Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Review: FAIRLY FAIRY TALES by Esme Raji Codell

Codell, Esme Raji. Fairly Fairy Tales. Illus. Elisa Chavarri. New York: Aladdin, 2011. ISBN: 1-4169-9086-4. $16.99. Ages 3-7.

What would a techo-modern version of the Three Little Pigs look like? Little Red Riding Hood? Cinderella? Solar panels, discos, and salons meet fairy tales when a child and mom read together at bedtime.

Codell’s text is simple, maybe seemingly simplistic, but actually quite smart. She presents three elements that readers who are familiar with fairy tales will recognize, then throws in a fourth element that does not traditionally belong with the fairy tale at all. On the page this is show as pictures on a white background with the words above them. Then, the following illustrations by Chiavani put the fairy tale in a modern setting involving the fourth element. There are so many children’s books, both picture and chapter, that revamp traditional fairy tales. This is a nice fun addition to the pile.

The actual lack of text works by not being too descriptive, so kids’ imaginations can make up their own details, and the pictures are bright and cartoony. It’s only serious in terms of its fun!

Marie Soriano

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