Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes

( 7 )

Overview

I guess you think you know this story.

You don't. The real one's much more gory.

The phoney one, the one you know,

Was cooked up years and years ago. . . .


With his famous wicked humor and the ...
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Overview

I guess you think you know this story.

You don't. The real one's much more gory.

The phoney one, the one you know,

Was cooked up years and years ago. . . .


With his famous wicked humor and the cunning of a big bad wolf, master storyteller and satirist Roald Dahl retells his six favorite fairy tales. Get ready for Dahl's diabolical version of what really happened to Cinderella, Goldilocks, the Three Little Pigs, Jack and the Beanstalk, Snow White, and Little Red Riding Hood.

Humorous retellings in verse of six well-known fairy tales featuring surprise endings in place of the traditional happily-ever-after.

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Editorial Reviews

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
A sophisticated spoof.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The stories of Cinderella, Goldilocks, the Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood have been retold in verses featuring mayhem, greed, betrayals and murder, from two gifted collaborators. (8-up)
Publishers Weekly
The stories of Cinderella, Goldilocks, The Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood unspool in "verses featuring mayhem, greed, betrayals and murder, from two gifted collaborators," wrote PW. Ages 8-up. (Mar.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Budding comparative lit majors will love these fractured fairytales. The stories cry out for performance assessment. Older readers will appreciate the familiar morals run amok, which are good fun minus preaching. In fact, it's difficult to know the villains from the heroes. Nobody is either all good or bad. Red Riding Hood hunts endangered species; Goldilocks is a delinquent accused of breaking and entering. The modern day monsters are scarier too. Child abuse and concealed weapons overshadow hungry giants and wolves, and when characters die, they stay dead. Read aloud is best. It makes it easy to find the rhyme and young listeners will have questions about the text. Originally published in 1982, Dahl mirrored society with revolting accuracy—just what good literature should do. Based on that criterion, the book may become a gentle classic. For the present, some stories are PG for language and inappropriate in the elementary classroom. 2003 (orig. 1982), Puffin Books/Penguin Putnam,
— Tina Dybvik <%ISBN%>0142302260
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140375336
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 2/28/1995
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 7 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.03 (w) x 7.79 (h) x 0.14 (d)

Meet the Author

Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl is, quite simply, one of the best loved children’s book authors of all time.
He died in 1990 in Oxford, England, at the age of 74.

Quentin Blake, the first Children’s Laureate of the United Kingdom, has illustrated most of Roald Dahl’s children’s books.

Biography

"I have never met a boy who so persistently writes the exact opposite of what he means," a teacher once wrote in the young Roald Dahl's report card. "He seems incapable of marshaling his thoughts on paper." From such inauspicious beginnings emerged an immensely successful author whom The Evening Standard would one day dub "one of the greatest children's writers of all time."

Dahl may have been an unenthusiastic student, but he loved adventure stories, and when he finished school he went out into the world to have some adventures of his own. He went abroad as a representative of the Shell corporation in Dar-es-Salaam, and then served in World War II as a pilot in the Royal Air Force. After the war, Dahl began his writing career in earnest, publishing two well-received collections of short stories for adults, along with one flop of a novel.

The short stories, full of tension and subtle psychological horror, didn't seem to presage a children's author. Malcolm Bradbury wrote in The New York Times Book Review, "[Dahl's] characters are usually ignoble: he knows the dog beneath the skin, or works hard to find it." Yet this talent for finding, and exposing, the nastier sides of grown-up behavior served him well in writing for children. As Dahl put it, "Writing is all propaganda, in a sense. You can get at greediness and selfishness by making them look ridiculous. The greatest attribute of a human being is kindness, and all the other qualities like bravery and perseverance are secondary to that."

In 1953, Dahl married the actress Patricia Neal; two of his early children's books, James and the Giant Peach (1961) and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) grew out of the bedtime stories he made up for their children. Elaine Moss, writing in the Times, called the latter "the funniest children's book I have read in years; not just funny but shot through with a zany pathos which touches the young heart." Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was a colossal hit. A film version starring Gene Wilder was released in 1971 (as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory), while James and the Giant Peach was made into a movie in 1996.

Dahl followed his initial successes with a string of bestsellers, including Danny, the Champion of the World, The Twits, The BFG, The Witches and Matilda. Some adults objected to the books' violence -- unpleasant characters (like James’s Aunts Sponge and Spiker) tend to get bumped off in grotesque and inventive ways -- but Dahl defended his stories as part of a tradition of gruesome fairy tales in which mean people get what they deserve. "These tales are pretty rough, but the violence is confined to a magical time and place," he said, adding that children like violent stories as long as they're "tied to fantasy and humor." By the time of his death in 1990, Dahl's mischievous wit had captivated so many readers that The Times called him "one of the most widely read and influential writers of our generation."

Good To Know

When Dahl was in school, he and his schoolmates occasionally served as new-product testers for the Cadbury chocolate company. Dahl used to dream of working in a chocolate manufacturer's inventing room. He wrote in his autobiography, "I have no doubt at all that, 35 years later, when I was looking for a plot for my second book for children, I remembered those little cardboard boxes and the newly invented chocolates inside them, and I began to write a book called Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."

