Tag Archives: fractured fairy tales

Blog Tour AND Perfect Picture Book Friday! It’s Not Jack and the Beanstalk by Josh Funk

6 Oct

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I was asked to be part of a blog tour for this book, but after reading it, I chose to review it as a perfect picture also! It is an awesome story about being yourself, and not worrying about what others want you to be like.

It’s Not Jack and the Beanstalk
Written by Josh Funk
Illustrated by Edwardian Taylor
40 pages – ages 5+

Published by Two Lions on September 19, 2017

Theme/Topic- Being Yourself
Genre- Fiction
Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “”Once upon a time, Jack lived in a tiny cottage in a dreary village. He always dreamed that someday he would find his fortune.”

Synopsis from Publisher: “Jack is not fond of the bossy narrator of his fairy tale! When Jack is told to trade his beloved cow Bessie for some magic beans, throw the beans out the window, climb the ENORMOUS beanstalk that sprouts overnight, and steal from a GIANT, he decides this fairy tale is getting out of control. In fact, he doesn’t want to follow the story line at all. Who says Jack needs to enter a life of daring, thievery, and giant trickery? He takes his story into his own hands—and you’ll never guess what happens next!”

What I Thought- I absolutely loved this book! The narration is top-notch, with lots of humor, and it really suits the story. Funk really wrote an excellent book about being true to who you are, and not letting others decide your fate. Taylor follows the fun-ness of the story with bright illustrations that complement the story, filled with wacky characters and awesome details. I also really like how there are speech bubbles they characters talk with – it gives the book a fun vibe to it, like a comic book. 

The illustrations take on a life of their own…

They are really a feast for your eyes adding so much more to the already wonderful text.

 I also love how Funk put in references to other fairy tales, fables, and other such things into the backgrounds – I’ve seen the Cricket and the Ant (Aesop’s Fable) and the Cat with the Fiddle (Nursery Rhyme) amongst other things. You could probably find even more! I really enjoyed reading this book and I think kids will too!

Activities and Resources- There is a great list of picture books about being yourself from Notimeforflashcards.com HERE!

There is also a great article about raising kids to be unique from Kcedventures.com HERE!

If you visit Josh Funk’s website, you can also print out coloring pages! Check it out HERE!


To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

About the Creators:

Like Jack, Josh Funk loves telling his own stories. He is the author of the popular picture books Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast and its sequel, The Case of the Stinky Stench, illustrated by Brendan Kearney; Dear Dragon, illustrated by Rodolfo Montalvo; and the upcoming How to Code a Sandcastle illustrated by Sara Palacios in partnership with Girls Who Code. Josh lives in New England with his wife and children. Learn more about him at www.joshfunkbooks.com, and follow him on Twitter @joshfunkbooks.
Edwardian Taylor currently works as a visual development artist and character designer for TV and animation feature film. His work can also be seen in mobile games, films, and commercials. He is the illustrator of the picture book Race!, written by Sue Fliess. Edwardian lives in Texas with his partner, their three dogs, and seven chickens. Learn more about him at www.edwardiantaylor.com, and follow him on Twitter and Instagram @edwardiantaylor.

Blog Tour! A Cooked-Up Fairy Tale by Penny Parker Klostermann

7 Sep


I am participating in a blog tour for a superlicious new picture book!

What’s even better is that the book was just released this week and you can gobble up your own copy!

A Cooked-Up Fairy Tale
Written by Penny Parker Klostermann
Illustrated by Ben Mantle
40 pages – ages 4+
Published by Random House Books for Young Readers on September 5, 2017

Synopsis from the Publisher- “In the magical land of fairy tales, William doesn’t quite fit in. He’d rather poach pears than pursue princesses, and he values gnocchi over knighthood. . . .

When he stumbles on a delivery of food destined for Fairy-Tale Headquarters (a pumpkin, apples, and a few measly beans), he decides to spice things up and whips the paltry ingredients into delectable dishes. But as you might have guessed, Snow White’s wicked stepmother doesn’t exactly want her magic apple baked and drizzled with caramel.”

