Can’t Miss Fractured Fairy Tales

Any fractured fairy tale lovers out there? It is by far one of our family’s favorite genres! Fractured fairy tales take a classic fairy tale and add a twist such as changing the setting, characters, or the outcome of the story.  Not only are they entertaining, but they are perfect for effortlessly weaving in some comparing and contrasting skills!

I’ve rounded up a few of our favorites packed with kid appeal! Happy reading!

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Once Upon a World series by Chloe Perkins

(Ages 3 and up)

This charming  series takes classic fairy tales and breathes new life into them with multicultural characters. The stories themselves stick to the traditional telling, but the settings are changed to foreign countries including Japan, Mexico, India, Russia, and the Caribbean. While the author remains the same, each book is beautifully illustrated by a different artist who expertly captures the culture of each country. With diverse heroines, many children will love seeing themselves reflected in the famous fairy tale characters.  

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The Jolly Postman or Other People’s Letters by Janet & Allan Ahlberg, 1986

(ages 3 and up)

This is one of my all-time favorite books from childhood that has been such a joy to share with my own children. This quaint story follows a postman who delivers letters to a number of fairy tale characters. The illustrations are utterly charming, but the real fun is slipping the letters out of the envelopes and browsing each character’s mail. This timeless story is a must-have.

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The Three Ninja Pigs by Corey Rosen Schwartz ; illustrated by Dan Santat, 2012

(Ages 3 and up)

Hi ya! This action-packed fractured fairy tale puts an exciting new spin on an old classic. When an intimidating wolf comes knocking on their door, three pigs decide to train at their local ninja school to learn self-defense. When the first two drop out early, their hardworking sister saves the day. With eye-catching illustrations, tons of amusing puns, and an entertaining storyline with great messaging, The Three Ninja Pigs is a great choice.

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Red by Jed Alexander, 2018

(Ages 3 and up)

This is such a gorgeous wordless wonder with the most charming conclusion. Little Red appears bold and bright against a black and white forest containing an enormous wolf. The detail in the illustrations is just beautiful and the dramatic facial expressions will have children begging to narrate the wordless story.

While the wolf is slyly conversing with Red, other forest animals are seen carrying party supplies to an unknown destination allowing children to predict the surprise ending. Once the ending is revealed, children will want to read the book again with a different perspective!

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The 3 Little Dassies by Jan Brett, 2010

(Ages 3 and up)

Using her signature artwork, master storyteller Jan Brett has created a captivating reimagining of The Three Little Pigs taking place in Africa. This gorgeous story introduces children to the beautiful landscapes and animals that reside in Namibia while sharing an engaging tale.

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The Little Red Fort by Brenda Maier ; illustrated by Sonia Sanchez, 2018

(Ages 3 and up)

This updated version of The Little Red Hen stars a small Latina girl named Ruby who invites her brothers to help her build a fort. When they respond that they are too busy, she perseveres and creates an impressive structure. In the end, the brothers make amends by creating additions to the fort and all the siblings enjoy a feast to celebrate their hard work.

Children and adults will love Ruby’s resourcefulness, determination, and self-reliance. They will also adore the last page sharing examples of easy forts to make.

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Falling for Rapunzel by Leah Wilcox; illustrated by Lydia Monks, 2004

(Ages 3 and up)

When a prince rides up to Rapunzel’s tower and calls out to her to let down her hair, she mishears him and throws down a variety of humorous items. With its vibrant illustrations and flowing rhymes, this comical story was always a favorite read aloud for my students. Not only is it guaranteed to make little ones giggle, it is also a great introduction to rhyming.

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Dog in Boots by Greg Gormley; illustrated by Roberta Angaramo, 2011

(Ages 3 and up)

Inspired by his favorite fairy tale, Puss in Boots, an adorable dog visits a shoe store looking for his own special shoes. After trying on a variety of shoes, the dog discovers that he already has the best footwear he needs. This one isn’t exactly a fractured fairy tale, but it is a delightful story with fairy tale connections that make it a lot of fun.

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Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas by Natasha Yim; illustrated by Grace Zong, 2014

(Ages 4 and up)

In this clever twist on Goldilocks and the Three Bears, it’s Chinese New Year and Goldy is sent to the Chan family to deliver a plate of turnip cakes. When the family of pandas is not home, Goldy eats their food, sits in their chairs, and falls asleep in their bed. Where the story excels is in Goldy’s response after she is caught. Upon returning home, she feels guilty for her rude actions and returns to the Chans the next day to make amends. An author’s note describing Chinese New Year traditions and a recipe for turnip cakes also enhances this fabulous fractured fairy tale.

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Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion by Alex T. Smith, 2016

(Ages 4 and up)

This humorous version of Little Red Riding Hood stars an exuberant girl who travels through Africa to deliver medicine to her aunt, but is stopped by a naughty lion. This playful book includes numerous clever details that set it apart from the original and several funny scenes of the lion getting his comeuppance.

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Little Red Gliding Hood by Tara Lazar ; illustrated by Troy Cummings, 2015

(Ages 4 and up)

My children love this entertaining story featuring well known fairy tale and nursery rhyme characters. When Little Red Riding Hood partners up with the Big Bad Wolf for an ice skating competition, there are surprising results. This humorous story is filled with lots of fun details making it an excellent winter read aloud.

