Monday, March 21, 2011

Review #90: Fairly Fairy Tales

Dad:  Today we are reading "Fairly Fairy Tales" by Esme Raji Codell and illustrated by Elisa Chavarri.  Although "reading" doesn't seem like the right word.  It feels more like "playing."
Gracie (age 10):  This book doesn't remind me of anything else.  It's pretty unique.
Isaac (age 12):  The book is about this little person...
Elijah (age 5):  Little person?
Isaac:  Ha ha - we don't know...  That's one of our questions.  Is it a little boy or a little girl?
Gracie:  It's a girl.
Dad:  I thought it was a boy.  I think the kid is drawn in a way so everyone can identify.
Gracie:  It's a girl.
Lily (age 8):  The book is about this kid that is going to bed.
Isaac:  But the little person doesn't want to go to bed.  So the mom reads all these bedtime stories.  But in each story the mom adds something.  So for the Cinderella book it goes, "Fairy godmother?  Yes.  Glass slipper?  Yes.  Pumpkin coach?  Yes.  Disco ball?"
All the Kids:  "Nooooo!!!!"
Isaac:  But then she says, "Well maybe."  And the book shows a big picture of what would happen if there was a disco ball in the story.
Gracie:  Cinderella has a gorgeous dress.  I love her boogie dress.  But the fairy godmother's outfit freaks me out.  And the prince looks like Elvis.
Isaac:  No - he looks like one of those Ken dolls.
Gracie:  He does!  Cinderella also has cool shoes.  There are fishes in her shoes!
Elijah:  You would have to break her shoes to feed the fish.
Dad:  You guys sure had big smiles on your faces while we read this book.
Gracie:  Well, we love it!
Dad:  You guys almost wouldn't let me get the words out.
Gracie:  We all wanted to shout the part that goes "Noooooo!"
Dad:  You enjoyed saying "No" to Dad without getting in trouble.
Gracie:  THAT is fun.
Elijah:  Even I can read this book!
Dad:  Yeah - you know where all the yeses and no's and maybes go.  And all you have to do is look at the pictures to plug in the rest.
Isaac:  I like the art in this book.
Dad:  This book would have been like a "game" for the illustrator, don't you think?  It's almost as if the author made a challenge: "the Red Riding Hood story... plus Shampoo! Ha, ha! What are you going to do with that?"  And then the illustrator had to come up with an answer.
Gracie:  That would be fun.
Isaac:  We could do that.  We should all do that.
Lily:  You could make a whole bunch of different ideas.
Isaac:  And then pick the best one.
Gracie:  Fun!
Dad:  Would this also have been a fun book to write?
Gracie:  Yes.  But I would think it would be better to illustrate.
Dad:  Like the writer is making the game, and the illustrator is playing the game.
Isaac:  Even if the author told her what to draw, it would still be fun.
Dad:  So should we try it?
Isaac:  Let's think of one.  Sleeping Beauty.  That would be a good one!
Gracie:  Thorn bush?
Dad:  Yes.
Gracie:  Castle?
Dad:  Yes.
Gracie:  Evil fairy?
Dad:  Yes.
Gracie:  Shopping cart?
Elijah:  No - ho ho ho ho!
Lily:  Hee hee heee hee hee!
Dad:  See!  That's just as fun, isn't it!
Gracie:  YEAH!!!
Elijah:  Shopping cart!  Shopping cart!
Dad:  You guys want in on the action now, huh?
Lily:  I'm going to do Rapunzel!
Dad:  Have at it.
Lily:  Tower?
Dad:  Yes.
Lily:  Hair?
Dad:  Yes.
Lily:  Prince?
Dad:  Yes.
Lily:  Baby's pacifier?
Gracie:  Pacifier!?!  HA ha ha!
Elijah:  I've got one!  Sleeping Beauty!
Gracie:  I already did Sleeping Beauty.
Elijah:  But I have a good one!
Dad:  That's okay.  He can do Sleeping Beauty over again.
Elijah:  Sleeping?
Dad:  Yes.
Elijah:  Princess?
Dad:  Yes.
Elijah:  Um...  Sleeping?
Gracie:  Ha ha ha!
Dad:  Yes again!
Elijah:  Spiderman?
Lily:  Hee ha ha ha!  What!
Isaac:  I've got one for Rumpelstiltskin.
Dad:  Okay.
Isaac:  Princess?
Dad:  Yes.
Isaac:  Little angry dwarf?
Dad:  Ha ha ha - it's already funny!  Yes.
Isaac:  Baby?
Dad:  Yep.
Isaac:  And..... llamas!
Gracie:  I have a new one.  Seven Dwarfs?
Dad:  Yes.
Gracie:  Magic Mirror?
Dad:  Yes.
Gracie:  Poison Apple?
Dad:  Yes.
Gracie:  Ballet slippers?
Dad:  Hmmm... maybe!
Gracie:  Hee hee hee!
Dad:  So what do you think?  Which is more fun?  Coming up with the funny thing... or drawing it?
Isaac:  I don't know!  They're both REALLY fun!
Dad:  Well now you guys can go draw your ideas.  Then you can compare the two sides!
Gracie:  This is fun!  It's classics with a twist.

Rapunzel's hair + pacifiers, by Lily

Rumpelstiltskin spinning straw into llamas, by Isaac

Sleeping Beauty + Spiderman, by Elijah

Snow White & Seven Dwarfs + ballet slippers, by Gracie

*** You can always click our pictures for larger viewing :)

Author: Esme Raji Codell
Illustrator: Elisa Chavarri
Published, 2011: Aladdin
Like it?  Here it is


Hull.Margaret said...

Great pictures, and a fun read.

Marge Helinski said...

Easy and fun for children to "read" after first read through.
Illustrations are so creative. Can be looked at time and time again with new details noted. Even provides hunor for older children or adults.
Comment about it being a boy or girl in the story is so true. Illustration allows it to be interpreted as either so that all children can identify with the character.
Wonderful expansion of the "Fairy Tales" I grew up with.

Heidi Noel said...

What fun illustrations! I am excited to read this book to my kids.

Jennifer said...

This is fantastic! I'm definately getting this one for our school library.

Esme Raji Codell said...

You know I am a huge and long-time fan of your work, and nearly fainted with joy to see my own book reviewed here. "Like the writer is making the game, and the illustrator is playing the game" was so astute. Oh, thank you for "getting" it! You really knew how to play, too...Your clever artwork and ideas made me laugh out loud! Go, Spiderman!!!!!

Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you, great readers, great children, great bloggers and great artists...XOXOXXO

Nora Maeve Downing said...

It will be a staple on our family bookshelf for years to come. The illustrations have cracked up many of my teaching colleagues! Wonderful book for grown ups and kids.

Brimful Curiosities said...

Somehow I've never pictured the dwarves as ballet fans. Funny stuff. Great job with illustration story stretchers.

ElizT said...

Endless possibilities...

Deebi27 said...

Creativity at it's best! So many possibilities, sooo much fun for all...young or older. Delightful fun for all!

Emmy said...

I am hoping to check this book at out the library soon. I like the way you added real-life things to classic fairytales.