Dahl's first book for children, The Gremlins (1943), was a story about the mythical creatures that sabotaged British planes. (Dahl claimed for most of his life that he had coined the term "gremlins," but it had been in use by members of the Royal Air Force for years.) Walt Disney planned to use it as the basis for a movie, but the project was scrapped, and only 5,000 copies of the book were ever printed.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      September 13, 1916
    2. Place of Birth:
      Llandaff, Wales, England
    1. Date of Death:
      November 23, 1990
    2. Place of Death:
      Oxford, England

Read an Excerpt

Cinderella

I guess you think you know this story.
You don't. The real one's much more gory.
The phony one, the one you know,
Was cooked up years and years ago,
And made to sound all soft and sappy
just to keep the children happy. Mind you, they got the first bit right,
The bit where, in the dead of night,
The Ugly Sisters, jewels and all,
Departed for the Palace Ball,
While darling little Cinderella
Was locked up in the slimy cellar,
Where rats who wanted things to eat
Began to nibble at her feet.
She bellowed, "Help!" and "Let me out!"
The Magic Fairy heard her shout.
Appearing in a blaze of light,
She said, "My dear, are you all right?" '
All right?" cried Cindy. "Can't you see
I feel as rotten as can be!"

She beat her fist against the wall,
And shouted, "Get me to the Ball!
There is a Disco at the Palace!
The rest have gone and I am jalous!
I want a dress! I want a coach!
And earrings and a diamond brooch!
And silver slippers, two of those!
And lovely nylon pantyhose!
Thereafter it will be a cinch
To hook the handsome Royal Prince!"
The Fairy said, "Hang on a tick."
She gave her Wand a mighty flick
And quickly, in no time at all,
Cindy was at the Palace Ball!
It made the Ugly Sisters wince

To see her dancing with the Prince.
She held him very tight and pressed
Herself against his manly chest. The Prince himself was turned to pulp,
All he could do was gasp and gulp.
Then midnight struck. She shouted, "Heck!”
I've got to run to save my neck!"
ThePrince cried, "No! Alas! Alack!"
He grabbed her dress to hold her back.
As Cindy shouted, "Let me go!"
The dress was ripped from head to toe.
She ran out in her underwear,
But lost one slipper on the stair.
The Prince was on it like a dart,
He pressed it to his pounding hear
t. "The girl this slipper fits," he cried,
"Tomorrow morn shall be my bride! I'll visit every house in town
Until I've tracked the maiden down!"
Then rather carelessly, I fear,
He placed it on a crate of beer.

At once, one of the Ugly Sisters
(The one whose face was blotched with blisters)
Sneaked up and grabbed the dainty shoe,
And quickly flushed it down the loo.
Then in its place she calmly put
The slipper from her own left foot.
Ah-ha, you see, the plot grows thicker,
And Cindys luck starts looking sicker.
Next day, the Prince went charging down
To knock on all the doors in town.
In every house, the tension grew.
Who was the owner of the shoe?
The shoe was huge and frightfully wide.
(A normal foot got lost inside.)
Also it smelled a wee bit icky.
(The owner's feet were hot and sticky.)
Thousands of eager people came
To try it on, but all in vain.
Now came the Ugly Sisters' go.
One tried it on. The Prince screamed, "No!"
But she screamed, "Yes! It fits! Whoopee!
So now you've got to marry me!"
The Prince went white from ear to ear.

He muttered, "Let's get out of here."
"Oh no you don't! You've made a vow!
There's no way you can back out now!
"Off with her head!" the Prince roared back.
They chopped it off with one big whack.
This pleased the Prince. He smiled and said,
"She's prettier without her head."
Then up came Sister Number Two,
Who yelled, "Now I will try the shoe!"
"Try this instead!" the Prince yelled back.
He swung his trusty sword and smack
Her head went crashing to the ground.
It bounced a bit and rolled around.
In the kitchen, peeling spuds, Cinderella heard the thuds
Of bouncing heads upon the floor,
And poked her own head round the door.
"What's all the racket?" Cindy cried.
"Mind your own bizz," the Prince replied.
Poor Cindys heart was torn to shreds.
My Prince! she thought. He chops off heads!
How could I marry anyone
Who does that sort of thing for fun?

The Prince cried, "Who's this dirty slut?
Off with her nut! Off with her nut!"
just then, all in a blaze of light,
The Magic Fairy hove in sight,
Her Magic Wand went swoosh and swish!
"Cindy!" she cried. "Come make a wish!
Wish anything and have no doubt
That I will make it come about!"
Cindy answered, "Oh kind Fairy,
This time I shall be more wary.
No more Princes, no more money
I have had my taste of honey
I'm wishing for a decent man.
They're hard to find. D'you think you can?"
Within a minute, Cinderella
Was married to a lovely feller,
A simple jam-maker by trade,
Who sold good homemade marmalade.
Their house was filled with smiles and laughter
And they were happy ever after.


From the Hardcover Library Binding edition.

Copyright 2002 by Roald Dahl; illustrated by Quentin Blake
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2006

    'Curse words' don't detract from suitability

    This is a fantastic collection of poetry by a fantastic children's author, and while yes, some relatively foul language is used, that does not make it unsuitable. The words in the book are significantly less severe than words your child hears daily on television, the radio, on the streets, and probably even from you on the phone. It is better to allow your child to enjoy this beautiful piece of literature while he is still young than it is to exert wild censorship. If you teach your child that words such as 'h*ll' and 'sl*t' are used for rhyming purposes but are quite rude and are not to be used, he will never face the confusion that an uneducated child faces when he uses foul language that he didn't understand was wrong to use.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2006

    Great!

    In my opinion, this book is one of the best poem books. All the poems were well written and funny. I loved reading them!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2005

    exciting!

    the book was good. I enjoyed it very much reading this.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2003

    For older readers

    The book does have some good stories, but the language is not for elementary school age children. Not your typical Roald Dahl book. It's too bad he felt as if curse words had to be used - otherwise a good book. Recommended for 9th grade and up. Very inappropriate for younger children.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2003

    Not for children

    This book should be put in the adult section. It has some curse words in it and as a mom with young children do not want them reading this book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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