Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Review: Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl

Synopsis: Did you think Cinderella married the prince and lived happily ever after, or that the three little pigs out-smarted the wolf? Think again! Master storyteller Roald Dahl adds his own comic trists to six favorite tales, complete with rambunctious rhymes and hilarious surprise endings. Fairy tales have never been more revolting! (from the back of the book)

Review: In my review of MacDonald's The Golden Key, I mentioned that I did not enjoy Victorian Fairy Tales. Probably because I very much enjoy fairy tales like the ones found in Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes, and they are as un-Victorian as one can get. From Cinderella (who marries a jam-maker instead of a prince) to Little Red Riding Hood (who becomes a wolf-killer) to Jack in the Bean Stalk (who avoids the Giant by taking a bath) - these are just my sort of wickedly funny and irreverent tales. Several elicited a decidedly evil chuckle from me. I particular enjoyed how Red Riding Hood showed up in the story of the Three Little Pigs and how the ended badly for some and not for others.
This would be an excellent read for elementary age kids. Told in rhyming verse, they not only introduce kids to poetry, but also to the subversion of fairy tales, imagination, and creativity. After reading this, one might have kids write their own retold fairy tale, or their own poetry. Dahl, like Shel Silverstein, has a way of using silliness to convey life’s larger lessons. Worth reading for kids and adults alike. 

Bookmarks: 8 of 10

Awards: None

ISBN: 0-439-59848-5
Year Published: 1982
Date Finished: 6-27-2016
Pages: 47

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