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Fairy tale retellings for 8 year old


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#1 ThursdayNext

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 07:15 AM

My daughter has really been into fairy tale retellings and fairy tale style fantasy. For the first time, I find myself censoring her books, and asking to pre read first. There is a lot of content that is just not appropriate for an 8 year old. I've enjoyed fairy tales retold, but there is often romance, complicated situations, etc. that seems too old for my baby.

Do you have any fairy tale fantasy books you would recommend for this age? I'm lucky to have a reader like me and she could devour a book in a day.

#2 Monica_in_Switzerland

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 07:40 AM

Do you mean the content found in fairy tales that are expanded into novel form for adults (I'm thinking of books like Daughter of the Forest) or do you mean you find the contents of books like Lang's fairy tales to be too much?  Or is there some YA or youth books that are expanded retelling of fairy tales?

 

 



#3 OhElizabeth

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 08:03 AM

I let my dd read the Lang fairy tale books at that age. I agree, any modern retellings are going to be aimed at a slightly older audience and could get edgy or attempt to include modern, controversial topics. They're things that might be fine when the dc is the target age, but you really do have to screen for an advanced reader.

 

Veritas Press has lists of books for girls, books by history topic, lit by grade, etc, to help you keep her in books. Also look at the TruthQuest guides, Sonlight, etc. WTM lists a series of folk tale books by country for one of the grades, I forget what year. We usually read the WTM books at least a grade ahead, so just scan through the recommends and see what you find.


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#4 Farrar

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 08:06 AM

I'm assuming from your OP that she can tackle pretty much any middle grades level novel, then? There are a lot of lovely picture book retellings that she would probably still enjoy. I mean, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs is a good example of a fairy tale retelling that's going to take her just a few minutes to read, but which is still worth her time. And there are *loads* of Cinderella retellings for every culture in picture book form. And other quirky modern retellings. I'd be sure to hit the library for that sort of thing.

 

The series that starts with A Tale Dark and Grimm is middle grades. I feel like I have to warn you that it's super dark and lots of the really dark elements of fairy tales are alluded to. But in a way that is appropriate for kids. I'd usually suggest it for more like 9 or 10 and up, but if you've let her read the original tales, the series is definitely fine.

 

Breadcrumbs would be another good one. And I think the author has a few others that are retellings of fairy tales. Still a bit dark, but very much for this age. Not YA.

 

There are a lot of books she'd probably enjoy that aren't fairy tale retellings, but which are in that same vein - drawing from fairy tale elements. Like Liesl and Po or The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland. And just plain fun fantasy stories like Dealing with Dragons or Tuesdays at the Castle. Those are definitely more 8 yo speed.

 

 


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#5 ThursdayNext

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 08:18 AM

Monica, there are novels for kids and YA as well as for adults, with stories based on fairy tales.
She's read Princess of the Wild Swans, which got her started on this kick.

https://www.amazon.c...&keywords=Swans

Snow in Summer by Jane Yolen
Snow White and Rose Red by Patricia Wrede
And others I can't remember.
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#6 ThursdayNext

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 08:25 AM

I've read Lang's fairy tales to her, but she likes the more modern take. And I have to say, when I read those old fairy tales, I can't keep my mouth shut about the sexist and wrong stuff.

To quote Frozen, "Wait, you got engaged to someone you just met that day?!"

Edited by ThursdayNext, 21 April 2017 - 08:27 AM.


#7 Starr

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 08:46 AM

In addition to books mentioned my dd enjoyed the series of Frank Baum's Oz books.


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#8 J-rap

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 09:14 AM

Are you familiar with the My Bookhouse Books series?  They're a vintage series that can be found at many libraries and second-hand stores.  They're beautiful books with many different kinds of short stories in them, many of them fairytale-ish, and many of them are just so sweet!  They progress from simpler stories that a younger audience would enjoy to stories for an older audience.  And there are so many stories that you can pick and choose the ones you want to read.  Our family loved them.  (I see you can even get them on Amazon, used, for just a few dollars each.)

 

 

 


Edited by J-rap, 21 April 2017 - 10:42 AM.


#9 J-rap

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 09:18 AM

In addition to books mentioned my dd enjoyed the series of Frank Baum's Oz books.

 

This was my son's all-time favorite series as a boy.  :)


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#10 bibiche

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 09:40 AM

Total aside, but every parent should read The Uses of Enchantment by Bruno Bettelheim. ;)
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#11 Lori D.

