Review Blog

Nov 20 2015

Tadpoles. Fairytale twists series by various authors

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Crabtree Publishing
The Pied Piper and the Wrong Song. ISBN 9780778719601
Snow White sees the Light. ISBN 9780778719571
The Elves and the Trendy Shoes. ISBN 9780778719571
(Age: K-2) These are just three in a series of traditional fairytales that have been given a new, modern twist to turn them on their head. In Snow White sees the Light, Snow White is tired of being treated like a slave by the dwarves and enlists the help of the Queen with the magic mirror; in The Elves and the Trendy Shoes no one wants to buy the elves' old-fashioned footwear then one day they wake up to find their shop full of trendy shoes; and in The Pied Piper and the Wrong Song the rats don't disappear. Cinderella, The Three Pigs, Hansel and Gretel, and The Ugly Duckling are among sixteen tales that have been given a modern slant in this collection suitable for newly independent readers looking for something a bit different.
Vibrant illustrations and puzzles that encourage the reader to sequence the story (a critical element of the organising strand of the information literacy process) add appeal and there are also notes to adults to help them make the reading more of a five-minute wonder with suggestions for helping the young person predict, use the context cues, and make connections between the text, themselves and the world, thus supporting the strategies we encourage within the classroom.
As well as being entertaining reads for the K-2 age group, these stories would also be valuable teaching tools in teaching students about the interpretation of texts and the factors that influence the author's perspective. While the original stories were written as didactic stories to keep young children on the straight and narrow for fear of dire consequences, what do they look like through a more modern lens? Perhaps older students could be challenged to make their own take on one of the stories. Valuable additions to the collection are those that can be read and used across a range of ages, and this series fits that bill.
Barbara Braxton

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