The Princess and the Pea by Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tale Analysis

The Princess and the Pea was first published in 1835, one of a handful of satirical, colloquial fairy tales in an unbound collection by Danish storyteller Hans Christian Andersen. The colloquial language didn’t go down well with critics at the time, who also didn’t appreciate that Andersen’s silly little “wonder tales” failed to convey a moral suitable for children.

Which Is More Than I Can Say About Some People by Lorrie Moore Short Story Analysis

“Which Is More Than I Can Say About Some People” is a mother-and-daughter road trip short story by American writer Lorrie Moore. This story was published in The New Yorker in November 1993. Also find it in Birds of America (1999) and The Collected Stories. The title of this story comes from something the mother of this……

Zog by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

Zog (2010) is a picture book by best-selling British team Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. Zog is regularly held up as a great feminist story for young readers. Zog interests me as an excellent example of a children’s story which looks feminist at first glance. As I often say: Inversion does not equal subversion. Dig……

Emotion in Storytelling: Unexpected responses

Storytellers can manage audience emotions by writing characters who do — and feel — the unexpected. In doing so, writers can subvert common emotional tropes to great effect. Why is this technique necessary and so effective? A major element of good storytelling is surprise. The writer’s characters must stand before us with a wonderful clarity,……

Heads Of Beef Courage The Cowardly Dog

“Heads Of Beef” is an episode of Nickelodeon cartoon show from the late 1990s, Courage The Cowardly Dog. In any horror comedy starring a dog, surely at some point the dog must find himself a hot dog, right? The trope of the surprise in the burger plays on a primal fear we have when visiting……

Bossyboots by David Cox Picture Book Analysis

I was very wary picking up a book called Bossyboots to read to my daughter. ‘Bossy’ is a heavily gendered word. There’s no way a book called ‘Bossyboots’ would ever star a boy. So the first thing I checked was the year of publication. 1985, I thought. Well, this could be a good thing. Overtly……

The Three Little Wolves And The Big Bad Pig by Eugene Trivizas and Helen Oxenbury Analysis

2015 edition, with updated font and a new, blue background

The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pigs is not only an inversion on the classic tale, but also a subversion of the message. Basically, this is a fable for a rape culture world. PARATEXT Here is an earlier edition of this picture book, with a soft yellow background and classic serif font As……

Inversion Does Not Equal Subversion: The Day The Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt And Oliver Jeffers

https://twitter.com/DiscussingFilm/status/1440377723466121225 The Day The Crayons Quit is a best seller made by two picture book superstars, so I’d like to use it as an example of something which bothers me a lot in children’s literature and film: Gender inversion that ironically supports the status quo. On the surface, The Day The Crayons Quit contains a message……