Long Live Us!
written by Edel Wignell
illustrated by Peter Allert
Once upon a time, in a cave under a bridge, there lived a Greedy Troll – and he was hungry! How long would he have to wait for his next meal?
Soon he hears trip-trap, trip-trap, trip-trap, and hurries out. He discovers the Three Bears, who are on a quest to capture Goldilocks and bring her to justice. They persuade the Greedy Troll to wait for their return.
Then more fairytale Goodies arrive, all chasing Baddies and planning to bring them back for punishment. Waiting, imagining a feast, the Greedy Troll gets hungrier and hungrier.
Clever traps, lucky escapes and unwelcome surprises combine in this fascinating fractured fairytale.
ISBN 9781921479465 (Hardback in Australia, paperback elsewhere)
37pp; 216mm x 280mm
Release date: 15 February 2011
Children's picture book
ISBN 9781921869075 (ePub)
Take one greedy troll, add a group of Goodies: three bears, three pigs, one princess and frog prince. Add a group of Baddies: Goldilocks, a hungry wolf, a wicked witch and add Jack’s giant for good measure. Mix them up in a fractured fairytale and you end up with a riotous tale told with quirky humour about Goodies and Baddies and crime and punishment. Readers will realise by the end of the tale that a story without baddies would simply be ‘dreary, deadly-dull’.
This is a wonderful read-aloud story that can be dramatised and thoroughly enjoyed by reader and listener. Readers will love the he rhyme and rhythm of the language…’The witch is a crone –all string and bone. But the Princess and her Guy will be yummy as pie.’
Peter Allert’s illustrations are vibrant and full of humour. They entice the reader to check for small details that reveal more about the characters and scenes.
Primary students who are already familiar with all the characters in the book will thoroughly enjoy their new and unexpected adventures.
– Margaret Warner, Buzz Words
As an author, it’s always inspiring for me to hear about small independent publishers in Australia willing to team first time picture book illustrators and established authors to produce books that readers will enjoy and that give Australian creators an opportunity to showcase their unique talents.
Long Live Us, from IP Kidz is a perfect example of such a venture. Written by Edel Wignell and illustrated by Peter Allert, it is a fractured fairy tale incorporating some much loved fairytale characters. There are the three pigs, Goldilocks, the Three Bears and of course, the evil troll.
– Dee White, Kids Book Capers
If you prefer your fairy tales told in the traditional way this picture book is not for you. The three bears, one of the three little pigs, and the prince ad the princess come to a greedy troll for help in paying back Goldilocks (accused of ‘trespass, vandalism and theft’), the wolf and the wicked witch. The troll plans to double-cross the so-called Goodies but when they return with their captives the tables are turned and they all have to run for their lives from Jack’s Giant and the Baddies. After exchanging ‘high fives’, they all agree that Goodies and Baddies must learn to live together so that children will not have ‘dreary boring’ stories in the future. In 1997, the first version of this story won a ‘fractured fairy tale’ competition, a phrase that accurately describes this book. The illustrations complement the text, which is set in a large clear type. Ages 4-6.
- Elizabeth Douglas, Reading Time
Combine, one greedy Troll, three bears, Goldilocks, three little pigs, one wolf, one Princess, one Frog Prince, one wicked witch and one giant and what do you get? A seriously zany fractured fairytale about Goodies, Baddies, crime and punishment.
Edel and Peter have created a wonderfully fun picture story book by inventing a new adventure for the characters that we know and love. Children will be delighted as they follow their new antics and discover how a story without any Baddies is no story at all.
– Jackie Hosking, Pass It On
Long Live Us is a mixed up fairy tale with characters you would recognise such as the three bears, three little pigs etc – as well as the troll who is only thinking of his stomach. A not so typical tale of goodies versus baddies. Will the goodies be able to outsmart the baddies or will the troll get the better of all of them? It is true that we can do anything when we work together, but not everyone plays fair.
Where would our fairy tales be without baddies? Edel Wignell has taken a different tack on fairy tales with this very good point. All good stories need a bad guy. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose but at least it makes for a good story!
Getting a meal can sure be hard work for a troll; no wonder they are so grumpy. This story is filled with tricks and mishaps, and is a good example of the fractured fairy tale. It won the 1997 Holiday Fantasia Literacy Competition for a Fractured Fairy Tale.
A bit of fun for fairy tale fans.
– Angela Hall, Bug in a Book
Edel Wignell's grandmother was a storyteller. As a kid, Edel loved hearing folk tales. Now she likes sharing them in collections, such as Tying the Knot: folk tales of love and marriage from around the world. She also writes plays based on folk tales - especially Asian folk tales. Her latest collection is The White Elephant: Drama Based on Asian Folk Tales.
Edel thinks it's fun to fracture folk tales and gather some of the pieces to create surprising stories, such as Long Live Us! You can do this, too. If you would like to perform Long Live Us!, go to Edel's website: www.edelwignell.com.au and click on the link: 'Scripts'. Also by Edel is Christina's Matilda, a glimpse of history, illustrated by Elizabeth Botté.
