Fractured Fairy Tales: 7 Stories You Thought You Knew

February 26, 2015 – 11:32 am

Are you familiar with fractured fairy tales? They are stories that spin off the well-known versions of classic fairy tales, and they are usually extremely clever and fun.

I loved reading them to my elementary students because they loved comparing the similarities and differences between the stories they knew and the ones we read together.

There are hundreds of fractured fairy tale books for all ages (and if you find that your kids really enjoy them, ask your librarian for more suggestions). In the meantime, here are seven amazing picture book versions to start with:

  1. by Jon Scieszka and Steve Johnson. Life as a prince isn’t everything one might have hoped. In fact, the Frog Prince would rather just be a frog again. But it’s surprisingly hard to find a witch to change one back into a frog.
  2. Goldilocks and Just One Bear by Leigh Hodgkinson. A lone bear gets himself terribly mixed up, ending up in the big city. Looking for a quiet place to rest, he heads into a deserted apartment where, to his surprise, he meets someone from his past.
  3. Little Red: A Fizzingly Good Yarn by Lynn Roberts and David Roberts. Little Red is taking some ginger ale to his sick grandmother, but when he arrives at the house and finds her eaten by the wolf, he uses that ginger ale to do something other than soothe his grandmother’s stomach.
  4. The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs by by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith. These two together are a killer combination (check out their side-splitingly funny and this is one of my favorites, told from the view of the Wolf who feels he’s been framed. I mean, yes, he did eat the pigs, but he didn’t MEAN to. He was just going to borrow some sugar, like a neighbor does, when his cold got the better of him and he accidentally sneezed down the house. And when it ACCIDENTALLY killed the pig, he wasn’t going to let a pork dinner go to waste. It would be wrong.
  5. Prince Cinders by Babette C ole. Poor Cinders. He just want to be like his big hairy brothers, but when the fairy grants his wish, “big and hairy” translates into “ape.” Cinders doesn’t realize it, though, and heads off to the dance unaware the he’s an animal instead of a handsome prince.
  6. Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs as retold by Mo Willems. Mo Willems, of course, needs no introduction with such hits under his belt as the Pigeon books and the Knuffle Bunny series.sign up for the newsletter and get a free 6 week meal plan This is one of his newest books and it features three dinosaurs who are intent on luring Golidlocks into their home. You can imagine what their plan is for a little girl they’ve fattened up with bon-bons. But Goldilocks just may prove too smart for them.
  7. The Three Pigs by David Wiesner. Wiesner snagged himself a (second) Caldecott gold medal for this book where the pigs are blown out of the story by the huffing and puffing wolf and find themselves behind the scenes of many well-known fairy tales.

P.S. If your child is a middle-grade reader, my very favorite children’s novel fractured fairy tale is Ella Enchanted. My battered paperback copy is one of my most beloved books, and I can’t wait to read it with my daughters when they’re a bit older.

How fabulous is this list? Thanks so much to Janssen!


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