Fractured Fairy Tales: Leah Wilcox

I don't know how these slipped under my radar before, but I've recently discovered the joy of Leah Wilcox's fractured fairy tales. First up is Falling for Rapunzel, which is one of the books we're using in our storytime sessions this fall.

The story starts out in the typical way... Rapunzel is up in the tower and a handsome prince comes to her rescue. Or, well, he tries to come to her rescue:

"Rapunzel, Rapunzel, throw down your hair!"
She thought he said "Your underwear."

"No, Rapunzel. Your curly locks!"

Rapunzel threw down dirty socks.

The prince tries and tries to make Rapunzel understand, but every time he yells to her, she mishears him until finally he cries "Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your BRAID!" and the mistaken girl throws down her maid. Once the prince and the maid spy each other, a true love connection is made and the two ride off into the sunset.

Silly rhymes and even sillier pictures (by the incomparable Lydia Monks who also did my favorite spider picture book: Aaaarrgghh! Spider!) will have the kids laughing throughout.

So, I had just read Falling for Rapunzel and what should show up on our new cart but Waking Beauty written and illustrated by the same pair! Serendipity doo dah! In this twist on Sleeping Beauty, a handsome prince stumbles across Sleeping Beauty, sound asleep, and three fairies guarding her. Although the fairies TRY to TELL HIM what will wake the princess, the prince keeps interrupting and trying his own solutions. None of which work.

They shook their head. "No, not like this,
you have to wake her with a -"

"Hey! I know!" He tapped his head
and started jumping on the bed

Kids will be chiming in to finish the rhyming instructions, even as the prince tries shouting at her, throwing water in her face, and even shooting her out of a cannon. Again, the silly verses and pictures make this a surefire hit for storytime. I'd try 'em with older preschoolers on up through lower elementary.