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Pages and Files
Focused Reading Skills
Readership Targeted Lists
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Feminist fairy tales
Feminist Fairy Tales
Kate and the Beanstalk by Mary Pope Osborne
Molly Whuppie and the Giant
The Fourth Pig
The Practical Princess by Jay Williams
Prince Cinders by Babette Cole
Rumpelstiltskin's Daughter by Diane Stanley. In this revised fairy tale, Hope, Rumpelstiltskin's daughter may not br able to spin straw into gold, but she is more than a match for a monarch whose greed has blighted an entire kingdom.
Little Red Cowboy Hat by Susan Lowell
Tales from the Brothers Grimm and the Sisters Weird by Vivian Vande Velde
Cinder Edna by Ellen Jackson
Sleeping Ugly by Jane Yolen
The King's Equal by Katherine Paterson
Not One Damsel in Distress edited by Jane Yolen.
"Mutsmag" is an Appalachian folktale with a strong heroine and she's even more independent and resourceful than her European counterpart, Molly Whuppie, who is in many of these feminist anthologies.
R. Rex Stephenson's first published play, which is still performed for young audiences by theatres in various places, is The Liberated Cinderella,
The Return of the Godfather, a One-act Comedy. Schulenburg, TX: I. E.Clark, 1974.
Franny's Dream is a spin-off of Cinderella.
Antonia Barber's The Enchanter's Daughter is a beautiful picture book with a strong female and contains power struggles with father figures.
Princess Florecita and the Iron Shoes: A Spanish Fairy Tale by John Stewig and K. Wendy Popp (Knopf, 1995).
Sleepless Beauty by Frances Minters is a zany contemporary parody.
Fearless Girls, Wise Women, and Beloved Sisters.
Dove Isabeau by Jane Yolen (in a picture book with illus. by Dennis Nolan) is a great tale based on old ballads about a young woman changed into a
dragon (rescued by her lover and in Yolen's version she rescues him in return and is admired for her dragon spirit).
The Old Woman Who Used to Live in a Vinegar Bottle. This tale is one where a fairy grants the wishes .of an old woman who is never satisfied and is always seeking something grander despite having said that she would be satisfied with the one change.
Jane Yolen, Not One Damsel in Distress. Silver Whistle/Harcourt, 2000. 112p.
Beatrice Masini, A Brave Little Princess. Barefoot Books. 2000. 32p. The princess is 8, but looks as if she were 6, and she is tired of hearing how small she is. She has three adventures and saves the kingdom.
Jim and the Beanstalk
Katherine Patterson. The Wide-Awake Princess. Clarion. 2000. 48p picture book.
Eleanor Farjeon, Elsie Piddock Skips in her Sleep, Candlewick, 2000 48p. picture book.
Ruby by Michael Emberley (A Red Riding Hood tale)
Little Red Riding Hood, A New Fangled Prairie Tale by Lisa Campbell Ernst
To Capture the Wind by Sheila MacGill Callahan, ill. by Gregory Manchess
Rimonah of the Flashing Sword, adapted by Eric A. Kimmel, ill. by Omar Rayyan
Princess Smartypants by Babette Cole
Princess Furball (A Cinderella tale) by Charlotte Huck (not as overtly feminist as some of the others on this list, but still good. One of the few modern versions to imply the incestuous relationship desired by the father that exists in older versions of the tale--take a look at the pictures of the ogre she is supposed to marry...)
Tatterhood and Other Tales, edited by Ethel Johnston Phelps -- this was popular with a class of kindergarten/first graders where I co-taught. The stories would appeal to older elementary, also.
Don't Bet on the Prince edited by Jack Zipes.
Shower of Gold: Girls and Women in the Stories of India, retold by Uma Krishnaswami
Grandmothers' Stories by Burleigh Muten
Noah's Wife: The Story of Naamah by Sandy Sasso
The Woman who Outshone the Sun by Zubizaretta (this also has an environmental theme)
Frog Girl, by Paul Owen Lewis
Watch Out for Clever Women, retold by Joe Hayes (Hispanic folk tales with strong female protagonists)
Mighty Mountain and the Three Strong Women by Irene Hedlund (Japanese folk tale)
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