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Peter in Blueberry Land by Elsa Beskow

Peter in Blueberry Land by Elsa Beskow

2003, pre-school, ages 3-5  
This book was originally published in 1901 in Sweden. The pictures and the story are delightfully old-fashioned.  Peter wears a smock over short trousers.   As always in good picture books the pictures tell more of the story.       
There is rather more text than in a modern picture book. The text uses a serif font with difficult ‘a’s and ‘g’s.  Oddly, every other page is blank. 
Peter is looking for cranberries and blueberries to give his mother on her birthday but there are none to be found.  He is helped by the King of Blueberry Land and Mrs Cranberry.  (Are blueberries more important than cranberries and / or men more important than women?)  Anthropomorphic animals also help. 
There is a fantasy element; Peter is shrunk to the size of the blueberry and cranberry children then returns to his normal size easily at the end of the story.     
Friendship is a strong theme here. 


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Hilary McKay’s Fairy Tales

2017, fluent reader, Key Stage 2, ages 9-11, upper primary
Here are some familiar fairy stories though the titles may fool you: Rapunzel becomes The Tower and the Bird, Rumpelstiltskin becomesStraw into Gold, and Cinderella is Roses Around the Palace. We are also offered some rather interesting details about some well-known stories. The mayor of the town with the rats tells us how the children who replaced the lost ones were much more amenable than the ones who were piped away. A young girl has a sliver of the looking-glass that once belonged to a wicked queen.Whilst the girl has chickenpox her grandmother tells her Snow White’s story. It is true she assures her granddaughter. How does she know? Because she is Snow White. Hansel and Gretel tell the story of what they did in their holidays.
There is perhaps an assumption that the reader will be familiar with the original stories. Certainly they are amusing and not just for the young reader.Adults can enjoy them too. 
This is quite a …