I have finally found them! The books I have been looking for for ages but I didn't know what they looked like or who wrote them or p...

Modern Versions of Traditional Fairytales

Thursday, September 26, 2019 BookBairn 1 Comments

I have finally found them! The books I have been looking for for ages but I didn't know what they looked like or who wrote them or published them or illustrated them - they existed only on my dream shelf. And after four years of searching I've found them!!

You are probably wondering what I'm raving about! Well, for the longest time I've wanted to have high quality, beautifully illustrated editions of traditional fairytales. There are so many great 'modern retellings' of fairytales where the storyline has changed to make them more up to date - I particularly love the Bethan Woolvin retelling of Little Red who doesn't for one moment mistake her grandma for a wolf (I mean who believed that anyway?); and I love Nibbles the Book Monster eating his way through Goldilocks and making a mess but leaving Goldilocks to take the blame; I love stories where the wolf isn't as bad a guy as we are lead to believe - but I also think these stories are made more powerful when you are familiar with the original tales. And I do completely understand that the reason behind all these retellings is that the originals are particularly gruesome, mysogynist, patriarchal, racist, and many other things that we no longer tolerate in our society. So obviously I don't want versions which focus on these elements but also I want versions that haven't strayed too much from the originals either.

And I have finally found ones that tick those boxes! (And they are not even new!)

The fairy tale books published by Nosy Crow and illustrated by Ed Bryan are the perfect version of fairy tales to read with your children. They have all the good elements of the originals but they also feature characters of different colours and have been modernised in a way that feels true to the original but without the gruesome parts like chopped off stepsisters toes, or a wolf slain by the huntsman or princesses awoken by a kiss. Slight modifications to make the appropriate for modern times but that haven't turned the story on it's head (and I will repeat that I do love those sort of books but I think we need both on our shelves!). The illustrations are bright and colourful and feature characters of all different colours, ethnicities, shapes and sizes. Basically they are a perfect fit for our shelves.

They are also available on the Stories Aloud programme run by Nosy Crow where you can scan the QR code on the inside of the book to be taken to a website and hear the audiobook version of the story. Many of these are also available on their podcast which means you can download them and save them for later which is sometimes easier.

We have managed to get copies of several through our library too (note with titles this common it's worth checking out the illustrator's name instead) and we even got one in the library sale that was being withdrawn from stock as it's pages are a bit over-loved but we will give it a new lease of life.

Honestly I feel like I've found an absolute treasure chest in this series!

If you like fairytales, and want modern updates of the originals, then these are truly fabulous!

Happy reading in a land far far away and may you all read happily ever after!
Kim and BookBairn xx

Disclaimer: these are all our choices. Some were sent from publishers (others are books that I have borrowed from the library or bought myself) but they were not sent in connection with this post. Their inclusion here is my choice. Because I really do think they are great. Please read our Review Policy  if you want to know more. If you click on the image of the book below you will be sent to Amazon.co.uk using an affiliate link.  This means that if you choose to purchase on Amazon.co.uk, I will receive a small sum (around 20-90p per book) from Amazon at no extra cost to you. I understand that you may not want to use an affiliate link, but if you like reading our blog post please just think of it as a small tip for a tip-off to an awesome book. And know that your support means I can buy more books! For more information check out our For Readers Section.

For UK buyers (for some reason I couldn't get the joined up links to work for these):

For US buyers:

1 comment:

  1. What a great series of books. Well found. I love a good fairytale. I’m sure BookBairn and the Wee Page Turner will too.