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Folktale Parodies

kawaiidaigakusei at 12:00AM, March 27, 2023

Photo: “The Stinky Cheese Man and the Fox”. The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales. By Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith. (1992)

Any the book that was ever available at silent reading was always a book that the teacher read aloud to the class. The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Scieszka and Smith was a great document in order to teach humans a similar experience. The popularity of this particular book in my youth is to explain why it has taken me a long time to read it until today.

For starters, it takes the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare and instead of having them compete against each other in a race, the competition was to see if the hare could grow it hair faster than the tortoise could complete the race and the story was left open ended because there was never a winner. The original story of “Chicken Little”, renamed as Chicken Licken, was also on the editor’s chopping block with the only parts of the story untouched were the original character names: Ducky Lucky, Goosey Loosey, and Cocky Locky remaining in tact.

The main takeaway from the parody of The Stinky Cheese Man, a character and concept largely borrowed from the Gingerbread Man, who goes around town making people pass out from his stinky cheese odour than from smelling like a deliciously baked morsel. In fact, the details I appreciated most from all the different stories in the book were how they turned so many traditional stories on their head by creating twists and newer endings that were so foreign to the original version.

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GrapeApe at 6:12PM, March 28, 2023

I love the Stinky Cheese Man. I recently rediscovered it at a book store and bought it, along with all the other Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith books for my daughter. She’s too young to appreciate them yet, but I really enjoyed rereading them.

Jason Moon at 6:30PM, March 27, 2023

I really enjoyed this book as well! I remember receiving it in the mail as a kid and reading it on the couch just admiring the trippy artwork

PaulEberhardt at 6:48AM, March 27, 2023

I love this book. It might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I've had it for years and I still love this creative collage-like twisted treatment of popular tales. And don't you think it was just for children, it's very literally for all ages. If you like folk tale parodies with surprising and funny twists, I can also very much recommend Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes and Rhyme Stew (make sure to get a copy that includes Quentin Blake's brilliant illustrations). Again, it's not just for children - quite the contrary - don't be fooled by the names and the cover.

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