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Books on the theme of ‘Traditional stories with a twist’

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By Pam Ralphearly years lecturer, Cambridge Regional College

Take a peek at this month’s selection of books focusing on traditional tales with a twist

The Three Horrid Little Pigs and the Big Friendly Wolf by Liz Pichon

An adventure for the three horrid little pigs on every page. Help is at hand from the friendly wolf, but the pigs will not accept it. The ending has a lovely twist on the traditional story. The younger children enjoyed looking at the pictures and talking about what was happening in the story, while the older children found the prose exciting and wanted to join in with familiar words.

Suitable for ages two to five (Little Tiger Press, HB £10.99)

The Wolf Who Cried Boy by Bob Hartman

The story of Wolf, who is so desperate to eat Boy for supper that he plays a trick on his parents to make them chase boys. They are not amused and get so used to him crying ‘boy’ that when real boys appear, they ignore him. The book prompted discussion among the children regarding telling lies and they loved the facial expressions made by Wolf and his parents.

Suitable for ages three to five (Lion, PB £4.99)

The Three Billy Goats’ Stuff! by Bob Hartman

A tale about Troll, the playground bully. Troll tries to get the first two Billy Goats to give up their ‘stuff’ by scaring them as they arrive at school. However, he finally gets his comeuppance when he tries to bully the biggest Billy Goat, only to discover that he is the head teacher. Troll has to give back all that he has taken from the Billy Goats, and his parents have to find Troll a new school.

Suitable for ages three to five (Lion, PB £6.99)

Night-time Tale by Ruth Brown

This charming book takes you through a series of popular fairy stories as a little figure recounts his nightmare to his mother, which includes being lost in a dark forest, running into a little girl in a red cloak and standing at the base of a giant beanstalk. The story ends with a lovely twist, as Mother Bear reassures Baby Bear that fairytales aren’t real, and tucks him back into bed!

Suitable for ages four to seven (Andersen Press, PB £5.99)

Norman’s Ark by Michael Foreman

Norman is a little boy who never tells lies… but strange things just seem to happen to him. While on holiday at a safari park there is a storm, and the animals come to shelter in Norman’s room while his parents are out. Unfortunately, his room is turned upside down by the animals, and when his parents return they are very cross and do not believe his story. The next morning when Norman and his family leave, all the animals say goodbye and thank Norman for his address. Dad hopes this will be the one time that Norman is not telling the truth.

Suitable for ages two and upwards (Andersen Press, PB £5.99)


  1. lauren bent
    on 30 November 2012

    the 3 billy goats stuff

    a funny classical tale that has been alterd to the billy goats going to school and the troll is a bully and is gaurding a climbing frame not a bridge and dosent try to eat them but tries to eat there lunch but when the 3rd billy goat comes it turnes out that he is the new head master and he sends him to a new school where he is one of the smallests and probably gets bullyed his self