Edel (the name rhymes with 'medal') is a freelance writer, compiler, journalist and poet. She writes for both children and adults, and has more than 90 published books.
Peter Allert has illustrated for most of his life using different materials to eventually find his own style. He has always wanted to create something and share it with other people, and the journey of creating and illustrating a children's book is the most fulfilling to him; he finds illustrations enhance a story and linger in a child's mind long after the reading.
Peter brings life and colour to his illustrations through the simplicity of watercolour pencils. He also experiments with different types of paper and is constantly amazed at the results that can be achieved. He is interested in exploring any subject, but his favourites are Australian animals, fantasy and science fiction.
Long Live Us! is Peter's first published picture book, and he looks forward to the journey of illustrating many more.
Peter talks about the creation process for his illustrations
It's surprising to note that more than 150 fractured folk tales (or fractured fairy tales) have been published in recent years. Not only are they enjoyable for writers to create, they are fun for children to read and dramatize and attempt to write their own.
(I am using the term 'folk tales' in preference to 'fairytales' as tales about fairies have been popular in recent times, and children think that the term applies to stories about winged creatures. Folk tales, being part of the oral tradition (myths, legends, folkore, superstitions), have been handed down by word of mouth over the centuries.
Folk tale structure
The pattern or structure of British and European folk tales – honed by storytellers - is satisfying for listeners.
* They include several 'good' characters (usually three) and one 'baddie', providing conflict.
* There is a problem to solve, and good triumphs over evil.
* A sequence of (usually) three events leads to a climax and a fast resolution. (However, some are more complex.)
Children who have heard and read many folk tales in Lower Primary know this structure (though they may not be able to analyze it) and are able to use it as they create their own stories.
What are fractured folk tales?
These tales take a well-known story and reshape it by any or all of the following means:
* changing the point of view,
* introducing characters from several tales,
* playing with the title
* changing the setting – time and place,
* speculating on what may have happened before or what may happen after.
CHILDREN WRITE THEIR OWN FRACTURED FOLK TALES
Familiarity with folk tales makes children's creative efforts satisfying. Notes on ways in which the tales can be fractured follow, with examples of published tales that may be found in libraries.
For enjoyment of fractured folk tales, children need to be familiar with the originals, so the first step is hearing them. During the early years many children have had opportunities to hear and read the popular western tales, on which most of the published fractured tales have been based. They are able to appreciate the writers' skill and are ready to experiment with the fracturing process.
* Children can suggest the titles of the folk tales that they know and, in groups, revisit them for familiarity with their details.
* Select several published fractured tales for reading, and discuss the changes that have been made to them (see examples below).
* In pairs or threes, children may choose any character in a folk tale and re-tell it from that character's viewpoint.
C. Ways in which folk tales can be fractured 1. Viewpoint of the 'baddie'
Some of the most popular stories have been told from the point of view of the 'baddie'. In folk tales, wolves are usually bad and witches are ugly. But when the baddies are the narrators, the stories are delightfully different from the originals!
* Richard Tulloch (2008),Twisted Tales: six fairy tales turned inside out,ill. Terry Tenton, Random House, 978 1 74166 274 0 Pb
Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Briar Rose/Sleeping Beauty, Rumpelstiltskin, Hansel and Gretel and Jack and the Beanstalk are told from an alternative viewpoint.
* Edel Wignell (2011) Long Live Us!, ill. Peter Allert, IP Kidz, 978 1 921479 46 5, Hb
The Greedy Troll (from the folk tale, 'The Three Billy-goats Gruff') lives under the bridge. Hungry, he hatches a plan to trap the Goodies and the Baddies from four folk tales, as they pass over the bridge.
* A. Wolf (as told to Jon Scieszka) (1989) The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, ill. Lane Smith, Viking, 978 0 14 054451 0 Pb
The hero is a timid wolf who wants to borrow a cup of sugar to make a birthday cake for his granny. Unfortunately he sneezes, blowing down the houses of the Little Pigs.
* Toby Forward (2005) The Wolf's Story, ill. Izhar Cohen, Walker Books, 978 1 403 0162 5 Pb
The Wolf argues that the whole episode was a series of accidents and he was found guilty on circumstantial evidence. From the pages of the book, the wolf stares at the reader, and invites, for example, 'Would you like to come and sit a bit closer while I tell you about the kid?'
2. Viewpoint of another character.
* Emily Gravett (2008) Spells, Macmillan, 978 0 23001492 3 Hb; 978 0 23053136 9 Pb
A frog finds an old book of spells and has an idea: he could become a prince!
* Mini Grey (2003) The Pea and the Princess, Red Fox, 978 0 09 943233 3 Pb
A modern version of the tale, told from the point of view of the pea.
3. Change of character or characters
* Babette Cole (1987) Prince Cinders, 978 0 14 055525 7 Pb
Prince Cinders takes the Cinderella role, and his three burly brothers are the wicked siblings!
* Eugene Trivizas (1993) The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig, ill. Helen Oxenbury, Egmont Books, 978 1 40530945 8 Pb
Both the characters and the background are changed so that the dwellings are a concrete house, a concrete bunker and a flower-power bower!
