When I try to think about my favorite adaptations of fairy tales, I tend to think of children’s books first. Perhaps that’s because children’s versions resonate with me the way fairy tales do, or perhaps it’s because I spent three years working as a library assistant in a school library with an amazing fairy tale collection, so I read many wonderful adaptations in a relatively short time. A few great ones come to mind: A Tale Dark and Grimm, Breadcrumbs, Rapunzel’s Revenge, and Ella Enchanted, to name a few.
One that really stands out, though, is Jon Scieszka’s The Frog Prince, Continued. In this picture book, the Frog Prince is living unhappily as a human, fighting with his princess and wishing he could just go back to being a frog, so he sets off to find a witch who can make the transformation for him. In his search, he meets witches from other fairy tales, as well as Cinderella’s fairy godmother, and ultimately realizes how to get his happy ending himself.
At the library, this book made for an excellent last-day-of-class read, because it so clearly illustrated how fairy tales can be adapted and combined to produce new meaning (a frequent topic of library discussion), it’s a hilarious book, for librarians and third graders alike, and it’s tremendously fun to read aloud. I couldn’t help but think, reading it that way, that one of the many reasons fairy tales survived was that they were something communities could share and enjoy together, and books like this one continue to serve that purpose today.
From Heather Jeanne, but I blog about fairy tales as Beatrix Cottonpants at http://www.beatrixcottonpants.com/