This morning, for secret reasons, I re-read The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith – a very clever re-working of the traditional story. It belongs to one of my favourite genres of picture book: the fractured fairytale. Done well, fractured fairytales can be funny, clever, and illuminating, revealing hidden depths to well-known stories and teasing out character details and minor plot details into fully-crafted narratives of their own. I’d very much like to know what your favourite examples of the genre are – to get you started, here are a few of our own.
We’ve published a couple of fractured fairytales ourselves. Leigh Hodgkinson’s Greenaway-longlisted Golidilocks and Just the One Bear turns the story of Goldilocks on its head with lots of subtle humour and a very clever twist ending. Here’s a look inside:
The Princess and the Peas, by Caryl Hart and Sarah Warburton, re-invents the classic fairytale as a fantastically funny story about a girl who won’t eat her peas (and therefore must be a princess). Take a look:
And of course we’ve also released storybook app editions of Cinderella and The Three Little Pigs for iPad and iPhone, which re-interpret exactly what a story can be, and in which you can choose Cinderella’s dress and help collect the items to make a magical carriage, and blow into a microphone to blow the straw and stick houses down for the wolf. Here are the trailers for each:
Here are some of our other favourite fractured fairytales:
Louise suggested Jim and the Beanstalk by Raymond Briggs, and Little Red by Lynn and David Roberts.
Steph and Kristina both nominated another Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith collaboration, The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Tales.
I’m very partial to The Jolly Postman by Janet and Allan Ahlberg, which sort of skirts around the genre of the fractured fairytale (and does so with abundant charm).
I’d love to hear your own choices – leave your suggestions below!