* Raymond Briggs (1970) Jim and the Beanstalk, Hamish Hamilton, Puffin, 0 14 050077 4 Pb
When Jim climbs the enormous beanstalk growing beside his bedroom window, he discovers a very old giant needing help, so he provides false teeth, glasses, a wig…
4. Play with a titleor change a word in a title
A title change can be a springboard to a new story.
* Lauren Child (2002) Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Book? Hodder Headline, 0 340 80554 4 Pb
As Herb lies down, he hits his head on a book of fairy tales, and falls asleep. Soon he meets Goldilocks, Cinderella and other characters.
* Dianne Bates (2001) Cinderfella,ill. Peter Viska,Puffin Books (Aussie Nibbles), 978 0 14131265 1 OP
Cinderfella is the brother of Burnt and Crisp. They win a trip to the fun capital of Uranus, and he is left behind. Then his hairy Dogfather transports him to Earth where he meets Princess Esmerelda, and falls in love.
5. Change the setting to a different time or place
* Shirley Hughes (2003) Ella's Big Chance, Red Fox, 978 0 09 943309 5 Pb
Set in the 1920s in a fashionable family, this version has a horrid stepmother, bullying step-sisters and a delightful ending without a prince!
* Bob Graham (2006) Dimpty Dumpty, Walker Books, 978 1 40631901 9 Pb
In this version of the 'Humpty Dumpty' nursery rhyme, background characters rise to the occasion and share the limelight at the appropriate moment.
* Anthony Browne (2010) Me and You, Doubleday, 978 0 38561489 4 Hb
A modern, prosperous family of three bears goes for a walk before lunch. At the same time, a girl from a poor part of the city becomes lost, and enters their house.
* Sharon and Dean Hale (2008) Rapunzel's Revenge, ill. Nathan Hale, Bloomsbury, 978 0 7475 8743 9 Hb
In an American Wild West setting, Rapunzel is imprisoned in a tree in a large forest and rescued by rogue Jack. She becomes his partner-in-crime, the charges being horse thieving, kidnapping, jail breaking… and more!
6. Expand the story
Characters from one folk tale may interact with those of another. Start with simple tales and few characters. Children who enjoy creating stories and are ready for complications will see the possibilities. Plots of tales may be completely changed, and may include many surprises.
* Allan Ahlberg (2007) Previously, ill. Bruce Ingman, Walker Books, 978 1 84428 062 9 Hb; 978 1 4063 1350 5 Pb
What were the characters in familiar folk tales and nursery rhymes doing before their well-known adventures began?
* Hilary Robinson (2004) Mixed Up Fairy Tales, ill. Nick Sharratt, Hodder Children's Books, 978 0 340 97558 2 Hb
Twelve fairy tales are told briefly, with cartoon-style illustrations on the opposite pages. Each is cut into four parallel sections so that the reader can mix and match to create zany variations.
* Ben Brown (2008) The Apple, ill. Tracy Duncan, Puffin, NZ, 978 0 14350 2920 Pb
On the way to visit her granny, a little girl in a hooded red coat, picks up a golden apple. First she meets a wolf who takes the apple, and then other folk tale characters become involved.
* Mini Grey (2006) The Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon, Red Fox, 978 0 09 9475767 Pb
The nursery rhyme is expanded to include what happened next in the story of two lovers who ran away.
* Allan Ahlberg (1977) Jeremiah in the Dark Wood, ill. Janet Ahlberg, Kestrel/Puffin,
0 14 038683 1 Pb
A plate of jam tarts cooling on a window-sill goes missing, and Jeremiah Obadiah Jackanory James sets off to find the robber. On his quest he encounters a wolf, three bears, a frog prince… and more.
* Anthony Browne (2004) Into the Forest, Walker Books, 09 7445 9797 8 Pb
A boy is sent to deliver a cake to his Grandmother's house. He is told not to go through the forest, but he does. Soon he meets folk tale characters who want the cake...
Creative activities linked
Fracturing folk tales provides an excellent opportunity for creativity in many curriculum areas.
* Discussion, sharing and writing can lead to drama – a group presenting their story as mime, shared reading, radio drama or acting.
* As children love to join in, saying, 'Little Pig, Little Pig, let me come in,' and other repeated phrases in folk tales, they can be encouraged to create choruses, chants and songs to add to the pleasure of dramatic expression for both participants and audience.
* Suggestions for art and craft activities flow rapidly when children are involved in creating fractured folk tales for drama: sets, murals, dioramas, collage, costumes and identifiers of all kinds for characters and settings.
Internet Database: The Source: Magpie's online subject guide to children's literature, compiled by Dr Kerry White with Rayma Turton and David Turton – an excellent resource for teachers. www.mapgies.net.au
Writer, compiler, journalist, poet (former teacher) Edel Wignell has more than 90 published books for children, the latest being Long Live Us! illustrated by Peter Allert (2011, Interactive Publications, Brisbane). As a short story, in 1997 it won the Holiday Fantasia Literary Competition for a Fractured Fairy Tale. For the picture-story, Edel suggested a mystery in the illustrations to add to the surprise as the story reaches its climax.