Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Book Worms Carnival - Fairy Tales ( Roald Dahl)

As a child I loved Roald Dahl, especially his Revolting Rhymes in which he took fairy tales and transformed them into something a little more exciting, daring and where the women were stronger! One of my favorites is his version of Little Red Riding Hood, I love that she takes charge and becomes the one in control.

As a teacher I use this idea of reversing or parodying fairy-tales in creative writing, it is always something that the kids love and they love reading this poem (especially the line about whipping a pistol out of her knickers). The kids then create stories of Little Red as a serial killer, gangster, a teen with an ASBO (Anti Social Behaviour Order)etc, never anything where she turns out to be good...

I've included a copy incase anyone hasn't read it before:
Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf .

As soon as Wolf began to feel
That he would like a decent meal,
went and knocked on Grandma's door.

When Grandma opened it, she saw

The sharp white teeth, the horrid grin,

And Wolfie said, ``May I come in?''

Poor Grandmamma was terrified,

``He's going to eat me up!'' she cried.
And she was absolutely

He ate her up in one big bite.

But Grandmamma was small and tough,

And Wolfie wailed, ``That's not enough!

I haven't yet begun to feel

That I have had a decent meal!

''He ran around the kitchen yelping,

``I've got to have a second helping!

''Then added with a frightful leer,

``I'm therefore going to wait right here

Till Little Miss Red Riding Hood

Comes home from walking in the wood.

''He quickly put on Grandma's clothes,

(Of course he hadn't eaten those).

He dressed himself in coat and hat.

He put on shoes, and after that

He even brushed and curled his hair,

Then sat himself in Grandma's chair.

In came the little girl in red.

She stopped. She stared. And then she said,
``What great big ears you
have, Grandma.''

``All the better to hear you with,'' the Wolf replied.

``What great big eyes you have, Grandma.''said Little Red Riding

``All the better to see you with,'' the Wolf replied.
He sat there
watching her and smiled.

He thought, I'm going to eat this child.

Compared with her old Grandmamma

She's going to taste like caviar.
Then Little Red Riding Hood said,

``But Grandma,what a lovely great big furry coat you have on.''
``That's wrong!'' cried Wolf. ``Have you forgot

To tell me what BIG TEETH I've got?

Ah well, no matter what you say,I'm going to eat you anyway.

''The small girl smiles. One eyelid flickers.

She whips a pistol from her knickers.

She aims it at the creature's head

And bang bang bang, she shoots him dead.

A few weeks later, in the wood,

I came across Miss Riding Hood.

But what a change! No cloak of red,

No silly hood upon her head.

She said, ``Hello, and do please note

My lovely furry wolfskin coat.''

Roald Dahl, Revolting Rhymes


Becky said...

Thanks for sharing! This is a great poem!

Alessandra said...

I remember reading this in English class--we had so much fun with these rhymes.

Cheryl Vanatti said...

I wrote an entire unit on Roald Dahl for my sixth graders a few years back. They loved it because they were old enough to get his humor and the readability was easy for them.

We read Revolting Rhymes, The BFG, The Witches, The Twits and each class chose between chocolate Charlie & James and his peach. At the end, the kids had to turn in a portfolio of work along with research on Dahl himself (some coming from his Boy memoir). It was a great unit!

katrina said...

That sounds cool, I love Dahl's stuff

Lightheaded said...

Ooh, I love Dahl! I think someone gave me a copy of this way, way back but it eventually got eaten by termites! Hahaha!

I like my tales dark and creepy so this surely fits the bill! Thanks for the reminder! I never thought I'd miss that book until now :)

Clare - The Super Mommy Club said...

Gotta love Dahl :)

Amanda said...

Hahaha...that is so great! I haven't read Roald Dahl in years and it looks like I need to go back for a visit. Thanks for the post!

Tracy(bookroomreviews) said...

what a great idea for the kids you teach I bet they loved it

Rebecca Reid said...

I loved Roald Dahl's books, but somehow I missed his Revolting Rhymes. That is just great!