Reviews of children's and young adult books old and new

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Excerpts of Fairy Tales

You Read to Me, I'll Read to You: Very Short Fairy Tales to Read Together by Mary Ann Hoberman, illustrated by Michael Emberley

The book begins with a short introduction about how to read this book with someone. There is text on the left, right, and in the middle. The text in the middle is read together. There are eight very short fairy tales in all. The fairy tales are told from the perspective of the main characters and are more a summary of the action in the original stories. In most cases at the end of the fairy tale the characters decide to read the story they are in together. None of the fairy tales have the unpleasant parts in them, no one gets hurt and in the end everyone gets along, even Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf. All of the fairy tales are told in rhyme which should help young readers follow along.

I like the concept of this book. I think that the very short fairy tales would be fun to read aloud with a new reader who already knows the stories being retold. I have a few issues with how some of the stories are retold. A few of the fairy tales do not work well in this format while others are very clever. I liked The Three Bears being told from Goldilocks and Baby Bear's perspective, recounting what happened and then trying to solve the problem of Baby Bear being hungry and tired. Something like Jack and the Beanstalk though seemed too forced with Jack and the Giant being friends at the end and the Giant giving up half his treasure because Jack refused to give everything back that he stole. The format of the book with text off to the left and right did work well and it was very clear who should be reading. My bigger problem was the color choice for the text. The text to the left was an orange red while the text to the right was a purple pink. It is hard to look at. I think the designers were trying to find similar colors that were different enough so they could be told apart but these two colors just clash. After reading the book in one sitting my eyes actually started to hurt from looking at it. The illustrations though are cute and there is a lot of the story that is told through the facial expressions of the characters. Overall I would recommend for new readers. I think they will have fun getting to be a character in their favorite story and there is a lot of room for talking about what parts of the story were changed or left out.

No comments:

Post a Comment