Very Short Fairy Tales to Read Together: You Read to Me, I'll Read to You
Mary Ann Hoberman & Michael Emberley
Little, Brown & Co., 2004 (2004)
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
o you and your kids enjoy reading fairy tales together? If so, you'll adore Mary Ann Hoberman's take on them. She brings together characters who are adversarial in the originals, with a back and forth dialog in rhyme (and new endings)! Its stupendous fun, enhanced by Michael Emberley's amusing illustrations.
nside the covers we find Goldilocks trading verses with Baby Bear; the Princess with a somewhat squished pea; Jack (of Beanstalk fame) with the ogre; Little Red Riding Hood with the Wolf (she makes him disgorge granny); Cinderella with two very ugly stepsisters; the surviving Little Pig with Big Bad Wolf (in very hot water); the Little Red Hen with the not so helpful Cat, Dog and Duck; and the '
biggest billy goat
' Gruff with a ferocious bridge guardian troll (who has '
worries and woes
' of his own).
hey're all entertaining but my favorite has to be '
The Three Little Pigs
' ... '
I'm Big Bad Wolf / I'm Little Pig. / You're very small. / 'You're very big. / But now I've got you / In my pot. / The water's getting very hot.
' It's the changing expressions on the poor Wolf's face as the water heats up around him that got to me. Though the Wolf repents and the duo decide '
You'll read to me. / I'll read to you
', I was glad to see that the smart little pig left the wolf tied up while reading!
y younger son was not an enthusiastic early reader, and this is exactly how his interest arose in books. I read to him, and then it was his turn to read to me - gradually his turns got longer and longer as he began to enjoy what he read. I highly recommend the approach and I loved
You Read to Me, I'll Read to You : Very Short Fairy Tales to Read Together
for this, as well as its modeling of characters working out problems together.
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