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Fractured Fairy Tales

Katie Schaefer

Fractured fairy tales: the whimsical world of storytelling with a twist!

So, what exactly are fractured fairy tales? Well, imagine taking those timeless stories we all grew up with—Cinderella, The Tortoise & the Hare, Jack & the Beanstalk—and giving them a shake-up. Instead of sticking to the script, authors and illustrators infuse these tales with humor, satire, and modern twists. Anything goes!


After the Fall book cover

After the Fall by Dan Santat

After the Fall is one of my favorite Humpty Dumpty retellings! It’s a surprisingly sophisticated story, full of rich dynamic illustrations. In this book, Humpty Dumpty is an avid birder, who likes to bird watch from atop a very tall wall until a traumatic fall leaves him fearful to return to his favorite pastime.

We keep Humpty Dumpty company as he works through his anxieties. Eventually his longing to be with the birds outweighs his fears and he musters up the courage to scale the wall again.  The result is spectacular! I won’t spoil it for you.


The Three Little Tardigrades book cover

The Three Little Tardigrades by Sandra Fay

This Three Little Pigs retelling is for the tiny scientists. It’s chock full of science facts about the fascinating tardigrade. In this story three little tardigrades (Gavin, Collin, and Doug) are sent out into the world by their mother to find their own perfect new homes.

They journey to an erupting volcano, an underwater ice cave, and even the moon, with the big hairy wolf spider in hot pursuit. Get yourself a copy of this picture book to enjoy the unexpected twists and laughs.


The Little Red Wolf book cover

The Little Red Wolf by Amélie Fléchais

Little Red Wolf is a captivating graphic novel that offers a dark and enchanting twist on the classic Little Red Riding Hood tale. Set in a mysterious forest where both wolves and humans reside, the story follows Little Red Wolf, a young wolf cub, on his journey to deliver a basket of bunnies to his grandmother’s house.

Along the way he gets lost exploring, eats his grandmother’s treat, and ends up near the humans his parents warned him against. He is charmed by the little human girl who offers to help him, but Little Red Wolf quickly learns that nice is not the same as good. While at first this book may appear to simply flip the script making humans evil and wolves good, the narrative stretches a bit further exploring the complexity of trust and the importance of context.