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High-Five to the Hero: 15 favourite fairytales retold with boy power

High-Five to the Hero: 15 favourite fairytales retold with boy power

Vita Murrow
Frances Lincoln Childrens Books
ISBN: 9781786037817

High - Five to the Hero by Vita Murrow, illustrated by Julia Bereciartu

I must admit to being a little confused when I first saw this book, after all doesn't the lead male character in most traditional tales play a hero? The woodcutter in Red Riding-hood, Prince Charming in Cinderella, a handsome Prince in Snow White, and even the dwarfs were all male too! How could these stories possibly salute the stories' heroes without changing them completely?

Each story is told across 6 - 8 pages, reinventing each tale without changing it beyond recognition. Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk has two Mum's but still sells the family cow at market, while King Arthur is sent away to boarding school at an early age and then selected to join the student council. Told using modern day language these well known tales maintain their traditional charm but now have an added contemporary twist too.

This ornate fabric covered text certainly doesn't look like most books found in the classroom, however, having shared a selection of the stories in it with my Year 4 class I now have a list of readers awaiting their turn to read the rest. The use of high quality vocabulary in this book makes it great for introducing new words and provides numerous opportunities for discussion. The subtle changes to the storyline mean that the children listen carefully, keen to point out where the story might deviate from the more traditional version they are familiar with, which in turn leads into some great class or group discussion.

A delightful selection of colourful illustrations by Julia Bereciartu enhances each story, helping to draw in young readers who might not yet be quite ready for this level of text, making this an equally good book to share as a family at home.

High five to the Hero, with it's selection of easy to listen to tales will undoubtedly appeal to young and old.

This delightful book will make someone a great gift this Christmas!

96 pages / 4-8 Years / Reviewed by Sam Phillips, teacher


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