Fairy tales are so well-known and loved by many. But what if we took all the versions we know and turned them on their heads? Then we’d have picture books with fractured fairy tales, of course!
Classic fairy tales have been around for so long that they deserve some fun reimaginings like these, giving us a new take on an old tale. Here is a list of children’s books that retell fairy tales for all ages, from toddler to tween.
(Use these books to inspire fractured fairy tale writing of your own!)
Fractured Fairy Tales
Fern and Otto by Stephanie Graegin
Best friends Fern and Otto head out into the woods to find ideas for an exciting story. Along the way, they meet up with many different fairy tale characters, but is that the story they want to tell? This book is sweet, if a bit long, and just the right addition if you’ve been reading or telling lots of fairy tales as the characters might show up in the very well-populated woods of this book!
After The Fall by Dan Santat
A new take on the old tale of Humpty Dumpty. We all know what happens to him, he takes a great fall, but what happens next? This book tells you just that, with a beautifully illustrated story about the perseverance and bravery of a very large egg after his very big and scary fall.
Inside the Villains by Clotilde Perrin
We all know the heroes of fairy tales, but what about the villains? This book explores that darker facet of fairy tales, the villains, through cool, and not too scary, illustrations filled with lift-the-flap style treasures.
The Cloud Spinner by Michael Catchpool and Alison Jay
An interesting take on Rumpelstiltskin with very sweet illustrations. A caring boy is able to spin clouds into the softest of thread, and he knows to take just enough, not too much. But what happens when the greedy king wants all of the royal wardrobe made from this thread, and it uses up all the clouds in the sky?
Once Upon A Goat by Dan Richards and Eric Barclay
What happens when a king and queen wish for a baby again and again, only to find their wish granted with a baby goat instead of a baby human? This is a silly and sweet tale that shows how love is love, no matter what.
Let’s Tell A Story! Fairy Tale Adventure by Lily Murray and Wesley Robins
A choose your own adventure fairy tale? Yes, please! Pick all the details about your story and head off to create your very own fractured fairy tale. Every time you read this one, it can be a totally different fairy tale adventure!
Goldilocks and Just One Bear by Leigh Hodgkinson
Baby Bear has grown up and is heading out on his own when he gets lost in the city and looks for a nice place to take a nap. This one really flips the script on Goldilocks since now Baby Bear is the one breaking and entering!
Red by Jed Alexander
Red is off to her grandmother’s house in the woods, but what does that wolf have in store for her? This wordless picture book creates a whole new reason for Red to be heading to Grandmother’s house, with a fun surprise ending that is luckily very different from the original tale.
The Little Blue Bridge by Brenda Maier and Sonia Sanchez.
Instead of the Three Billy Goats Gruff. This delightful version of Three Billy Goats Gruff has three siblings who are trying to get across the bridge to pick blueberries when a bully stops them. Ruby, the little sister, builds her own bridge, befriends the bully, and gets her brothers to bake her a pie!
The Dinosaurs New Clothes by Diane Goode
This tale stays true to its classic roots, but will delight any dinosaur-loving kid out there! It’s silly to see dinosaurs dressed in their finest, but just as silly to see the mighty T. Rex stomp out proudly in front of the town wearing only a hat! What a great introduction to fairy tales since it is such a fun story, and nobody gets eaten by wolves or captured by witches in this fairy tale!
Schnozzer & Tatertoes Take a Hike! by Rick Stromosky
Hoping to find Tatertoes mom, Schnozzer and Tatetoes journey through the fairy tale story-filled woods where they meet the Three Bears, Hansel and Gretel, and Little Red Riding Hood. The only directions they get is to “follow their nose” which seems very unhelpful. Their adventure is funny with a heartwarming ending.
Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff (ages 8 – 12)
In this wonderfully crafted middle grade novel, Rump is a boy who doesn’t know his true destiny or the danger of magic until he begins to spin gold from straw. This book hits all the notes of a fairy tale: witches, trolls, magic, pixies, danger, adventure, and wicked characters while also weaving in true friendship and finding your path in life. This author also wrote other fractured fairy tales just like this one (Red, Grump, and Jack), all worth a read!
Fairy Tale Comics: Classic Tales Told By Extraordinary Artists edited by Chris Duffy (ages 8 – 12)
Various illustrators come together to create new cartoon versions of old fairy tales in this graphic novel for ages eight to twelve. Not all of the stories in this book are completely reimagined, but there are some with delightful twists. Includes stories with Middle Eastern and Asian heritage too.
Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, and Nathan Hale (ages 8 – 12)
This graphic novel is a quick read for young teens that shows a version of Rapunzel where she doesn’t need to wait for a prince to save her because she can take care of herself! When Rapunzel realizes she was kidnapped as a baby, she and her friend Jack of Jack and The Beanstalk set out on an exciting adventure through the Wild West to find her birth mother and get some revenge, Rapunzel-style.