Fractured Fairy Tales

November 3, 2008
By Edie Singer, Portland, OR

Fractured Fairy Tales by A.J. Jacobs is a funny book but sometimes the humor gets a little old. For example, in the tale Prince Hyacinth and the Dear Little Princess, the author writes: "…in the kingdom of Normandy, located near Third and LaBrea, there lived a king, named Dum the Seventy-Third. You see, that's how kingdoms get their names. From a king named Dum. Funny, huh?" Actually, it's not that funny. Another time that the author's humor fails is in the tale The Witches Broom, when he writes: "Mirror, mirror on the wall---and don't you dare crack on me—how can I win the prince's love?"

The book is a new twist on the classic fairy tales, a style that has been done many times before. Lots of authors have written fractured fairy tales and this one was not unique at all. Most are written for entertainment but some have moral lessons at the end as well. The Princess and the Pea is one of those tales. The lesson in this tale is: Don't hurt your friends for money.

A.J. Jacobs is a mediocre writer who did not catch my interest very much. If he was going to write fractured fairy tales, he should have at least added a different touch. Kids from the ages of 6-9 may enjoy this book and think it is funny. I would recommend reading a few stories at a time rather than cover-to-cover. It is a great read-aloud for babysitters or substitute teachers who are looking to fill time. I would not recommend this book to anyone over the age of nine. The best part about this book is that it is a short book with short tales, so if you are looking to kill time, you may want to pick up this book. Star rating: I rate this two star.

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