What I Thought- I really liked Klostermann’s latest picture book – it is full of fairy tale whimsy. What makes this book stand out for me is that touches on a part of the fairy tales we don’t always give a second thought – the food! There were tons of subtle yet fun references to other fairy tales making the story even more enjoyable. The story is sweet and has the reader craving to turn to the next page. The text is often sprinkled about on the pages which adds to the whole feeling of the book. The story celebrates those who are different, and want to help out. It’s nice how William is able to end up following his dream, and to help people reach their “happily ever after.” Mantle’s illustrations put the icing on the cake. Have a look –

Illustration copyright c 2017 by Ben Mantle.

Mantle keeps the fanciful feeling of Klostermann’s text fresh in our eyes as we read about William’s adventures!


Illustration copyright c 2017 by Ben Mantle.

Mantle’s style-his use of vivid colors, bold lines, and fanciful proportions-really put the finishing touches on this delectable book.

Illustration copyright c 2017 by Ben Mantle.

I think Mantle and Klostermann have a delicious collaboration going on, and I really wish to see more from this dynamic duo! This book would be great for story time and paired with a recipe!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!




Penny Parker Klostermann is the author of A Cooked-Up Fairy Tale and There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight, both from Random House Children’s Books. She loves all kinds of books, but especially loves very silly picture books that make her laugh. Penny has been known to hug her favorite picture books and seriously hopes that someday her books will gain huggable status too. You can learn more about Penny on her website at PennyKlostermann.com.

Check out all the stops on the blog tour! You have chances to win copies along the way!

Blog Tour Dates:

August 29-Tara Lazar-interview with Tricia Lawrence, Penny’s Agent

August 29-Picture Book Builders-Interview

September 4-Maria Marshall-Interview

September 5-Vivian Kirkfield-Royal Reporter Special Behind-the-Scenes Interview and Recipe

September 7- GROG Guest Post with Penny-Poetry/Picture Book Connection

September 7-This Kid Reviews Books-Book Review

September 8-Susanna Leonard Hill-Perfect Picture Book Friday

September 12 (tentative)-Jama’s Alphabet Soup-Interview and Recipe

September 18-Laura Sassi-Kid Review and 5 questions from the kids for Penny

September 19-Kirsti Call, Writer’s Rumpus-Interview

September 26-Think Quick with Carrie Charlie Brown

Review! Fairy Godmothers of the Four Directions by Jennifer Morse

6 Mar

fairyFairy Godmothers of the Four Directions

By Jennifer Morse

188 pages – ages 9+

Published by Amazon Digital Services on December 22, 2015

Synopsis- You all know the story of Cinderella, don’t you? Her wicked stepmother and stepsisters are cruel to her, making her clean the house, and when an opportunity to go to a ball comes up, they forbid Cinderella from going, while they do. But Cinderella gets help from a Fairy Godmother and goes to the ball, dances with the prince, and ends up running away when her dress poofs away at midnight.

But, doesn’t that story have some major holes? What was Cinderella’s life – what was her name – before her parents died? How many years was Cinderella under her stepmother’s tyrannic rule? Why was the stepmother so cruel? How did she get custody of Cinderella?

After getting away from the stepmother, Cinderella, while in love with the Prince, is full of grief over everything she has lost. With the Kingdom in danger, she must go to the Fairy Godmothers of the Four Directions (North, East, South, West) to learn how to be a stronger person. Or else, the Kingdom will be in grave danger…

What I Thought- This was an interesting book. The story is one of internal change, and bettering yourself. It also is about the natural beauty in the world. The book starts off as a sort of fractured fairytale, by going to the Cinderella story, and making it relevant to the book (heads up – it turns out that the stepmother is a witch, for example). Then it takes Cinderella (or Charlotte, as she was named) to the Fairy Godmothers of the Four Directions, which is helping her prepare to be an excellent queen (not drowned in her grief). The book has a sort of “self-help” type of feel, and a way of “speaking” to everyone as Cinderella went through her trials. There is a lot of symbolism in the story. Ms. Morse’s writing style is unique, where dreams and reality are mixed. There was a lot going on in the story and I had to slow down as I read it as I found myself close to getting “lost” a few times but Morse’s writing kept me into the story. The book was rather good, starting off strong, but the ending seemed a bit rushed compared to the rest of the book. There were some minor editing errors here and there that threw me off my pace. I enjoyed the book very much, but was left wanting more. I’d be happy to read more from this author.

