Put on your dancing shoes and grab your reading glasses! The world premiere of Joseph McDonough and David Kisor’s The Dancing Princesses is on stage at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati November 29-December 30, 2017!
Before or after you see the show, check out this enchanting reading list compiled by The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. These books based on classic myths, legends, and folk tales are just the thing to get you in the fairy tale mood!
Books for Kids
The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! by Jon Scieszka
In this charming retelling of the well-known story, the wolf gives his own outlandish version of what really happened when he tangled with the three little pigs… When missing cake ingredients, an uncontrollable sneezing fit, and a bad temper lead to property destruction, it’s no wonder this wolf made the headlines!
The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith
This hilarious book includes madcap revisions of familiar fairy tales: from Little Red Running Shorts to The Princess and the Bowling Ball to Cinderumpelstilskin… With an unconventional page layout, fantastical artwork, and individual stories told by Jack from Jack in the Beanstalk, there’s no telling what might happen next or who might show up!
The Olive Fairy Book collected and edited by Andrew Lang
Travel around the world and back in time with this huge collection of timeless fairy tales from Turkey, India, Denmark, Armenia, Sudan, and the pen of Anatole France. Though from many cultures and backgrounds, the tales are told in universal fairy tale language: Kings and queens, princes and princesses, enchanted creatures and landscapes. With intricate and elegant illustrations accompanying these unique stories, The Olive Fairy Book will welcome kids and grownups alike to magical lands. Be sure to look for other fairy books by Andrew Lang as well!
The Seven Chinese Brothers by Margaret Mahy
In colorful language well suited to a story of ingenuity and valor, Mahy presents a famous Chinese folktale about brothers with amazing powers. This version of the story is more elaborate than most tellings: emphasizing action and humor. Replete with striking character portraits, the dramatic watercolors evoke the Orient and provide authentic, historical details. As in all fine picture books, text and illustrations blend, creating an inviting world for young readers and listeners and heightening the story’s dramatic impact. Children will be caught up in the many narrow escapes and will benefit from the subtle lesson on the importance of working together.
Books for Adults
Stardust by Neil Gaiman
At the dawn of the Victorian Era, the sleepy English countryside town of Wall stands with an imposing stone barrier surrounding a fertile grassland. Armed sentries guard the sole gap in the bulwark, only relaxing their vigil once every nine years for a market fair unlike any other. Here in Wall, young Tristran Thorn has lost his heart to beautiful Victoria Forester, but Victoria is cold and distant–as distant as the star she and Tristran see fall from the sky on a crisp October evening. For the coveted prize of Victoria’s hand, Tristran vows to retrieve the fallen star and deliver it to his beloved. He goes over the ancient wall, and is propelled into a world that is strange beyond imagining. Can a lad compelled by love survive where fallen stars come in many guises–where quests branch off in unexpected directions, even turning back upon themselves in space and in time?
The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
She was magical, beautiful beyond belief, and completely alone… The unicorn had lived since before memory in a forest where death could touch nothing. Maidens who caught a glimpse of her glory were blessed by enchantment they would never forget. But outside her wondrous realm, dark whispers and rumours carried a message she could not ignore: “Unicorns are gone from the world.” Aided by a bumbling magician and an indomitable spinster, she set out to learn the truth. but she feared even her immortal wisdom meant nothing in a world where a mad king’s curse and terror incarnate lived only to stalk the last unicorn to her doom…
Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi
My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: forty new fairy tales, edited by Kate Bernheimer
The fairy tale lives again in this book of forty new stories by some of the biggest names in contemporary fiction. This collection is a thrilling celebration of fairy tales–the ultimate literary costume party with spinning houses and talking birds, whispered secrets and borrowed hope. Here are new stories sewn from old skins gathered by visionary editor and inspired by everything from Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen” and “The Little Match Girl” to Charles Perrault’s “Bluebeard” and “Cinderella” to the Brothers Grimm’s “Hansel and Gretel” and “Rumpelstiltskin” to fairy tales by Goethe and Calvino and from China, Japan, Vietnam, Russia, Norway, and Mexico. This exhilarating collection restores the fairy tale’s place in the literary canon.
Bonus Material: Family Movies!
This beloved classic fairytale begins with a grandfather reading his favorite book “The Princess Bride” to his hard-to-impress grandson. This book, he promises, has everything – “Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Revenge. Giants. Monsters. Chases. Escapes. True love. Miracles.” – and all that he promised comes to life before the boy’s enchanted eyes as his grandfather reads him the adventures of Buttercup, the most beautiful woman in the world, and Westley, the man she loves.
The Evil Queen orders the Huntsman to take Snow White into the woods and kill her, but, in a twist to the original fairy tale, the Huntsman winds up becoming Snow White’s protector and mentor. The two train in the art of war, and begin a quest to vanquish the evil queen.
The magically long-haired Rapunzel has spent her entire life in a tower, but now that a runaway thief, Flynn, has stumbled upon her, she is about to discover the world for the first time, and who she really is. Can Rapunzel and Flynn successfully outrun their pursuers while discovering the “floating lights” and facing the truth about their pasts?
Disney’s live-action re-telling of it’s animated classic Beauty and the Beast refashions the tale as old as time. In this fantastic journey, Belle, a bright, beautiful, and independent young woman is taken prisoner by the Beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart and soul of the Prince within.
Fifteen-year-old Sarah secretly wishes her infuriating baby brother Toby would just disappear, but when her wish comes true and Toby is kidnapped by goblins, she sets out on the journey of a lifetime to bring him home. In order to save him, she must sneak into the Goblin King’s castle in the center of the fantastical labyrinth: a maze filled with strange creatures, mind-bending puzzles, and where the ordinary becomes extraordinary.