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 12:03 PM

Just expanding/repeating some of the previous posters great ideas by cutting/pasting lists from past threads:

 

"Fractured fairy tales" -- longer picture books, with text at an gr. 3-4 reading level

- The Frog Prince Continued (Scieszka)

- The True Story of the Three Little Pigs (Scieszka)

- The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales (Scieszka

- The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig (Trivizas)

- The Other Side of the Story series (various authors) -- Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks, Snow White, Rapunzel, etc.

- Happily Ever After series (Bradman) -- gr. 2-3 reading level; various fairy tales

 

Cinderella spin-offs -- longer picture books

- Prince Cinders (Cole)

- Cindy Ellen:  A Wild Western Tale (Lowell)

- Cinder-Elly (Minters)

- Cinder Edna (Jackson)

- Big Foot Cinderella (Johnston)

 

Cinderella story as told in other cultures -- longer picture books

- The Irish Cinderlad (Climo)

- The Egyptian Cinderella (Climo)

- The Korean Cinderella (Climo)

- Cendrillon: A Caribbean Cinderella (San Souci)

- Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China (Ai-Ling Louie)

- The Rough-Face Girl (Martin) 

 

Chapter books (gr. 2-4, or gr. 3-5 reading levels) with fairy tale or fantasy settings:

- Dragon Slay Academy series (McMullan)

- How to Train Your Dragon series (Cowell)

- Cat Wings (Le Guin)

- Kingdom of Wrenly (Quinn)

- The Unicorn's Secret (Duey)

- TumTum and Nutmeg (Bearn)

 

Chapter books (gr. 5-8 reading level) with fairy tale settings:

- The Enchanted Forest Chronicles (Wrede)

- The Princess Imposter (Velde)

- The Rumpelstiltskin Problem (Velde)

- Tuesdays at the Castle series (George)

- Tales of the Frog Princess series (Baker)

- The Wide-Awake Princess series (Baker)

- The Sisters Grimm series (Buckley)

 

 

Collections of fairy tales

Usborne Illustrated Book of Fairy Tales (Courtauld)

The Golden Book of Fairytales (Sequr)

The World's Best Fairy Tales (Sideman) -- a Reader's Digest Anthology

The Tall Book of Make Believe (Werner)

The Giant Golden Book of Elves and Fairies (Werner)

A Child's Book of Fairies (Batt) 

The Book of Little Folk: Faery Stories and Poems From Around the World (Mills) 

The Arabian Nights, illustrated by Gustav Tenggren

- The Book of ... series (Manning-Sanders) -- Dragons; Witches; Wizards; Mermaids; Princes & Princesses; Dwarves... etc. -- out of print but worth looking for

 

Stories about fairies (gr. 3-4, gr. 4-5 reading levels)

- Twig (Jones)

- No Flying in the House (Brock)

- Flower Fairies Chapter Book series (Barker)

- Girls' Book of Flower Fairies (Barker)

- Complete Book of Flower Fairies (Barker)

- Fairy Realm series (Rodda)

- Fairy Wings (Mills) -- longer picture book

- The Faerie's Gift (Batt) -- longer picture book; woodcutter protagonist granted a wish by a fairy

- For Biddle's Sake; The Fairy's Return; The Fairy's Mistakes (Levine) -- new spins on fairytales with humans as main characters and fairies as side characters

 

Princess or fairy adventure -- various reading levels

- The Paper Bag Princess (Munsch)
- Princess Hyacinth (Heide)
- Lady Lollipop (King-Smith)
- The Ordinary Princess (Kaye)
- The Night Fairy (Schlitz)
- Flower Fairies chapter books (Barker)

- Fairy Realm series (Rodda)

 

Fantasy/fantastical adventure -- various reading levels

- Raggedy Ann Stories (Gruelle)

- The Five Sisters (Mahy)

- Pippi Longstockings series (Lindgren)

- Wizard of Oz series (Baum)

- No Flying in the House (Brock)
- Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (Lin)
- The Borrowers series (Norton)

- Bedknobs and Broomstick (Norton)

- Twig (Jones)
- Big Susan (Jones)

- Glenda (Udry)

- The Dragon of Lonely Island (Rupp)

- Mrs. Piggle Wiggle series (MacDonald)

- Miranda the Great (Estes)

- The Witch Family (Estes)

- Letters From Father Christmas (Tolkien) -- either this version, or this version

 


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#12 eternalsummer

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 01:54 AM

Lori D., that is exactly the book list I didn't know I needed but did in fact need.

 

Where do you *get* all of this knowledge?  Is it just experience?  Are you some secret homeschooling advisor superhero?


