Saturday, November 2, 2013

Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes

A version of Snow White that has pawnshops and gambling on horse races.  A rhyming, rhythmic condemnation of that dastardly Goldilocks and her unfortunate criminal tendencies.  A pistol-packing, morally ambiguous Red Riding Hood.  Roald Dahl is a dark writer with a good ear, and these are a lot of fun, and very satisfying.  Fine for bright 7 year olds as long as you're ok with your 7 year old reading about murder and crime, which really, if they're reading fairy tales, they're already doing.  Also enjoyable to read out loud to your friends while you cook dinner or do something else that, in true fairy tale fashion, involves knives and/or food.

Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes are parodies, but they contain enough of the core story of each fairy tale to function as stand-alone versions.  You could do a great double feature with Roald Dahl's Goldilocks and some of the recent Goldilocks picture books - maybe the Mo Willems one where Goldilocks is being lured in by Three Dinosaurs, or Leigh Hodgkinson's Goldilocks and Just One Bear, where turnabout is fair play and the bear invades Goldilocks's house.