Children's Literature - Beverley FaheyFour familiar fairy tales (The Three Pigs, Cinderella, The Three Bears and Jack and the Beanstalk) are used as the springboard for creative writing. Each chapter begins with a simple retelling of the tales followed by a variety of follow-up activities. There is plenty of advice and lots of examples showing how to move beyond the original tale, such as storyboards, creative endings, writing an invitation to Cinderella for the prince's ball, and describing a scene in a story. Children are asked to imagine and describe what the giant looks like, what the prince thought when he saw Cinderella, how the story would be different if Goldilocks made friends with the bears, or what the pigs might say in a postcard to their mother. One of the more creative ideas is to do factual research on bears or castles. One of the best features of the book is the word bank of verbs and adjectives accompanying each sample story, encouraging writers to enhance their work with engaging sentences. The layout is colorful, directions are easy to follow, and the whole has a very child-like appeal. For a classroom teacher there is nothing new or original in these creative writing ideas but having them all in one book might be useful and a welcome addition to a classroom collection. For a parent wanting to foster and strengthen their child's writing skills this may just be the ticket to success. Reviewer: Beverley Fahey
School Library JournalGr 2�4—Each book contains four stories that are used as models. Expressive vignettes accompany the tales. Corresponding activities for aspiring writers to try out follow each example, e.g., in Adventure, readers are asked to rewrite a story from a different character's point of view. In Fairy Tales, after an abridged version of "Cinderella," children are encouraged to make up an invitation to an event, modeled after Cinderella's invitation to the ball. The variety of suggested writing exercises, along with the short model stories that can be read in a single class period, makes this a serviceable series. Back matter includes even more writing ideas and a grammar glossary.
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