I give this book four out of five bookworms.fourbooks

Review! Grounded: The Adventures of Rapunzel by Megan Morrison

21 Apr

groundedGrounded: The Adventures of Rapunzel
By Megan Morrison
384 pages (hardcover) – ages 9+
Published by Arthur A. Levine Books on April 28, 2015

Synopsis- Rapunzel lived in a tower, and she had everything she wanted. Witch gave it to her. Witch loved her. And Rapunzel was happy. That is, until a boy climbs her tower and claims that they’ve met. Even weirder, they met… Yesterday. But how is that possible? Rapunzel would have remembered. So, Rapunzel decides he’s lying. Yet somehow, he has her handkerchief. Could what he say be… true? Then, he steals a rose and runs off. What choice does Rapunzel have? She follows him. And thus begins the adventure of a lifetime.

What I Thought- This was a great book. I like how it explains that Rapunzel has no hard feelings towards the Witch – after all, Witch did raise her. I often thought that about the Rapunzel story – she sees the Witch as her mom but then again she’s been her prisoner – very weird situation… I digress. Ms. Morrison has written a wonderful book about so much more than the Rapunzel story. The story is full of adventure, and a slightly wacky world. The story is filled with humor, the right amount of tension and a plot line that keeps the reader interested. I found it funny how all of the countries were named, based on colors – nice detail. Rapunzel is a great character, kind of single-minded and gullible, but that is explainable (she was raised in a tower afterall). The book plays on questions that the original Rapunzel fairytale created like “Why would Rapunzel want to be kidnapped from her home?” or “Why was Rapunzel’s father so idiotic to trade his only daughter for a piece of food?”. Things like that. 🙂 The book very funny, and will have you rolling on the floor! Based on this book, I’d be happy to read more from Ms. Morrison.

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Seriously, Cinderella Is SO Annoying!

1 Jun

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because I think this is a great “book for boys” and I really like how the Cinderella story is re-told.

Seriously, Cinderella Is SO Annoying!; The Story of Cinderella as Told by the Wicked Stepmother 

By Trisha Sue Speed Shaskan

Illustrated by Gerald Guerlais

24 pages – ages 5+

Published by Picture Window Books on August 1, 2011


Theme/Topic – Fairy Tales / Books for Boys / Point of View

Opening and Synopsis –  “You must have heard of me. The wicked stepmother? Not true. It’s just another one of Cinderella’s wild stories. Not as wild as the one about the pumpkin. And the fairy godmother. The real story, the true story, began with some chatter – and some dust.”

I’m sure you know the tale of Cinderella, but did you ever wonder what the wicked misunderstood stepmother thought? I’m sure you never hear about Cindy’s non-stop talking and blabbering about all kinds of silly stuff like blue birds that help you sew and mice that turn into horses. The poor stepmother had no idea what she was getting herself into when she agreed to marry Cindy’s father.

Why I liked this book – This book is an awesome “book for boys.” It’s a pretty funny book also. The story reminded me of the “Fractured Fairytales.”  What I really liked about it is that the story is very different when you hear it from the stepmother! So which version of the story is true?!? It is good to remember that different people can see the same story in a completely different way.

Activities and Resources –

There is a page at the end of the book called “Think About It” with questions and activities related to the book. Like “How would other fairy tales change if they were told from another point of view?”

I found a great make your own fractured fairy tales activity or to read a fairy tale and think about it in a different way at the “Read Write Think” website. Click HERE to go to it.

There are also other re-told fairy tales in the series that have other points of view too –  

Honestly, Red Riding Hood Was Rotten!; The Story of Little Red Riding Hood as Told by the Wolf

Trust Me, Jack’s Beanstalk Stinks!;The Story of Jack and the Beanstalk as told by the Giant

Believe Me, Goldilocks ROCKS!; The story of the Three Bears as told by Baby Bear



To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE

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