Sunday, October 25, 2009

How to save your tail by Mary Hanson

Once upon a time …. and they both lived happily ever after…. These are the first and last words of How to save your tail.

Storytelling and fairy tales are at the heart of the quirky little book with the intriguing subtitle “If you are a rat nabbed by cats who really likes stories about magic spoons, wolves with snout-warts, big, hairy chimney trolls… and cookies too”. The only thing missing from this little gem is a few cookie recipes. Those butter cookies with cream cheese filling and a sinful blend of spice, mint chips and sugar, sound delicious.

When Bob, the rat, is caught by two huge cats it seems his life might be about to end but Bob is a resourceful rat blessed with a great talent for storytelling. Using his stories based wildly on well known but very mixed up fairy tales, Bob charms his captors and in turn saves his own skin. Each story has a link to a member of Bob’s family and there is a helpful family tree at the beginning of this book so the reader can identify Bob's ancestors.

This is a book for children who really know their fairy tales such as Jack and the beanstalk, The three little pigs, Cinderella and The three billy goats gruff. The illustrations and final map all add to the fun.

This would make a terrific read-a-loud for children in Years 2-4. You might also look for Seriously Silly stories by Laurence Anholt and our new series Happy Ever After by Tony Bradman if the idea of twisting fairy tales appeals to you.

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