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It’s Not A Fairy Tale Series Josh Funk; illustrated by Edwardian Taylor

(Ages 5 and up)

When an unseen narrator attempts to tell classic fairy tales, the characters interrupt with snarky remarks questioning the plot of the story. The results are absolutely hilarious. The narrator grows more and more frustrated as nothing goes according to plan. The expressive illustrations add to the humor and children will love searching for the myriad of fairy tale characters hidden in the pictures. My kids are literally obsessed with this series and I highly recommend it to fans of funny books!

Buy It’s Not Little Red       Buy It’s Not Hansel and Gretel     It’s Not Jack and the Beanstalk

 

Federico and the Wolf by Rebecca J. Gomez; illustrated by Elisa Chavarri, 2020

(Ages 5 and up)

In this modern retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, a Latino boy named Federico heads to the market to gather groceries for his grandfather when he stopped by a hungry wolf. There are many similarities to the original tale with several fun twists. Spanish words are effortlessly mixed into the text with a glossary in the back and a recipe for the perfect pico! This one is muy bueno!

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Reading Beauty by Deborah Underwood; illustrated by Meg Hunt, 2019

(Ages 5 and up)

A fractured fairy tale about a book-loving princess? Yes, please! Taking place on a futuristic planet, Reading Beauty Y is an amusing modern spin on the classic tale Sleeping Beauty.

In a kingdom full of avid readers, an angry fairy curses Princess Lex with a spell that will put her under a deep sleep after receiving a papercut on her birthday. Resourceful Lex decides to take matters into her own hands and aided by helpful “how to” books, discovers how to find and defeat the evil fairy.

We also love the companion book Interstellar Cinderella.

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After the Fall by Dan Santat

(Ages 5 and up)

Using stunning illustrations, Dan Santat shares the story of how Humpty Dumpty brushed himself off after his big fall and gets back on that wall! This is a fun reimagining of a classic nursery rhyme with themes of perseverance and overcoming adversity. And just wait until you get to the ending. It is truly spectacular!

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Rapunzel by Bethan Woollvin

(Ages 5 and up)

In this playful twist on a classic fairy tale, Rapunzel is no ordinary girl locked in a tower. She is clever, brave, resourceful, and a real go-getter. She does not play the victim for long and in a satisfying conclusion, the witches are the ones who need to be frightened. Pops of yellow set against hues of black, white, and grey bring even more charm to this entertaining fractured fairy tale.

Bethan Woollvin has made a name for herself reimagining classic fairy tales with a modern twist with tons of girl power and a little dark humor. You may also enjoy Little Red and Hansel & Gretel. I also highly recommend her original fairy tale Bo the Brave.

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The Princess and the Petri Dish by Sue Fliess ; illustrated by Petros Bouloubasis, 2020

(Ages 5 and up)

This creative retelling of The Princess and the Pea puts a fun STEM related spin on the classic tale.  Princess Pippa loves math and science and when she sees a problem, she searches for a solution. The princess does not like peas and uses her scientific skills to create a new pea that tastes like chocolate. Her experiment is a success until the peapod vines start taking over the kingdom! With flowing rhymes and engaging illustrations this is a good choice for budding scientists or anyone who enjoys an amusing story!
 
 

Hank & Gertie: A Pioneer Hansel & Gretel Story by Eric A. Kimmel ; illustrated by Mara Penny, 2018

(Ages 5 and up)

Set against the beautiful mountains of the West, this pioneer version follows Hank and Gertie as they wander away from their wagon train and stumble upon a cabin made out of licorice and rock candy. They are imprisoned by a witch named Aunt Caroline until Gertie ultimately outwits her and the siblings return to their family for a happy reunion.

The colorful illustrations featuring beautiful wildflowers and details from the 1800’s set this retelling apart from many other Hansel and Gretel stories.

Buy It Here

 

Splinters by Kevin Sylvester, 2010

(Ages 5 and up)

This hockey-themed take on Cinderella is a ton of fun! Cindy Winters loves hockey, but when she outplays the coach’s daughters, she is sent to the bench where she earns the nickname Splinters. Luckily, her fairy goaltender visits her just in time for her big tryout with Coach Charmaine Prince. There aren’t too many sports-themed fractured fairy tales and this one is a real winner!

 

Goldibooks and the Wee Bear by Troy Wilson; illustrated by Edwardian Taylor, 2021
 
This is not only an amusing retelling of a classic fairy tale, but it demonstrates the power books have to bring people together.
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When a little bear cub stumbles upon the house of a book-loving family, he can’t help but look through their incredible library. After finding a just right book and comfy spot to read, he falls asleep only to be awakened by Goldibooks and her family. When Wee Bear’s parents enter the house looking for him, each family fears the other could be dangerous. Luckily, Goldibooks notices the bears admiring her book shelves and kindly invites them to stay and read. United by their love of books, the two families form an inclusive book club where all are welcome to share a story with friends.

 

Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems, 2012

(Ages 6 and up)

Filled with dry wit, fans of off-beat stories are going to love Mo Willem’s take on a fractured fairy tale. When a reckless Goldilocks finds the house of three hungry dinosaurs, she is unaware that she might be entering a trap. With quirky jokes and his signature artwork, this is sure to be a hit with many kids.

Buy It Here

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