Do you remember having fairy tales read to you when you were a child? I have some fun fairy tales to share with you this month, but these are not your typical fairy tales. These are fairy tales with a twist, otherwise known as “fractured” fairy tales.
Best enjoyed after your child is familiar with the traditional fairy tale, fractured fairy tales begin with the premise of the well-known fairy tale, but that’s where the similarity ends. The twists and turns away from the expected will surprise and delight your child.
Read the synopses of a few of my favorites below, and download my free library list to take with you on your next visit to the library.
Bubba the Cowboy Prince
by Helen Ketteman
Are you ready for a fairy tale gone country western? Just pull on your cowboy boots. With a little Texas magic and the help of his fairy god-cow, Bubba the Cowboy Prince goes from being a smelly ranch hand on his stepdaddy’s ranch to being the most popular guy at the ball. Move over, Cinderella, Bubba’s comin’!
by Ellen Jackson
If you’re looking for a “normal” fairy tale, you’ve come to the wrong picture book. The heroine in this Cinderella story doesn’t even have a fairy godmother. But rather than give up, this resourceful would-be princess finds her own way to the ball and proves that even when life isn’t a fairy tale, you can still live happily ever after—brown loafers and all.
by Caralyn and Mark Buehner
There are no glass slippers in Fanny’s Dream, but there is a sturdy farm girl who dreams of living the life of a princess. But on one starry night, Fanny chooses the hard work and laughter of real life on the farm over the possibility of living a fairy tale. And as Fanny soon discovers, sometimes reality is even better than dreams!
Just One Bear
by Leigh Hodgkinson
If you like your fairy tales with a little twist, you’ll find that the twist in Goldilocks and Just One Bear is just right. When “just one bear” suddenly finds himself lost on the streets of the big, noisy city, he decides to hunt for a nice quiet spot to have a snack and a nap. But what (and who!) he finds is the biggest twist of all!
A Cajun Red Riding Hood
by Mike Artell
You’ve probably heard the story of Red Riding Hood, but you’ve likely never heard it told like this before. In irresistible Cajun-French dialogue, Mark Artell tells the tale of a goose, a crafty cat, a hungry alligator, and a gullible grandma. If you think you know how this twisted tale ends, you’re in for a sizzling southern surprise!
The Once Upon a Time
by B.G. Hennessy
If you’ve ever wanted to explore the kingdoms of your fairy tale dreams, pick up this charming map book and discover some worlds you’ve only read about. You’ll travel through Neverland and Wonderland, and then follow the Yellow Brick Road all the way from Oz to the Emerald City. And you’ll learn a thing or two about maps along the way!
The Princess and the
Packet of Frozen Peas
by Tony Wilson
When Prince Henrik asks for advice on marriage, his brother insists that he marry a real princess. But Henrik soon discovers that real princesses can be kind of sensitive and…whiny. What if Prince Henrik decides he doesn’t want to marry a princess? What if he wants to marry the hockey-loving girl of his dreams instead?
There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight
by Penny Parker Klostermann
If you thought the tale of the old lady who swallowed a fly was funny, you’re going to love reading about the dragon who swallowed a knight! Not only does the dragon in this slightly twisted tale have a GIANT appetite, he also seems to have forgotten his manners. After all, do you think it’s polite to swallow a knight?
The Stinky Cheese Man
and Other Fairly Stupid Tales
by Jon Scieszka
If you’re bored with prince-meets-princess-and-lives-happily-ever-after fairy tales, The Stinky Cheese Man will make your day. These tales, which are definitely not boring, are wonderfully creative, slightly unorthodox, and, well, fairly stupid. And they’ll keep you laughing from the first page until the last “the end.”
The Three Ninja Pigs
by Corey Rosen Schwartz
In this martial arts-inspired retelling of the classic Three Little Pigs, the pigs decide to hone their ninja skills before facing the Big Bad Wolf! The Three Ninja Pigs packs a punch with terrific rhymes, a too-big-for-his-britches wolf, and a rock ’em, sock ’em ending. These pigs are going to take care of the big bad wolf once and for all. Hi-yah!
A Cooked-Up Fairy Tale
by Penny Parker Klostermann
William may live in the land of fairy tales, but he’s not a prince and he definitely doesn’t know how to woo a princess! What William does know how to do is cook. But can a chef find his own space in such a magical place? This delightfully quirky book will make you rethink everything you thought you knew about fairy tales!
The Princess and the Pig
by Jonathan Emmett
The Princess and the Pig is a fairy tale mix-up of epic proportions! In one fateful moment, a princess falls from the castle and plops into a farmer’s cart, sending a piglet flying…straight into the castle to be raised by the King and Queen. Can a princess be happy living with an ordinary farm family? And can a pig find true love with a prince?
The Three Pigs
by David Wiesner
This is definitely not “The Three Little Pigs” fairy tale you heard as a child! The story starts off well enough, but just when you think you’re in for a traditional tale, everything gets turned upside down…literally! Complete chaos ensues when the three pigs jump out of their own story and begin to wreak havoc on lots of other tales, too!
Who Pushed Humpty Dumpty?
by David Levinthal
In the style of a 1940’s detective novel, David Levinthal takes an entertaining and imaginative look at five favorite fairy tales. The hero of them all is Binky, a fedora-wearing toad who just happens to be a first-class detective. Will Binky be able to crack all five cases? First up…figure out Who Pushed Humpty Dumpty!
The Great Fairy Tale Disaster
by David Conway
If anyone can turn a bunch of well-loved fairy tales into a completely mixed-up mess, the Big Bad Wolf can! And that’s exactly what happens when the infamous villain from “The Three Little Pigs” decides he’s tired of huffing and puffing the pigs’ houses down! Get ready to giggle your way through The Great Fairy Tale Disaster!
Seriously, Cinderella Is
by Trisha Speed Shaskan
Everyone knows that Cinderella is the perfect princess, right? Well, you might think differently after you read this hilariously reimagined version of one of the most famous fairy tales of all! After you hear Cinderella’s stepmother tell her side of the story, you will almost certainly agree that Seriously, Cinderella Is So Annoying!
Goldilocks and the
by Mo Willems
If you think Goldilocks had trouble with three bears, just wait until she finds herself in the home of three dinosaurs! And to make matters worse, these dinosaurs are hungry. But dinosaurs would never purposely trick a golden-haired girl into coming into their home for the purpose of eating her! Or would they?
Little Red: A Howlingly Good
Fairy Tale with a Twist
by Lynn and David Roberts
Set in the late eighteenth century, this delightful (and very different!) retelling of a timeless fairy tale features a small boy named Thomas, a bright red cloak, a nearsighted grandmother, a keg of fizzy ginger beer, and of course, a big, bad wolf. But if you think you know how this story ends, think again!
Would you like to read some of my favorite fractured fairy tales with your children? Click to download my list to take to your local library.
Looking for MORE books? You can find more great library lists here!
Do you have a favorite picture book of “fractured” fairy tales? Please share it in the comments and I’ll add it to our Readers’ Picks list!
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