The hilarious author, R. A. Spratt, knows well that her stories make me snort laugh in an extremely undignified manner. I do my utmost to keep these moments private as I have noted that when reading hilarious stories from what is obviously a kids’ book on a train full of commuters and laughing uproariously, one gets looks from fellow travelers that imply more suspicion than a cough in a crowded supermarket (these days). However, I am instructed that I must now do my reading of all new Spratt stories in full view of any unsuspecting members of public in the name of shameless publicity for the aforementioned author.
Well I’ve saved the last couple of stories for an upcoming train journey but the rest were mirthfully devoured over the past week or so and I have to say, that your young funsters are going to lose their tiny minds over this collection. R. A. Spratt has shared the love around between her two outstanding characters, Nanny Piggins and Friday Barnes, with a few well-chosen random fractured fairytales thrown in, all of which will send readers into paroxysms of laughter.
From the get-go I was completely onside with Nanny Piggins’ rendition of Rapunzel Bacon-Hair and the ensuing Piggins tales, oddly all centred on foodstuffs equally reduced me to a gibbering mess. Then there are the always entertaining sleuthings of Friday – which are (for me at least) more subtle in their laughter-provoking moments.
Interspersed with the stories are some fabulous story-telling tips for your budding writers and humorists. Here’s one I particularly enjoyed:
Storytelling Tip #4
Don’t be afraid to yell. Children love yelling. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be as provoking. If your child’s attention is drifting away throw in a KAPOW! or a BOOOM!!! David Walliams does this all the time. If you do it loud enough, it’s an excellent way to startle your child, raising their heart rate so they don’t fall asleep before the end.
Thanks awfully for that one R. A.! I humbly request some sage advice for startling teens into behaviour that resembles an actual human…………….sorry, I digress.
I never have any hesitation in recommending Rachel’s books with my greatest endorsement. I have seen for myself the mad scramble for kids to get their hands on the newest ones – and seen my kiddos literally weep when a series has finished.
Happy book birthday to Shockingly Good Stories today! Get thee to thy online ordering to have your copy ready to go immediately after the holidays!!
In my experience kids just love send ups of the Big Bad Wolf and this book will delight those from 4 years upwards with its humorous text and illustrations, along with the references to other fairy tales.
Little Red Riding Hood is out for a stroll in the woods on her way to Grandma’s house when the Wolf sees her and concocts a cunning plan. He races ahead planning to devour the old grandmother and then LRRH herself. Grandma is nowhere to be seen in the house but her nightdress is so the Wolf – oh so clever! – decides to disguise himself and therefore trick Red. Sound familiar so far? Well yes, but in your traditional versions the Wolf does not find himself locked outside the house wearing a pink nightie which he cannot get off.
The derision of other fairy tale characters who encounter the hilarious sight of the terrible wolf wearing such a garment will send readers into fits of laughter. Despite the ignominy the BBW remains convinced that he can still best little Red – but sadly the trip over the hem of the nightie is his final fall into shame and humiliation.
Whether just for a general read-aloud or as part of a ‘fractured fairytales’ unit this will amuse your readers and will undoubtedly be requested for repeat performances.
One thing I’ve learned in my years of being a teacher-librarian is that all kids, big and little, love fractured fairy tales.
Wolfie is fed up with fairy tales promoting the nonsense that wolves are the bad guys. He’s determined to put the record straight. After all, he’s really a sweet creature and he is ready to prove himself so by rescuing a princess because that’s what heroes do!
What he hasn’t quite reckoned with is that annoying the book’s narrator is not likely to provide him with a satisfactory outcome and that gives the reader a load of laughs. Wolfie tries to rescue Rapunzel – but she has a screaming fit at the very sight of him and ends up rescuing herself (as all great princesses do!). With that disaster behind him he’s swooped up by a passing dragon and oh oh, this is certainly not the heroic ending Wolfie had imagined!
Deb Abela’s text is super funny and lots of interesting fonts give it real oomph. The illustrations are likewise very humorously done and discerning readers will get a real giggle out of some of the visual jokes.
A great addition to your collection for all those units on fairy tales – traditional or otherwise.
Highly recommended for readers from around six years upwards.
Fractured fairytales are a popular writing task in many schools. In the past week the secondary girls in my ‘home’ school are writing them and in one of the local primaries in which I did a supply day the Year 2s are doing likewise.
Every now and then a new spin on fairytales comes along which completely floats your boat.
Alfie Onion fits the bill perfectly. The story starts with Aggie Lumpett, daughter of a road sweeper, who dreams of greater things. Specifically, she dreams of marrying a prince and rising to giddy heights of wealth and luxury. Eventually aged 16 she gives up and eventually marries a pig farmer Garf Onion, because he was the seventh son of a seventh son and everybody knows that’s got to be a winner. All the more so because Aggie and Garf have seven sons of their own and Aggie just knows that Magnifico will be their saviour. The inconvenience of No# 8 Alfie coming along was not going to interfere with Aggie’s plans.
The time comes for Magnifico, a lazy and cowardly dolt, to begin his quest at last and Alfie, who has spent his life sleeping in the barn and being overlooked by everyone (except his biggest brother Yurt) is delegated to be his servant on the grand adventure.
As you might predict the unravelling of adventures with Magnifico, the scuttling sneak, and Alfie, who proves to be both resourceful and clever are full of humour and grand deeds as well as a few hilarious talking animals, some funky trolls and nasty ogres and a mysterious sleeping princess.
This is great fun and will be a popular read aloud and a worthy addition to both your Fractured Fairytales unit and your library.