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Fairly Fairy Tales

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3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  228 ratings  ·  73 reviews
Parents and children love to play "question" games: Would you eat spaghetti made with gummy worms? Would you wear your clothes backwards all day? Sometimes the answer is "yes" and sometimes it's "no"--but the fun is in the asking. Gifted writer and educator Esme Raji Codell has writtten a book that incorporates fractured fairy tales with this kind of parent-child interplay...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published January 4th 2011 by Aladdin
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 361)
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Shannon
You would think that for someone looking to SHAKE UP traditional fairy tales, especially if that person made a name for herself by bragging about how rad she was at teaching in a diverse school, that that author and her Peruvian illustrator might want to include, you know, not just white kids in their book.

You know I'm not the world's biggest Esme Raji Codell fan, and this book is significantly better than Sing a Song of Tuna Fish (but not as good as Sahara Special). The art is bright and detail...more
Ina
This book didn't grab me right away, but by the time I read it at today's storytime, it had grown on my and it was certainly a big hit with my toddler audience. I wasn't sure the text format, ask a couple of questions about a well known fairy tale with answers (Straw? Yes. Sticks? Yes. Bricks? Yes.) and then through in a question that doesn't belong - "Solar Panels?" No. Then say, well, maybe and turn the page for a whole new take on that fairytale - colorfully illustrated and filled with humor....more
Matthew
Apr 08, 2011 Matthew rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Teachers, parents, librarians
If you're looking for a quick, simple read that goes through a number of classic fairy tales without dragging them out to even remotely full-length, this is the book for you. Basically lacking any kind of feasible plot, the book dives right into the most basic spare details of each fairy tale with a simple, repetitive scaffold. It's not because the author doesn't know what she's doing though. In fact, the writer most assuredly knows exactly what she's doing. She's writing a simple, interactive f...more
Leslie
Most picture book stories about bedtime have similar ingredients:

Kiss? Yes.

Water? Yes.

Bedtime? NOOOOO!

The kid does not want to go to bed.

What if we add a new ingredient to old fairytales? Like solar panels to The Three Little Pigs, or disco to Cinderella. Natalya and I would have had so much fun with this picture book when she was small, because like the boy in the book, she would have taken back the “Nooooo!” and said, “Well, maybe,” too.

For a new imagination of the story using Codell’s suggest...more
Caren
I really like this book, but my caveat would be that, despite the very bright picutres and very few words, it really is not a pre-K book. The child would have to know the original fairy tales to be able to join in the fun of the book and, in my experience, very young children often have not been exposed to many of these stories yet. (I had trouble sharing "Interrupting Chicken" with preschoolers for just this very reason.)It would probably work quite well with kindergarten and up.
Meg Bell
This would be a really fun book to use with a Fair Tale literature study. My students are learning to write Fairy Tales, so this would also be good to get their wheels moving in a different direction with the characters agreeing and opposing and then fantasizing what the story would be like if something else happened instead of what really did happen in all of the classic tales. I thought it was cute book for the purpose of teaching and reinforcing the classic fairy tale elements...
Marcie
I liked this enough to share it with a second grade studying fairy tales. It was fun to see them take the elements from it and think about what other fairy tales could benefit from the "yes, yes, no...Well, maybe?" treatment. I paired it with Jean Little (1990) Once Upon a Golden Apple which I have read to Kindergarten for years. It might also go nicely with Each Peach Pear Plum (
Tina
The humor here is in the details. Each fairy tale is told on one page with just three questions; "porridge? yes. chair? yes. bed? yes., then the new element is added "television? noooo." with a full spread on the next page to show the modern possibilites "well, maybe."
Marcie
This is a very simple story that takes the well-known components of a traditional fairy tale ("Cow? Yes. Beanstalk? Yes. Giant? Yes.") and adds in an unusual and modern twist. ("Spaghetti? NOOOOO!") There is no real plot to the book or sense of continuity between the tales, and the text is so simple that it is boring for an adult to read. However, the kids loved to chime in with the "yes" and "no" parts, and they certainly enjoyed seeing how the fairy tale was twisted. However, quite a few of th...more
Andrea Boyd
This book is different from anything I have ever seen. It takes 3 elements of a popular nursery rhyme or fairy tale and shows us what the story may look like if there was 1 crazy element thrown in. This is a cute book but if the child does not have thorough previous knowledge of the story then this book would be less fun. Kids will enjoy this if they know the back stories. If you are reading this to a child it would be beneficial to talk to the child about how this would be different from the or...more
Gracie Guagenti
The vibrant illustrations and appropriate book-size would entice even small children to pick it up. This book begins to tell the tales of Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Little Pigs and others but changes the story line by adding something unexpected. The illustrations really tell the story in this book. Children can help read this book because of the repetition and short phrases.
Cheryl
I'm not sure I agree with the other reviewers who say that the child reader needs to be familiar with all the original tales first. The juxtaposition of old-fashioned and modern is funny enough unto itself. Maybe this could be shared first, since the text is so very simple and minimalist, and then the children could read the originals of the tales they didn't recognize.

It's kinda too bad these are all European tales, but at least the mother and child could be Hispanic, and the child could be boy...more
Barbara
In this charming picture book, a mother prepares her child for bedtime with a kiss, a drink of water, and a story or two. Of course, children are rarely ready for bed, and she paves the way with pieces of six commonly read fairy tales. Each snippet has an unexpected twist; for instance, who would associate solar panels with the story of The Three Little Pigs--and yet, an eco-minded wolf might. Some of the possibilities are really, really strange, but young children familiar with the original ver...more
Karen
My five-year-old son picked this book out from the library last week.

