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Using my words I will destroy you

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In The Paper Bag Princess (story by Robert N. Munsch and illustrations by Michael Martchenko) and Eileen Christelow’s Five Little Monkeys Wash a Car a less physically powerful, but smart princess/monkey is able to get a dragon/crocodiles to use up their strength using just words. The princess and the monkey ask the other more reptilian creatures to prove their might and in the process of proving their strength, they use up the energy they otherwise might have spent eating the princess/monkeys. A fox meanwhile uses his words to outwit and eat a Gingerbread Man in The Gingerbread Man (or at least Walt Kelly’s version of the Gingerbread Man, from Little Lit: Folklore & Fairy Tale Funnies). The gingerbread man is so fast he thinks no one can catch him; he is so excited to boast of this to the fox that he gets too close to him and ends up eaten. All of these stories offer some great little lessons (if you feel like looking for a lesson), using your intelligence you can do a lot even if you aren’t super strong, don’t rely too much on any one quality (strength, fire breathing, beauty, etc.), and, most of all, don’t have too much pride in that one quality — it will be your downfall. You will end up eaten or hungry. 

One response »

  1. I liked the Paperbag Princess as we were going through a princesses being saved by princes phase and I didn’t want Holly getting any unrealistic expectations (we’re not royalty, after all). I also like it when fairy tales/fables are turned on their heads as you mentioned with the fox and the gingerbread man. It’s like rooting for Wile. E. Coyote isn’t it? You want him just once to catch that annoying Road Runner.

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