(TBR) Cinder by Marissa Meyer about a a cyborg named Cinder who is looked at as a burden by her stepmother. Even though society views her as a technical malfunction, being a cyborg has allowed her to have some incredible abilities, abilities which has caught the attention of the prince. When Cinder’s stepmother blames her for getting her sick with the plague she volunteers her daughter to scientists, which is considered a death sentence. Will Cinder survive or even greater lead scientists to a profound revelation?

This book is a unique take on the classic Cinderella and is a great story for those that like a little futuristic science fiction fairy tale. I would also recommend it to children 11 and older due to some of the difficult language and concepts that are a little far out. I would also recommend it to those who enjoy a positive and touch female role-model as Cinder is sure to not disappoint. This is also the first and a series.


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The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales

The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Siesta and illustrated by Lane Smith is a collection of funny, modern, and interesting new takes on classic children’s stories and fairy tales. From new versions of fairy tales such as The Gingerbread Man and The Ugly Duckling it is sure to have you and your kids laughing and rethinking everything they thought they knew (about fairy tales that is). This book has won several awards such as a Caldecott Honor, and New York Times Notable Book of the Year. With 56 pages, this is collection of hilarious stories that you won’t want to put down. I would recommend this story to all ages but specifically to children 3 and older and to children who love fairy tales and anything funny. This silly modern take on classic tales is sure to have you giggling.


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The Paper Bag Princess

The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Michael Martchenko is about Princess Elizabeth. Princess Elizabeth is about to marry a Prince when her castle is attacked by a dragon and kidnaps him. In this funny tale you see how Princess Elizabeth is smart and resourceful, but is she a match for the dragon? Can she rescue her prince?

In this modern take on a princess tale, a female (and a princes at that) is the one doing the saving! This princess is independent, smart, and well un-princess like. This is an important message to children as she is a great example of a powerful female. I would recommend this story to children ages 3 and older.


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The boy on Fairfield Street

The boy on Fairfield Street by Kathleen Krill and illustrated by Steve Johnson is about the incredible story of none other than Dr. Seuss. With children as the audience, this story does a great job showcases who Dr. Seuss was and how he came to be. This is an inspiring story about doing what you love to do, never giving up on yourself and seeing things just a little bit differently. This humous and inspiring tale is recommended to children 5 and older and can be especially appealing to children who love Dr. Seuss stories.


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Lesson Plan

Jack: The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk

Jack: The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk by New York Times Best Selling Author, Liesl Shurtliff. This book is a funny retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk and it is adventurous and determination. Jack along with his sister Annabelle are driven to take back what was stollen from them…stolen by giants that is. This magical tale about believing in the unseen and following your gut. I would recommend this story to children 8 and older, especially to those that love adventure and a great battle with giants.


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Interrupting Chicken

2011 Caldecott Honor Interrupting Chicken is by David Ezra Stein. This book is about a little chicken who can’t help but interrupt her dad while they are reading bedtime stories. This energetic tale is about imagination and speaking your mind, and having fun. It is a silly and humorous tale with beautiful and vibrant illustrations to match. With such a related subject children (and parents) will be able to relate to this story. This book will have you and your children interrupting with laughter. I would recommend this story to children 4 and older.


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Summary and Reviews

Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin

Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by New York Times Bestselling Author, Liesl Shurtliff. This book is a modern spin on the classic Rumpelstiltskin. With his best friend Red Riding Hood Rump discovers he has a gift of spinning straw into gold, although he finds out this magical gift may not be a gift after all….in fact it is more of a curse.

This new spin on Rumpelstiltskin helps teach about perspectives and that there are more than one side to every tale. I would recommend this story to children 8 and older and especially those who like stories about courage, friendship, and magic.


Readers Guide with Discussion Questions

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Read-along Quiz

Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters

Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe is a Caldecott Honor and was featured on Reading Rainbow. This is a beautiful retelling of Cinderella that is inspired by traditional African folktale. This is a great story that teaches about culture and the power of being kind. Mufaro is proud of his two daughters, and takes them to the king, but only one of them can marry him. Will it be the kind and thoughtful Nyasha or the mean, selfish Manyara. With stunning illustrations and a powerful message about morals, this story shows that being kind and considerate pays off in the end. I would recommend this story to all children, specifically children 4 and older. This allows you to have great discussions about right and wrong.


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The True Story of The 3 Little Pigs!

The True Story of The 3 Little Pigs! by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith is about the story of the three little pigs told from the wolf’s perspective. This story teaches about different perspectives, helping children understand empty and that there are more than one side to a story. With the wolf’s hilarious version of what really went down with the three little pigs you and your kids will be huffing and puffing with laughter. But is the wolf as sweet and innocent as he tries to seem? I’ll let you be the judge of that.

I think this is an excellent story for all children, especially children 4 and older and it allows you to have some very good discussions about perspectives.


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