This book was a delightfully fun read, probably because my son could read about half of the text by himself. This book proved to be both silly and empowering for him.

The illustrations are beyond delightful and are utterly charming.

Katy
Esme Raji Codell’s book, Fairly Fairy Tales, begins when a child receives a kiss goodnight, a glass of water, and a good selection of fairy tales. Oh no!! It’s bedtime! What follows is a parade of fairy tale stories with a twist. Little Red Riding Hood with shampoo? Jack and the Beanstalk with Spaghetti? Cinderella with a disco ball? Well, maybe. Illustrations showing how fairy tales could have ended are imaginative and fun. This book has great potential as a read-aloud because of the patterns a...more
Judy Desetti
Jan 22, 2012 Judy Desetti rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone teaching folktale/ fairy tale units
Recommended to Judy by: Paula - BMJ committee
A good one to use at the end of a fairy tale/ folktale literature unit. Kids must already be familiar with the stories.

"Each fairy tale is told on one page with just three questions; "porridge? yes. chair? yes. bed? yes., then the new element is added "television? noooo." with a full spread on the next page to show the modern possibilites "well, maybe." " by reviewer ~ Tina on goodreads

It shows a three elements of the story and throws in one that does not fit until you make it a fractured tale....more
Michelle
Cute art style but the story totally didn't make sense :P
Mary
Not too much to this story. Three objects/characters in each fairy tale or folktale are followed by a question mark and the answer "yes." Then, something is listed that does not belong, with an answer of "NOOOOOO." The following page has an answer of "Well, maybe." A picture illustrated the twist on the fairy tale takes up a two page spread. Kids that are not familiar with common folk and fairy tales will not get the story, although those that do may laugh at the unusual twists. Not my cup of te...more
Kelsey Welty
Very few words and not enough story. It's such a disappointment because the illustrations are remarkably charming.
Laura
A cute, colorful book referencing favorite fairy tales. A number of stories are told in a consistent but unique method - "Red hood? Yes. Wolf? Yes. Grandma? Yes. Shampoo? NOOOO!" Turning the page reveals a fairy tale world in which the last item is included as a story twist. My favorite was Cinderella with a disco ball. Young readers already familiar with fairy tales will be delighted with this colorful and fun work.
Donalyn
Introducing three elements from several familiar stories (like Jack's cow, beanstalk, and giant) with one element that doesn't seem to belong (like spaghetti), Codell and illustrator Elisa Chavarri give classic fairy tales a fun twist as readers imagine a world that includes both modern life and traditional motifs. Kids will enjoy looking at the elaborate illustrations to find all of the charming details.
Emyrose8
Fantastic pictures. Easy to read.
Leslie Lee
Fairly Fairy Tales by Esme' Raji Codell 2011, is a good fairy tales book for older students who already know their basic fairy tales. This book incorporates various items into the fairytales and shows how the fairy tale would be different if a change was to take place. Good extenstion activity to get students to think creatively and write different senerios for fairy tales.
Dan
This was a funny short little picture book that the class enjoyed. It asked three or four questions of what would be in a fairy tale. The first three were always a yes, but the last one was always a "NO." Then they would show us what it would be like if it was part of the story. It is important that my students have prior knowledge about different popular fairy tales.
Melissa
10yo's explanation of the book: "It's a kid listening to bedtime stories, but the mom is kind of improvising!"

I waited to review this until she could see it first, since I wasn't sure how the book would "read." I still don't know how young you can go with this one, but she spent a long time looking at each picture, and "got" the book by the second spread.
Amy Carr
Incredibly fun book that challenges your "traditional" images of fairy tales. Great read aloud...I read it to my daughter's kindergarten class yesterday and not only were they able to help me "read" the story, but they giggled their guts out on every page. Excellent book that makes reading what it should be...interactive and super fun!
Sandy Brehl
With colorful illustrations that blend traditional fairy tale images with comic spin-offs, this patterned story (yes, yes, no, well-maybe) includes touches of bedtime story and circle story. Even though that sounds like overkill, it works, and could easily be a first independent reading experience for enthusiastic young ones.
Rowlak5


A fun book to have to peruse in a fairy tale collection. I like how the text was a repetitive question and answer pattern; primary readers will catch on to that. Best part- the illustrations that the reader needs to sit and ponder for familiar and not so familiar characters and how they're interacting.
Kris
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elizabeth P
We all know that the Cinderella story has a fairy godmother, pumpkin coach, and glass slipper. But a disco ball? No way! Well, MAYBE. This simple re-telling of familiar stories will have you looking at fairy tales in a whole new way. Do I love this book? There's no "maybe" about it!
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Esme Raji Codell is the recipient of a prestigious James Patterson Pageturner Award for spreading the excitement of books in an effective and original way. She has been a keynote speaker for the International Reading Association and the American Library Association, a “virtual” keynote for the National Education Association’s “Stay Afloat!” online conference for first-year teachers, and a featured...more
More about Esmé Raji Codell...
Educating Esmé: Diary of a Teacher's First Year Sahara Special Diary of a Fairy Godmother How to Get Your Child to Love Reading Seed by Seed: The Legend and Legacy of John "Appleseed" Chapman

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