Getting kids excited about reading can be a challenge, but the benefits are limitless. As summer approaches, and with it the "summer slide" - the inevitable decline in academic achievement that students experience over the summer- now is an even more important time to focus on getting kids reading. One of the best strategies for getting kids excited about books and reading is to choose titles that appeal to and encourage their interests. Themed books, either as part of a kids books club or individually, are a great tool for getting kids excited about reading.
Childrens Book of the Month Club: 5 Fractured Fairy Tales
Cinder-Elly, by Frances Minters
In this charmingly modern take of the classic fairy tale, Cinder-Elly is a young girls who "worked so hard, it was a pity she had no fun in New York City." Cinder-Elly gets invited to a basketball game staring Prince Charming, and is provided transportation (a bike) and clothing (a red mini skirt) by her "Godma." How will this version of the beloved classic end?
Jim and the Beanstalk, by Raymond Briggs
Jim climbs a beanstalk that sprouts outside his bedroom window, and on a quest for some corn flakes, ends up at the giants castle. Jim meets the giant, who is still recovering from another little boy's trip up the beanstalk, and helps him with his failing eyesight, lack of teeth and balding head. How will the giant reward Jim for all of his help?
The Jolly Postman: Or Other People's Letters, by Allan Ahlberg
Children will love helping the Jolly Postman deliver mail to all of the fairy tale characters. Filled with real letters, this fun book explores the note Goldilocks may have written to the Three Bears after her visit, or the thank you writes to the Giant for providing the money for a much needed vacation.
The Principal's New Clothes, by Stephanie Calmenson
In this modern take of a classic story Mr. Bundy, the principal of P.S. 88, is the "sharpest dresser in town." The biggest problem with his brand new suit is that even though no one is able to see it, they all pretend that they can. Is Mr. Bundy destined to attend school assembly in his underwear?
The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs, by Jon Scieszka
In one of the best examples of a fractured fairy take, Jon Scieszka retells the story of the three little pigs through the viewpoint of the wolf. To hear Alexander T. Wolf tell it, "the real story is about a sneeze and a cup of sugar." Which version of the story are you going to believe?
Have you read these fractured fairy tales? What did you think? What other fractured fairy tales have you enjoyed?