Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Once Upon A Fairy Tale - Starbright Foundation

Summary: This collaborative production, a fund-raiser for the Starbright Foundation, which helps seriously ill young people, takes readers on a romp through four familiar folktales: "Little Red Riding Hood," "The Frog Prince," "Goldilocks and the Three Bears," and "Rumplestiltskin." Celebrities such as Barbra Streisand and Nicolas Cage speak as characters from the stories, each using a distinctive voice, which readers can hear on the accompanying CD or read on a single page. A picture executed by a well-known illustrator faces each page of text. Children who know the classic versions of the stories will appreciate the way the retellers cleverly insert motivation and new contexts, giving old tales a distinctively modern spin. (Summary and image from Amazon.com)

My Review: I LOVE this book. I was introduced to it during college in one of my reading endorsement classes. The illustrations are beautiful, even some of the abstract and odd ones. The CD that accompanies the book with famous actors and actresses reading the characters is fantastic, and the idea of breaking the fairy tale into separate parts for each character adds a new twist on old favorites. In this book (there is another Starbright Foundation book I'll review soon) my favorite parts are Rumpilstilskin read by Michael Myers and the Wolf (Little Red Riding Hood) read by Robin Williams. Lisa Kudrow does a great job with Little Red Riding Hood as well.

As a side note for any educators: I use this to teach both Theme and Point of View. The themes for each story are easily discerned and can make a fast post-test on a theme unit. The Point of View (1st person) and character development are fun and the kids seem to grasp the concepts quickly.

What I love most is that people of all ages can enjoy this book. My 3 year old daughter loves the stories, my 14 year old middle school students love humor from their favorite actors/actresses, and as an adult it is fun to listen to your old favorites with distinctly different illustrations on every page. Bonus: proceeds go to help sick kids! Books, fun, helping kids: what could be better?

Rating: 5 Stars

In A Phrase: A new, very fun, take on old classic fairy tales.

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