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of the Center for Children's Books

The Bulletin Dozen is a monthly theme-based booklist available as an online-only Bulletin feature. Since we're awfully fond of bakers here at the Bulletin, we thought we'd adopt their philosophy of generosity and throw in an extra one or two when we have them to offer--so don't expect an even dozen. Please feel free to copy, download, or link to these lists. We ask only that you cite the source. See the archive for lists from previous months.
 

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Beyond Happily Ever After: 

A Fairy Tale Dozen

--selected by Kate Quealy-Gainer, Assistant Editor

Alright, so they’re not all technically fairy tales – some of them are fables, folktales, or myths – and a few of them don’t end so happily ever after but nonetheless, this month’s dozen will have you dreaming of once upon a time.

Dozens Cover

Bunce, Elizabeth C. A Curse Dark as Gold. Levine/Scholastic, 2008.

This ingenious novel takes the tale of “Rumpelstiltskin” for its inspiration, focusing on a young eighteenth-century Englishwoman who’s attempting to keep the family wool mill afloat and who finds assistance from a mysterious visitor. (BCCB 3/08)

 

Gidwitz, Adam. A Tale Dark and Grimm. Dutton, 2010. Gr. 5-8

The narrator here stays true to the darker (and sometimes gory) aspects of the original Grimm tales as he follows the fates Hansel and Gretel after they run away from their murderous father. (BCCB 12/10)

 

Hale, Shannon. The Goose Girl. Bloomsbury, 2003. Gr. 6-10

Betrayed by her lady-in-waiting, Ani, the seventeen-year-old Crown Princess of Kildenree, finds herself working as a goose girl in this stunningly lyrical revision. (BCCB 11/03)

 

Lo, Malinda. Ash. Little, Brown, 2009. Gr. 8-12

In this evocative retelling of Cinderella, Lo utilizes the ominous undercurrents of the original tale as a deliciously dark backdrop to the main character’s struggles with grief and desire. (BCCB 10/09)

 

Lynn, Tracy. Snow. Simon Pulse, 2003. Gr. 7-10

This gothic version of Snow White includes a touch of steampunk and replaces the dwarves with “the Lonely Ones” while casting  the wicked stepmother as an amateur scientist. (BCCB 5/03)

 

Moser, Barry. The Three Little Pigs; written and illustrated by Barry Moser. Little, Brown, 2001. 4-7 yrs

The visual humor in Moser’s expressive, vibrant watercolor illustrations makes this irreverent retelling of the porcine trio and their lupine nemesis a perfect choice for storytime. (BCCB 3/01)

 

Numeroff, Laura. Ponyella; written by Laura Numeroff and Nate Evans; illus. by Lynn Munsinger. Hyperion, 2011. 5-8 yrs

Yup, it’s what the title suggests—the story of “Cinderella” featuring a pony, with all the pink ribbons, evil pasturemates and pony championship victories that one might expect, and it’s exactly what its audience has been waiting for. (BCCB 1/11)

 

Pearce, Jackson. Sisters Red. Little, 2010. Gr. 8-12

Dark, gritty, and superbly suspenseful, this modern-day take on Little Red Riding Hood follows a pair of sisters who hunt the werewolf-like Fenris. (BCCB 9/10)

 

Poole, Amy Lowry. The Pea Blossom; retold and illustrated by Amy Lowry Poole. Holiday House, 2005. 5-8 yrs

Five peas wait in their shell near Beijing and dream of the future in this gentle revision that imbues Han’s Christian Andersen’s “The Pea Blossom” with ancient Chinese mythology. (BCCB 3/05)

 

Say, Allen. The Boy in the Garden; written and illustrated by Allen Say. Houghton Mifflin, 2010. 5-9 yrs

This spare, mystically touched picture book follows a lonely Japanese boy as he happens into a folktale-based world and tries heroically to make the story of “The Crane Wife” come out with a better ending. (BCCB 11/10)

 

Sharp, Leah Marinsky. The Goat-faced Girl: An Italian Folktale; retold by Leah Marinsky Sharpe; illustrated by Jane Marinsky. David R. Godine, 2009. 7-10 yrs

A mother-daughter author-illustrator pair team up to tell this delightfully cheery tale of a lazy daughter, a sorceress mother, and the enchantment that teaches them both a lesson. (BCCB 1/10)

 

Tomlinson, Heather. Toads and Diamonds. Henry Holt, 2010. Gr. 7-10

With a vividly imagined landscape rife with beauty, power, and plague, this India-set retelling of a lesser-known Perrault tale is sure to please fans of the original. (BCCB 7/10)

 

Zahler, Diane. The Thirteenth Princess. Harper, 2010. Gr. 4-6

In this retelling of “The Twelve Dancing Princesses,” Zita is the thirteenth princess born to a father who desperately wants sons, but she is the only one that can save her twelve older sisters from the curse that threatens their lives. (BCCB 3/10)



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This page was last updated on September 1, 2011.