You know the drill when it comes to fairytales – princess gets locked in a tower/ put to sleep/ kidnapped by a witch and is rescued by a handsome prince, right? Wrong! What I have for you today are four fabulous collections of reimagined fairy tales for a more modern era.
‘Fearless Fairy Tales,’ by Konnie Huq & James Kay, illustrated by Rikin Parekh (Piccadilly Press)
This brilliant book is full of fairytales which have been twisted and flipped to become thoroughly modern. I absolutely love Rikin Parekh’s clever illustrations which fill the pages and add real humour to the tales.
Inside, you’ll meet the hygiene-averse Mouldysocks and the Three Bears, a mathematically-minded Sleeping Brainy and Book Boy’s favourite: the gold-obsessed Trumplestiltskin! Featuring fake news, female footballers and environmental concerns, rather old-fashioned tales have been cleverly re-written to mirror current values and provide plenty of belly laughs. 7+
‘David Robert’s Delightfully Different Fairy Tales,’ by Lynn Roberts-Maloney (Pavilion Books)
This is one of the most stylish collections of fairy tales I’ve ever seen – David Roberts’ stunning illustrations whisk us back to bygone eras, whilst Lynn Roberts-Maloney’s sparkling text transforms some of our most beloved stories.
There’s the 1920s take on Cinderella with flapper girls and evil stepmothers, a 1950s sci-fi loving Sleeping Beauty who dreams of seeing the world as it will be in the future and is most definitely NOT rescued by a handsome prince, and 1970s Rapunzel – trapped in a tower block by her evil aunt but with an excellent collection of records.
Packed with amazing period details and subtle twists, this is a volume to be treasured. 7+
‘The Secret of the Tattered Shoes,’ by Jackie Morris, illustrated by Ehsan Abdollahi (Tiny Owl)
This is a truly magical re-telling of the Brothers Grimm’s ‘The Twelve Dancing Princesses.’ Retold by Jackie Morris with strikingly intricate illustrations by Ehsan Abdollahi, this classic tale is given new life.
The king is desperate to find out why, every morning without fail, his twelve daughters wake up with pairs of tattered shoes worn tucked under their beds. Many brave young men have tried to find the answer following the promise of a marriage to royalty, but all have failed and perished.
Desperate, the king turns to a young soldier who’s emerges from the woods. Will he be able to solve the mystery and win the hand of one of the princesses? 6+
‘The Lost Fairy Tales,’ retold by Isabel Otter, illustrated by Anna Sender (Caterpillar Books)
An enchanting anthology of 20 fairy tales collected from different cultures around the world – each with a clever, bold or cunning female at its helm. Not one of these heroines needs rescuing.
This is such a fantastic collection – most of the stories are ones I’d never heard before: ‘The Black Bull’ from Scotland, ‘The Snake King’ from Siberia and The Shining Dragons’ from Lesotho were highlights for me.
There’s also a useful ‘background to the stories’ section at the back of the book which briefly tells you a little more about the origins of the stories. The thinking points at the end would also help elicit some interesting discussions around the main themes of the stories. 7+
If you’re looking to diversify or modernise your fairytale collections, these are the books for you.
*Many thanks to the publishers for sending me these titles to review*