Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Many Different Ways to Tell Rapunzel

Folk tales are one of my favorite things to read. I love the diversity of stories across cultures and I enjoy finding new stories with familiar twists and familiar stories with new twists. On the Children's Services booklist page we have several lists of folk tale variants.

While Paul O. Zelinsky's retelling of Rapunzel might be my favorite, there are many more on the variant list that are worth looking at. Read Sugar Cane: A Caribbean Rapunzel by Patricia Storace to appreciate a new setting, or try The Canary Prince by Eric Jon Nones for a Turinese version of the princess locked in the tower tale.

The Gingerbread Man is not just a cookie. He can be a tortilla, a matzo ball, or cornbread. If you are in the mood for a classic, straight retelling, try Paul Galdone's The Gingerbread Boy.

We also have booklists or variants for Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Rumpelstiltskin, and Three Little Pigs. Speaking of folktale variants, if you have a sense of humor, please do yourself a favor and read The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka. I won't go into how wonderful it is here, because I already went into how wonderful it is here.

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