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#13 Monica_in_Switzerland

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 03:00 AM

Monica, there are novels for kids and YA as well as for adults, with stories based on fairy tales.
She's read Princess of the Wild Swans, which got her started on this kick.

https://www.amazon.c...&keywords=Swans

Snow in Summer by Jane Yolen
Snow White and Rose Red by Patricia Wrede
And others I can't remember.

 

 

 

Thank you, these look like books that would capture my 8yo!  



#14 ThursdayNext

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 07:06 AM

Total aside, but every parent should read The Uses of Enchantment by Bruno Bettelheim. ;)


I read it back in high school and found it fascinating. But I recently read several articles that are making me doubt the entire premise of the book.

http://www.leaderu.c...icles/finn.html

https://en.m.wikiped...runo_Bettelheim

https://www.psycholo...sychotic-savant
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#15 ThursdayNext

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 07:19 AM

Chapter books (gr. 5-8 reading level) with fairy tale settings:
- The Enchanted Forest Chronicles (Wrede)
- The Princess Imposter (Velde)
- The Rumpelstiltskin Problem (Velde)
- Tuesdays at the Castle series (George)
- Tales of the Frog Princess series (Baker)
- The Wide-Awake Princess series (Baker)
- The Sisters Grimm series


This is exactly what my daughter is looking for.

We have a house overflowing with books, and many classics she has never read. But you know, we want what we want. I get the craving for a certain kind of book too, and don't feel like reading the mountain on my bedside table.

#16 goldenecho

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 11:58 AM

One I really love is The Ordinary Princess (it's a fairy tale, but not a retelling of a traditional one).   Beautiful illustrations.  Sweet and gentle story with lots of humor.

 

So, the story is that when princess Amythyst is born, all the fairys are invited to her christening, and they all give her gifts...but the most powerful fairy comes last and gives her the gift of being "ordinary."   And it does turn out to be the best gift of them all.

 

It's very light.  She does run away from home in the story...but it's shown as an adventure and not dark or scary (and she goes back eventually).  There is a romance but it is VERY sweet and kid friendly (I think, maybe they kiss...once, and they get married at the end)...AND it's one of the few fairy tale romances which is  built on two people actually getting to know each other and becoming friends, not "love at first sight" type of thing.  

 


Edited by goldenecho, 22 April 2017 - 12:01 PM.

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#17 Lori D.

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 07:30 PM

One I really love is The Ordinary Princess...  Sweet and gentle story with lots of humor...

 

I LOVE this one too! About a 6th grade reading level, which is why I didn't put it on my list above, but it would be a lovely read aloud. :) Also, A Little Princess by Burnett. 


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#18 Lori D.

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 07:31 PM

This is exactly what my daughter is looking for.

We have a house overflowing with books, and many classics she has never read. But you know, we want what we want. I get the craving for a certain kind of book too, and don't feel like reading the mountain on my bedside table.

 

:iagree:   And why not enjoy some of the more traditional fairy tales and classics as read alouds?! :)



#19 Lori D.

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 07:41 PM

I read it back in high school and found it fascinating. But I recently read several articles that are making me doubt the entire premise of the book.

 

You might be encouraged by G.K. Chesterton's take on fairy tales:

 

 

"The timidity of the child or the savage is entirely reasonable; they are alarmed at this world, because this world is a very alarming place. They dislike being alone because it is verily and indeed an awful idea to be alone. Barbarians fear the unknown for the same reason that Agnostics worship it—because it is a fact. Fairy tales, then, are not responsible for producing in children fear, or any of the shapes of fear; fairy tales do not give the child the idea of the evil or the ugly; that is in the child already, because it is in the world already. Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon.

 

Exactly what the fairy tale does is this: it accustoms him for a series of clear pictures to the idea that these limitless terrors had a limit, that these shapeless enemies have enemies in the knights of God, that there is something in the universe more mystical than darkness, and stronger than strong fear. When I was a child I have stared at the darkness until the whole black bulk of it turned into... [a] giant taller than heaven. If there was one star in the sky it only made him a Cyclops. But fairy tales restored my mental health, for next day I read an authentic account of how a... giant with one eye, of quite equal dimensions, had been baffled by a little boy like myself (of similar inexperience and even lower social status) by means of a sword, some bad riddles, and a brave heart. Sometimes the sea at night seemed as dreadful as any dragon. But then I was acquainted with many youngest sons and little sailors to whom a dragon or two was as simple as the sea." — Tremendous Trifles


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